20 January 2009

Who pays the piper calls the tune

Hamas, Israel hold fire; officials say Gaza troops out by inauguration. Israeli officials said Monday the Jewish state hopes to pull all troops out of the Gaza Strip before Tuesday's inauguration of Barack Obama as the new U.S. president ... ... ... By getting its soldiers out before the Obama inauguration, Israel would spare the new administration the trouble of having to deal with a burning problem in Gaza from day one. (Hurriyet Daily News, 19 January 2008)

I take that passage, more or less at random, from Turkish daily Hurriyet but it was wide currency yesterday. Go to Ynet or Ha'aretz (two Isra'eli sources) and you will find the same - for example:

Israeli official: IDF to leave Gaza before Obama inauguration. ... ... ... Israeli officials have said that troops would withdraw completely before Barack Obama's inauguration on Tuesday as the new U.S. president. (Ha'aretz, 19 January 2009)

That explicit form of words, tying the timing of military actions to the day and time of political change elsewhere, says everything about the relationship between Isra'el and the US in general, the outgoing administration in particular.