[T]he administration sent Vice President Joseph Biden to Jerusalem to convince Israelis they have a friend in the White House, but Biden couldn't stick to the script and managed to reinforce their fears rather than reassure them.
If Biden really wanted to do something for the Palestinians, he would not feed their latest tantrum. Instead, he should point out to Abbas that the longer he waits to negotiate an agreement with Israel, the more Jews will be living in the areas he wants and the less land he will get in the end.
Had Jimmy Carter said this to Yasser Arafat 30 years ago when 12,000 Jews lived in the West Bank, the conflict might have been resolved. Now, nearly 300,000 Jews live in that same area. Whose side is time really on?
(Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles)
The Settlements Aren't the Problem -Bret Stephens
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict isn't territorial. It's existential.
Israelis are now broadly prepared to live with a Palestinian state along their borders. Palestinians are not yet willing to live with a Jewish state along theirs. That should help explain why it is that in the past decade, two Israeli prime ministers - Ehud Barak in 2000 and Ehud Olmert in 2008 - have put forward comprehensive peace offers to the Palestinians, and have twice been rebuffed.
Then there is the test case of Gaza. When Israel withdrew all of its settlements from the Strip in 2005, it was supposed to be an opportunity for Palestinians to demonstrate what they would do with a state if they got one. Instead, they quickly turned it into an Iranian-backed Hamas enclave that for nearly three years launched nonstop rocket and mortar barrages against Israeli civilians.
The sad fact is that the most important thing Israel's withdrawal from Gaza accomplished was to expose the fanatical irredentism that still lies at the heart of the Palestinian movement.
Israel withdrew from Gaza with assurances from the Bush administration that the U.S. would not insist on a return to the 1967 borders in brokering any future deal with the Palestinians. But Hillary Clinton reneged on that commitment last year, and now the administration is going out of its way to provoke a diplomatic crisis with Israel over a construction project that is plainly in keeping with past U.S. undertakings.
In the past decade, Israelis have learned that neither Palestinians nor Europeans can be taken at their word. That's a lesson they may soon begin to draw about the U.S. as well.
(Wall Street Journal)