The EU leaders, led by Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel and France's President Nicholas Sarkozy have reached a deal for a second Greek bailout.
The deal involves a new €130 billion bailout of Greece by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund (which means American taxpayers are going to take a bite of this particular sandwich), and acceptance by current Greek bond holders of fifty percent of face value and a increase in the EU's bailout fund to over €1 trillion.
As Chancellor Merkel announced with a straight face, the goal of all this manipulation is to get Greece's debt down to - wait for it - a mere 120% of the country's gross domestic product by 2020. President Sarkozy announced that he would hit up the Chinese to see if they're willing to pony up any cash to help in supporting the fund.
If this all seems like simply kicking the can down the road, I couldn't agree more. And that's going to become even more obvious when further bailouts are needed for countries like Spain, Ireland and Portugal, among others.
FP: Europe going hat in hand to China to sell itself out to it (China has already been funding the US). And the Jewish Parliament is not much different than EU’s:
MP Sacha Baron Cohen, David Beckham for election?
The European Jewish Parliament's slate of candidates does not bode well for its ability to be taken seriously.
Are we in the PostWest or what?
Soccer Dad: Blair's history
Tony Blair was interviewed by Edmond Sanders of the LA Times. Blair said something incredible.
Has either side provided the quartet with a detailed proposal yet?What is Blair talking about? In 2008 Israel (PM Olmert) made a detailed offer to Abbas. Abbas rejected it. Is there another proposal that Blair is talking about or did he just reverse reality? (It seems that the proposal being referred to is one made to the Quartet directly. If that's indeed what Blair's talking about - and I've found no indication that such a proposal exists, though I haven't looked very hard - why should it have greater force than a proposal offered by one party to the other?
The Palestinians, of course, did table a proposal in the last talks that they had in Annapolis [Maryland in 2008 during the Bush administration]. They were detailed, significant proposals, on borders at least, in and around land swaps. This Israeli government has not produced such a proposal, and that's obviously one thing we have to explore with them.
FP: What did I tell you? The more outrageous and rejectionist the Palestinians become, the more pressure the Quartet will apply to Israel. And when it comes to pushing Israel, Obama is leading from upfront:
US asks Israel for additional settlement freeze
Army Radio: U.S. Ambassador Dan Shapiro delivers latest request for Judea and Samaria building freeze during a visit with Interior Minister Eli Yishai • Ultra-Orthodox paper: U.S. may free Jonathan Pollard if Israel agrees to a construction freeze.
More evidence that Obama’s desperate striving to not be on the bad side of the Islamists it has brought to power overwhelms his ability to learn from his mistake regarding settlements. But to be honest, if Netanyahu caves again, can it really be deemed a mistake? Well, the delusion of appeasing the Islamists is a giant one.
As to Pollard, it looks as if the Obama administration has learned from Hezbollah, Hamas and Egypt what is Israel’s main weakness and exploits them too. Perhaps the Quartet should arrest some Israelis too.
I barely completed the previous paragraph when I came across this:
Israel agrees to submit borders proposal to Quartet
Breaking from previous position, J'lem willing to come forward with comprehensive plan within three months; follows Blair meeting. In a departure from the government's previous policy, Israel is now agreeing to put forward a comprehensive proposal on borders within the next three months, according to a Quartet communiqué issued Thursday.
Note very carefully that the right of return and termination of conflict are not on the table. Don’t be surprised if Netanyahu signs an agreement without them. Israel will stop making concessions only when there’s nothing left to concede. In the same manner in which the West can’t get it through its collective head that Islamists cannot be appeased, Israel won’t comprehend that when it comes to the conflict, the West cannot be either—having collapsed, it now operates on the illusion of power, which is existentially dangerous for Israel and the Jews.
Israel Ruled by PR
Shalit prisoner swap proved that most powerful players in Israel are ‘salespeople’
Gilad Shalit left to Gaza as a soldier and returned to Israel as the country’s most beloved and media-covered brand. At this time, Shalit is not only a cherished brand name associated with the state, but rather, he is the state itself. Many parties played a role in turning Shalit into a loved consumer good. Prisoner swap critics like to blame the media for the “Shalit Festival” of recent weeks, yet in this case media outlets were no more than a relay station.
In recent years, extensive parts of Israel’s public discourse – ranging from well-known artists to anonymous Facebook status lines – partook in a calculated strategic move with one aim: Keeping Gilad in the headlines, at any price. After bringing him to the headlines, his way home was already paved.
The above should serve as a warning sign to Israeli society in respect to what lies ahead. The ad agency’s people took full credit for Shalit’s release, and it indeed appears that they deserve most of the credit. Their effort was felt throughout Israel’s media world and resonated in the Knesset corridors as well.
Although it’s hard to predict what lies in store, the Gilad Shalit case proved to us that in the fight for the Israeli psyche, the most powerful players are the “salespeople,” and they take no prisoners.
FP: Given where America is today, Israel—whose circumstances are acutely different—Americanizes itself at its peril.