....Israeli officials have been stunned by the demands of top Obama administration officials that Israel halt settlement growth throughout the West Bank, and Barak was said to be carrying compromise proposals focusing mainly on dismantling unauthorized settlement outposts.....
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu rejected Obama's demand in a meeting yesterday with his country's parliament
The Obama administration has also indicated it does not consider itself bound to the terms of a 2004 letter that President George W. Bush gave then Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon saying Israel could expect to keep major settlements in a peace deal. Late Friday, State Department spokesman Ian Kelly issued a statement pointedly declining to reaffirm that the letter carried over to the current administration. He instead reiterated that there must be a "stop to settlements."
Oh no, no yes man:
A meeting in London last week between Mitchell and Israeli envoys went poorly, Israeli sources said, with Mitchell rejecting compromise proposals floated by the Israelis. "Our position hasn't changed one bit, and they know that," said a senior U.S. official after Mitchell's meeting with Barak. "We want them to stop settlement activity."
We should worry:
"In Israel, we are a bit alarmed at the statements coming out,"
Ah, so that where the plot is coming from:
Ghaith al-Omari, a former Palestinian negotiator who is advocacy director for the American Task Force on Palestine, said the Obama administration's unity and toughness on the issue have been impressive. "The president has put his own prestige on the line," Omari said. "The thing to watch is whether he will apply a similar amount of pressure on the Arabs" on such issues as financial support for the Palestinian Authority.
No he didn't, can someone impeach him?:
In focusing on Israeli settlements, Obama has identified an Achilles' heel in the strong support for Israel in the U.S. Congress, where there is increasing angst among lawmakers that settlements are a hindrance to peace efforts