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Michael van der Galien

2009 Through the Israeli Lens

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Posted on January 6 2010 12:30 pm
Michael van der Galien was born in the Dutch city of Leeuwarden in 1984. For as long as he can remember, he has been obsessed with the United States. When he was 17 years old, he started blogging - of course about America. His articles have been published at Big Hollywood, Pajamas Media, Hot Air (the GreenRoom) and Right Across The Atlantic. He's also an editor for the Dutch conservative blog, De Dagelijkse Standaard.
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Like most years in the Middle East, 2009 was not a particularly good one. War, instability, terrorism, and general mayhem showed no signs of permanently abating now or in the near future, but those of us who live here do have the cold comfort of reassuring ourselves that it certainly could have been worse. The year began, after all, with the aftermath of one war—Operation Cast Lead in Gaza—but appears to be ending without the outbreak of another. In this part of the world, that is enough reason to see the proverbial glass as half full.

This is not to say that 2009, again like most years in the Middle East, did not have its share of half-empty glasses. For Israel, the year began with war, and continued into bizarre and inconclusive elections, which ultimately put Benjamin Netanyahu in the prime minister’s office even though his party was bested at the polls by the now-opposition Kadima party. As everyone expected, this was followed by a long and painful struggle between Netanyahu and the newly inaugurated American President Barack Obama over negotiations with the Palestinians and, especially, Obama’s proposed settlement freeze. Though both Obama and Netanyahu smiled through gritted teeth throughout the whole ordeal, often making painfully stage-managed expressions of goodwill, the animosity between the two men was palpable, marking a new low in recent Israeli-American relations.

Read the whole thing at The New Ledger.

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