The far right-wing government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may have a choice between expanding settlements in the West Bank or achieving a global consensus on the need to sanction and coerce Iran into giving up its nuclear enrichment program. Netanyahu is so dedicated to the settler project that he cannot see the ways in which it forestalls other, broader Israeli objectives.
The serious policy differences between Netanyahu and the Obama administration are helping Iran, and reducing pressure on that country.
The Times of London reports that Netanyahu was put firmly in his place by President Obama during his visit to Washington earlier this week. At one point Obama is said to have left Netanyahu for dinner with Michelle and the girls after urging the prime minister to contact him if anything changed.
Obama is said to have still been bristling at the slight of Vice President Joe Biden when the latter was in Israel. (In the form of an announcement of the building of more homes on occupied Palestinian land.) The Palestinian Authority leadership, including President Mahmoud Abbas, refuses to restart peace negotiations as long as Netanyahu refuses to commit to a freeze of Israeli colonization efforts. Abbas had been about to set aside his objections and begin proximity talks when Netanyahu’s government announced a substantial settlement expansion. And they made the announcement on the very day of Biden’s arrival to kick off the talks with th… >>>