The four stages of Israeli policy: crisis, pressure, cave-in and agreement
The process of easing of the Gaza blockade followed the premier's usual behavioral pattern: protest and waffling - followed by bowing to American pressure.
In the first stage, Israel gets entangled in an international crisis over use of force that some consider excessive, or due to new construction in the settlements or in East Jerusalem. "The world" demands that Israel be punished and Netanyahu begs the U.S. administration to rescue him. In the second stage, U.S. President Barack Obama takes advantage of the opportunity, and demands that Netanyahu make concessions to the Palestinians and rein in the settlements in exchange for American help. In the third, and critical, stage, Netanyahu caves in after putting up symbolic resistance to Obama's demands or buying a little time.
The result is always the same and apparently unavoidable: Netanyahu changes his policy in a way that goes against the ideology he was raised on at home and his right-wing coalition platform. The premier listens to his father, Benzion, to his wife, Sara, to his colleagues in Likud and to his "natural partners" from Yisrael Beiteinu and Shas. He undoubtedly agrees with them in his heart, but understands intellectually that Israel is totally dependent on U.S. support.