In a few weeks we may look back on this visit with all its speeches and tantrums and standing ovations as a non-event. The peace process is no longer entirely in the hands of the US, and it is not even close to Congress’s orbit. It is now in the hands of the Quartet, of which the US is the most powerful member, but where US diplomats can operate freely away from the limelight and AIPEC influence. The peace process did not move away from the US sphere to the multilateral sphere as a result of Netanyahu’s visit or because of the failure of the talks last November, nor even because of pique on Obama’s part at the disrespectful way Netanyahu behaved. The trend towards a multilateral US-European approach can be detected since five years ago and future historians may put the turning point at an even earlier date. Obama’s remarks about Palestine on May 19 were really intended to clarify the US stance within the Quartet deliberations and not as a unilateral US stance. It was a very fair statement that meets the Palestinian threshold, and I am sure most Palestinian leaders are happy with it despite their negative remarks. So this is where things stand. The peace process has been taken over by the Quartet, and the US is no longer an obstacle to Palestinian aspirations. Where things may go from here is impossible to say. Statements by Yasser Abd Rabbo about a month ago show that the US and Europe favor direct negotiations rather than the UN option. But if Netanyahu remains obstinate, the latter may be the only course and even Obama may come to support it.
12 killed in Mumbai, India after building collapses during heavy rain (AP)
from the article: Upon return from Washington Netanyahu says Israel found U.S. support