Well, after President Obama last week managed to temporarily save face by turning a lemon into lemonade, trust Israel to find a way today, with this announcement from the Knesset, to defy physics and turns the lemonade back into even more lemons:

…the Knesset will vote on [a] bill to annex the West Bank at the end of October. The bill also nullifies the Oslo Accords, ending all Israeli agreements with the Palestinian Authority.

The JTA reports it mirrors a bill being considered in the U.S. Congress and seems to have support among leaders of the [Israeli] coalition government.

No, wait, make that a festival of lemons:

The Palestinian Authority on Tuesday slammed Israel’s approval of construction plans to build 1,100 new housing units in a settlement in East Jerusalem.

Israel’s regional planning and construction committee on Tuesday approved the plans, described by one committee member as “a nice gift for Rosh Hashanah.”

… The last round of peace talks collapsed over Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s refusal to extend a partial freeze on illegal settlement building.

President Mahmoud Abbas said Sunday that he would not return to negotiations unless Israel stopped building Jewish-only settlements on occupied Palestinian land. Netanyahu indicated Tuesday that he was not about to offer one.

So last week, as a way to avoid US and European awkwardness over its support of Israel, Obama finds a way to save face by strongarming both the Palestinians (at least, the Fatah faction) and Israel into accepting new talks. And today both Netanyahu and the Knesset, on separate fronts, do their level best to torpedo those talks.

Personally, really, I’m done with Israel. I mean, I’m sad about it. Good people live there, and don’t deserve the governments they get, or the knuckleheads that elect them. But after generations of indefensible behavior, really, if Israel want to commit political and economic and cultural suicide, why should I care? I mean, I would much rather any transition to a sane and peaceful and just Middle East not come at the expense of Israel having the entire world turn against it, but Israel’s not leaving a whole lot of wiggle room for sympathy here.

No, I’m more concerned by the prospect that the United States electorate seems, circa 2011, to be completely capable of heading down the exact same suicidal road. Good people live here, too, and we also don’t deserve the governments we get, or the knuckleheads that elect them. But our generations of indefensible behavior, crowned (so far) by eight literally torturous years of George W. Bush, is at significant risk of getting exponentially worse in a bit over 13 months. And an outlaw, pariah United States carries significantly more potential to damage global economic and political stability than a country of seven million people, no matter how many nukes it has.

So, yeah, it’s scary watching the Israel government, supported by a large and vocal segment of its rightward-drifting public, repeatedly shoot itself in the face. But one of the reasons it’s scary is that a not small portion of the U.S. electorate, and one of its two major political parties, would like to do exactly the same thing.

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