Fast and furious

Developments in the Middle East are moving fast and furious. The sad part is that prospects for a Palestinian-Israeli deal on the occupied West Bank are receding into the murky fog of future history.

Amid the West’s determination to unseat Libya’s once populist leader Qaddafi, U.S. acquiescence in the movement of Saudi troops into Bahrain to prop up the Sunni monarchy, the increasingly bloody uprising in Yemen, it would seem that any Israeli-Palestinian settlement on occupied territories (the West Bank) is being firmly placed on the back burner.

There is no sign that the U.S. is pressuring Israel to resume serious negotiations and the Palestinians are showing their frustrations by lobbing mortar shells into Israel from Gaza–which brought on the inevitable counterattack by tank and helicopter fire, described by the New York Times as an ‘unusually intense barage.’

I am not a conspiracy theorist. But it’s odd that the only Arab autocrat that the U.S thought worth removing peacefully headed a country (Egypt) with virtually no oil reserves. Lybia (and, of course, Iraq) are richly endowed with the black gold. Does this augur ill for Bahrain’s royal family? Probably not, sinced the Saudi connection is presumably sacrosanct in Washington.