Netanyahu’s consent to imposing a nine-month freeze on new building permits for West Bank settlers was diluted by his decision to build hundreds of new apartments, continue building public structures and to impose no limits on Jews moving to East Jerusalem.
Netanyahu’s formula pacified the uproar within Likud, but reinforced the suspicion he is being dragged into talks just to appease Obama and is not genuinely prepared to compromise.
Netanyahu’s support for a demilitarized Palestinian state was an important move, but was not enough. As long as he makes demands of the other side, while being ambiguous about his own level of flexibility and commitment to opinions he has voiced in the past, he will perhaps be able to hang on to his seat, but will steer the country down a dead end.
Now it is Netanyahu’s turn to show courage and achieve a breakthrough for a settlement with the Palestinians. This is his mission.