Obama’s Settlement Climbdown

Spencer Ackerman has a good post on the damage the Obama administration’s apparent climbdown on the settlement freeze issue is doing to moderate Palestinian leaders. From the perspective of Bibi Netanyahu, that’s great. He doesn’t want to freeze settlements, he doesn’t want to remove settlements, and he doesn’t want a comprehensive peace agreement. But he doesn’t want to come right out and say that he has no intention of negotiating a comprehensive peace. So his best hope is either that a humiliated Fatah leadership loses to Hamas, or else that Fatah leaders need to move so far to the right to forestall that from happening that there’s nothing to negotiate over.

Either way, a disaster for peace and ultimately for Israel.

It’s worth observing this is the dynamic that’s existed between Netanyahu and Hamas since back in the Oslo days with the actions of each re-enforcing the political position of their alleged enemies on the other side, hollowing out the middle ground and plunging the region into an ever-more-disastrous situation.