Irony of the day

Today’s New York Times reports on Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to expand settlements by building 3,000 new housing units in the Palestinian land known as E1 (just east of Jerusalem proper). But the way reporter Isabel Kershner concluded the article suggests a certain wry sensibility about Israel’s endless self-delusion:

But beyond the tit-for-tat measures set off by the United Nations vote, analysts pointed to a trend of deteriorating relations between Israel and Europe in particular.

“That is because the top-level people making decisions here in recent years are completely insular and out of touch with the rest of the world, especially regarding the Palestinians and the settlements,” said Mark Heller, a foreign-policy analyst at the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University. “Self-righteousness may be good for domestic politics,” he said, but it is not a policy.”

At the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday, 138 nations voted in favor of upgrading the status of the Palestinians and 41 abstained. The nine that voted against it were Israel, the United States, Canada, the Czech Republic, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Panama and Palau.

Yes, Mr. Heller, key decision-makers in the 138 countries that voted in favor of Palestinian observer status at the United Nations are out of touch with the “rest of the world,” by which he means the nine countries that voted no. At this point, Israeli rhetoric has entered a self-parodic stage.

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