The nature of arm-twisting in statecraft is that it’s practiced but always denied. No powerful leader anywhere will readily acknowledge having resorted to even a subtle form of arm-twisting. Likewise, no less-powerful leader – the object of concealed coercion – will ever admit that his arm was twisted.
Arm-twisting is something which both twister and twistee have an inherent interest to deny.
This is so elementary that that there is no point trying to ferret out indications that US President Barack Obama’s upcoming visit to our land is anything but an expression of syrupy sympathy and support. Both the White House occupant and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will swear up and down that it’s the culmination of a wonderful friendship.
But to put the touchy-feely photo-op into context, we might be well advised to rewind to the generic George Mitchell extravaganza of four years ago. Continue reading