How Beinart sees Abbas's actions at the UN last week:
It’s unclear how much the Palestinians’ victory at the U.N. General Assembly will ultimately matter. It certainly doesn’t, by itself, change America’s status as the most important outside influence on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, by far. But every year since Obama and Netanyahu came to power, American influence has declined. The Palestinian U.N. bid isn’t the only evidence. You can also measure it by the increased willingness of Middle Eastern governments like Egypt, Turkey and Qatar to break the U.S. quarantine on Hamas. Sooner or later, it’s likely key European governments will break that quarantine too.
Israel's new settlement plans are only accelerating this process:
Everybody knew that Israel's move to build new settlements in the previously off-limits area outside Jerusalem known as E1 would anger friends and enemies alike. But few probably guessed that it would send European ambassadors fleeing the country. According to a new report from Haaretz, that's exactly what the diplomats from France and Britain are thinking.
I'm also just absorbing what the Israeli government did to the Obama administration. From the Iron Dome out, Obama has had Israel's back for the last two months – and, to any fair observer, for the past four years. But again and again, Netanyahu's treatment of Obama (and Americans) is best described as contempt. At what point has Israel asked how it can help its chief ally these past few years? Never. And this extraordinarily crude response to the Palestinians' perfect right to seek UN status – and the huge success of their appeal there – show just how heavy a burden Greater Israel is on the US right now.
Israel is no longer an ally, it seems to me. It is, at best, a subsidized, spoiled child that cannot resist acting out.