Mahmoud Abbas must know by now that he has been playing into Netanyahu's hand. He must change his strategy to bring him even better results. Negotiating borders will lead directly to the heart of the settlement issue, and will require their immediate resolution.
These days millionaires abound, mainly because of the highly inflated value of real estate in certain locales. But billionaires? Far and few between. Think it's not possible for a billionaire to go broke? Think again.
The strong disagreement over settlement doesn't excuse the brutal killings of the family of five in Itamar. If anything this senseless murder should cause genuine commitment from all sides to find an end to the 44 year old occupation in a peaceful way.
When the strongest UN member state asks the weakest not-yet-state to do something, coercion is a good word to describe it -- particularly as the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority depends on U.S. aid for its existence.
For Obama to veto a new resolution declaring certain Israeli settlements illegal now would surely corroborate the perception of him as a cowering and ineffectual president who cannot withstand entrenched political pressures.
A letter from concerned policy commentators and practitioners, academics, and former government officials about the resolution at the UN Security Council on illegal Israeli settlements has just been released.