I'm very gratified that the Obama Administration, and the Democratic leadership generally, are going to the mats with Israel over settlement construction.
Rebuffing Israel on a key Mideast negotiating issue, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Wednesday that the Obama administration wants a complete halt in the growth of Jewish settlements in Palestinian territory, with no exceptions.
President Obama "wants to see a stop to settlements -- not some settlements, not outposts, not natural-growth exceptions," Clinton said.
Growth in settlements built in the West Bank has become a key point of disagreement between the United States and Israel as the administration assembles its plan to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.
U.S. officials believe that a complete Israeli halt to settlement growth could lead to early concessions from moderate Arab nations and put new momentum behind the peace effort.
That's an extremely strong statement, and much further that I would guess anyone would have suspected that Democrats were willing to go. And not only that, but Martin Indyk, of all people, is telling the truth:
On Netanyahu: "Bibi suffers from the fact that many people in the administration know him too well."
On Israel's taking risks to achieve peace: "All these years, the US has been strengthening you precisely for this purpose -- so that you can take the risk of making peace. How exactly can the Palestinians destroy you? The real existential danger is that you will not succeed in parting from them."
The settlements violate international law. A fanatical far-right minority uses them to stand in the way of peace. And Bibi Netanyahu has simply been caught out. He can pretend that his survival isn't dependent on a strong ally in the United States, or he can lose his Prime Minister position. Period.