"He [State Dept Spokesman] also said that the efforts now are concentrating on creating the right atmosphere between Israel and the Palestinians so that they can sit and resolve the ongoing conflict" The "right atmosphere" requires a full construction freeze, with Obama determining what happens when the (6-month / 9-month / 12-month) freeze runs out. Anything less gives Netanyahu only *one* incentive: to sit on his hands until the clock strikes midnight, whereupon he will don the hard-hat, grab the shovel, and then bolt for the door. Q: What is the point in "creating the right atmosphere" for that? A: It is the very definiton of "pointless". The Israelis have managed to convince themselves that Mitchell and Obama are clueless yokels, and they are in for a rude surprise.
Death toll from car bombs in Iraq rises to 56 (AP)
from the article: Abbas refusal to meet Netanyahu could scuttle tripartite talk plan