Today, in his on-the-record remarks in front a conference of American Jewish journalists at the annual American Jewish Press Association convention, Chemi Shalev, a veteran Haaretz reporter, calmly stated that PM Netanyahu has no Israeli domestic pressure to make concessions in the peace process.
The reason? It is because “Israelis believe Israel has no Palestinian partner for peace.” Shalev, US Editor and a veteran foreign policy analyst, further explained, “Israelis are very happy with the status quo.”
As for the recent formation of a broad-based government, Shalev stated it had nothing to do with a 1967-type unity government to deal with Iran, and everything to do with the intense, overriding, and irreconcilable dislike Tzipi Livni and Netanayhu had for each other.
With Livni gone, and Mofaz seeing Kadima dropping to “single digits,” Mofaz snapped at the chance to form a government.
Also, the additional “pushing over the edge” factor was Netanyahu’s belief that the 2012 economic fallout from a European meltdown could hit just when Israelis were going to the polls.
Shalev also observed “Assad is doomed” and the Russians are taking a very unconstructive role, and prolonging the final tragedy and cost.
He said Haaretz was also moving from a non-pay to a pay-wall New York Times-type of business model. He said ultimately 90% of Haaretz’s web content will be behind a pay-wall, and the cost will be about $10 a month, or $120 a year for the service. Shalev observed that since the pay-wall went into effect there has been a huge drop in web-traffic, which he hoped would rebound.
Shalev was asked pointedly why Haaretz editors saw it fit to rarely if ever report Palestinian incitement like the Palestinian kindergarteners who were recently encouraged to trade in their toys for guns.
Shalev answered “If Haaretz had 100 pages, it might get included.” But he concluded that the Palestinian incitement in general, and this incitement specifically, just wasn’t important enough for the paper to report.