During its first three months in office, the Obama administration has repeatedly stressed how committed it is to a new peace agreement in the Middle East.
Its special envoy to the region, George Mitchell, recently visited Israel and the West Bank. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has traveled to the region as well.
But Israel’s new conservative government is taking an altogether different approach to any peace deal with the Palestinians — an approach that diverges significantly from the Obama administration’s.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has attempted to place Iran ahead of the Palestinian issue, and the new government says Israel will not move ahead with peace talks until the U.S. makes progress in stopping Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons.
Alon Ben-Meir, a senior fellow at New York University’s School of Global Affairs, joins Martin Savidge to discuss what’s behind this shift in Israel’s approach and the challenges it presents for the Obama administration and the Palestinians themselves.
Also, read what Worldfocus editorial consultant Peter Eisner had to say about Israel’s posturing: Israel angles for control in chess-like peace negotiations.