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Israel and the US: On a Collision Course?

Published on: June 28th 2009 12:59:39
In the aftermath of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s June 14th  speech on the Middle East Peace Process, reaction in Washington is divided between the public and private. In public President Obama welcomed the speech as an important step forward, noting the progress that has been made thus far. That said, regardless of the common objective set forth, the President “believes that there is a long way to go and many twists and turns in the road to get there”. Privately, the White House realizes that a substantial amount of work remains to be done in ensuring that Israel remains committed to US views of what needs to be done. Senior officials continue to stress to us the question of settlements as the key metric of Netanyahu’s good faith. They see the opportunity to exercise strong pressure on him given that the settlement policy is divisive in Israeli politics. All the same, none of this means that the fundamental commitment of the US to Israeli security is in question. On tactics, however, the prospects are for a less harmonious phase in Washington’s relations with Tel Aviv.

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