Obama sharpens tone on Israel, calls for two-state solution

Asked if the rise of a Netanyahu government would make peacemaking more difficult, US president Barack Obama told a televised news conference Wednesday night, March 25: “It’s not easier than it was, but I think it’s just as necessary.” He added: What we do know is that the status quo is unsustainable, that it is critical for us to advance a two-state solution where Israelis and Palestinians can live side by side in their own states with peace and security.
Obama noted uncertainty not only about the makeup of the new Israeli government – Netanyahu must submit his lineup to the president before April 3 – but also the Palestinian Authority “which is badly divided.”
Tuesday night, Labor leader Ehud Barak won his party round to joining the Netanyahu government.
debkafile‘s sources report: The US president has kicked off a tough campaign on the Israel-Palestinian conflict that will build up until Passover Eve on April 8 for three reasons:
1. In the face of Tehran’s chilly response to his taped message calling for diplomacy, administration spokesman promised several more gestures. These gestures will be outlined in the coming DEBKA-Net-Weekly out Friday, March 27.
2. Friday, March 27, Obama will unveil his new strategy for the Afghanistan war that will also embody steps on Iran and the Middle East at large.
3. He has scheduled a major address to the Muslim world from Istanbul on April 7. Part of his speech will be devoted to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Our political analysts do not expect Obama to be kind to the Jewish State and its new government. He may feel it necessary to respond to the Iranian supreme ruler Ali Khamenei’s stipulation that change in Washington must also affect “unconditional US support” for Israel.

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