Israel’s position that Brazil and Argentina’s recognition of a Palestinian state is a violation of the road map peace plan is seen in the rest of the world as a cheeky joke. Not everyone has forgotten that Israel has committed to honor the provision related to a total construction freeze in the settlements and to dismantle all the settlement outposts erected since March of 2001. In another few months, that date will be celebrating its 10th anniversary.
The significance of the U.S. decision to stop pushing for a moratorium, which was reported on Tuesday, is that Obama is refusing to give Netanyahu a seal of approval to build in Jerusalem. He also isn’t giving out any Christmas presents if Israel is so kind as to comply with the road map and respect international law. The president also understands that after three months of a second settlement freeze, he would have found himself without any kind of agreement and facing repeated Arab demands to extend the freeze again, necessitating another exhausting bargaining session with Netanyahu.
The Americans acceded to the entreaties of the Palestinians and their friends in the Arab states, who demanded that Obama finally announce who the good guys are and who the bad guys are.
The U.S. announcem