Jane says she, "Just came across this article in Haaretz about why Israel is not negotiating with Syria - it takes the view that the US is putting pressure on Israel not to talk to Syria as part of a general effort to isolate Syria and Iran and (it hopes) strengthen the 'moderate' Arab regimes:
"The U.S. was very clear with Israel: Now is not the time, this is not the way."
Would be really interested to hear comments this...
William comments: "An interesting article because it represents a strand of thinking that is out there. The reality, I think, is that Israel can be pragmatic and if it is in Israel's interests will happilly push the envelope as it were, even going out on a limb to do so. But Israel will not risk the critically important US alliance in any shape or form - they realise - post Iraq - how tenuous US support for Israel is becoming. Oh yes, Israel will always be America's number one priority - but there is a big difference between quasi-passive support and real active gung-ho support. America is becoming more isolationist post Iraq. Israel is therefore walking on egg shells and being very careful."