POLITICS
03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Obama Flinches On Israel After Starting Out Tough

President Obama came into office insisting that his administration would press hard and fast to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But after nine months, analysts and diplomats say, the administration's efforts have faltered in part because of its own missteps.

As Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton made clear during her Middle East trip, which ended Wednesday, U.S. officials are now promoting new tactics -- what they called the "baby steps" of lower-level talks -- to bring the Israeli and Palestinian leaders together for direct talks.

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