If the Obama administration wants to see a real chance for peace between Arabs and Israelis -- and do a better job reassuring anxious Jewish voters at home -- it needs some quick movement. I believe it needs Bill Clinton.
While one could quibble with aspects of Obama's state department speech and his remarks before AIPAC, I was struck by some things he said that didn't register in the U.S. press or in the Arab World's media.
What I do have a problem with is the large number of commentators -- the vast majority Jewish -- who say that in defying Obama on the '67 borders Netanyahu has provoked the President's wrath and Israel will now suffer the consequences.
By demanding that Israel surrender all the territories it captured in the 1967 war without insisting that the Palestinians surrender their right of return, the president has gone further than Palestinian negotiators had during various prior negotiations.
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.
Understanding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict requires not only a grasp of cold facts and statistics, but an understanding of the daily experience of the real people who live on each side. I spoke to Palestinians on a recent trip.