Without Pressure on Netanyahu, little will move in the direction of peace. The Obama administration should learn the lesson of the Papa Bush administration and apply some serious pressure on this Israeli government. The Likud government at the time, headed by Shamir, was hard line. Secretary of State Jim Baker announced in 1990 that when Israel is interested in peace, she should call the White House by phone (and publicly gave out the number). In 1991, Israel was facing a flood of Aliya from the former Soviet Union. She asked the US for loan guarantees to absorb the immigrants. Papa Bush refused. When AIPAC tried to get Congress to approve the loan guarantee anyhow, Bush came out and complained publicly about the armies of lobbyists employed. AIPAC realized this would antagonize the American people and gave up the battle. In addition, Bush started voting for some "unpleasant" Security Council resolutions. Israelis are no dummies, and realized the disaster that Shamir was taking them into. In the 1992 election, they replaced Shamir with Rabin. Obama should do the same with Netanyahu, get rid of the disaster by discrediting him and his policies in the eyes of Israelis. Allowing the Security Council to condemn Israel for building in the Occupied Territories will be an unmistakable signal. The reality that Obama contemplates vetoing this measure shows that he has not only no card up his sleeve but not even any statesmanship up his brain.
Colombia recalls ambassador to Venezuela amid border crisis (Reuters)