By Paul Goodman
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As ever in these affairs, there is more to William Hague's summoning of Israel's Ambassador over the Netanyahu Government's settlement building decision and withholding of Palestine Authority tax revenue than meets the eye. There is also more to the decisions of Israel's Government than might meet the eye.
The Foreign Secretary was sympathetic to Israel during its recent hostilities with Hamas. Britain also abstained in the UN General Assembly vote to recognise Palestine as a non-member state. The Government regards the West Bank as illegally occupied territory, and will take the chance to remind Israel critics that it sometimes joins them.
Mr Netanyahu and his Cabinet will have wanted to send a message to the world after the overwhelming UN vote for recognition, since it takes the view that the Palestinian decision to apply for membership was a provocation. But it will neither want to collapse the P.A nor alienate other countries completely: Israel's Prime Minister will also be guarding his right flank.
I'm grateful to the Conservative Middle East's Council's daily list of must-read articles for one which puts these recent events in perspective. Alan Dershowitz is one of Israel's leading supporters in the United States. Peter Beinart is one of its best-known critics - the author of "The Failure of the American Jewish Establishment" and "The Crisis of Zionism.