Most Americans want Israel and Palestine to negotiate peace without America being on the pointy end according to a report in Yahoo.com news the other day.
While the news about Israel and Iran has gone dead silent since the election campaign of 2012, you must recall that Israel said that Spring would be the time to confront Iran, and to stop further nuclear development with military action. When people clam up, that usually means something is up.
It is logical and reasonable that behind the happy faces will be some serious discussion about when to pull the trigger on Iran.
During his trip, President Obama will travel to the occupied West Bank on Thursday to meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, according to Reuters and the President’s schedule. That is to inform them to keep the faith and keep reaching for a settlement. The President may ask, “How can I help?”
An immediate and urgent topic is what to do with the Syrian government that has apparently deployed and used WMD chemical weapons. President Obama drew a red line on that and Syria has crossed it, subject to verification. That circumstance is a threat to Israel’s national security and this visit will no pass over that topic.
There are four more years for Obama and Netanyahu, and this is a fresh start.
“Obama arrives in Israel amid low expectations
By Matt Spetalnick
TEL AVIV | Wed Mar 20, 2013 6:29am EDT
(Reuters) - President Barack Obama arrived in Israel on Wednesday without any new peace initiative to offer disillusioned Palestinians and facing deep Israeli doubts over his pledge to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran.
Making his first official visit here as president, Obama hopes to use the trip to reset his often fraught relations with both the Israelis and Palestinians in a choreographed three-day stay that is high on symbolism but low on expectations.
He was met at Tel Aviv airport by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli President Shimon Peres after Air Force One stopped next to a huge red carpet laid out down the tarmac.
Obama will hold lengthy talks with Netanyahu later in the day, with the two set to hold a news conference at 8:10 p.m. (6:10 p.m. ET). He will travel to the occupied West Bank on Thursday to meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
U.S. officials say Obama will try to coax the Palestinians and Israelis back to peace talks. He will also seek to reassure Netanyahu he is committed to preventing Iran from getting a nuclear bomb and discuss ways of containing Syria's civil war.
However, the White House has deliberately minimized hopes of any major breakthroughs, a reversal from Obama's first four years in office when aides said he would visit the Jewish state only if he had something concrete to accomplish.
Workers have hung hundreds of U.S. and Israel flags on lamp posts across Jerusalem, as well as banners that boast of "an unbreakable alliance." But the apparent lack of any substantial policy push has bemused many diplomats and analysts.
"This seems to me to be an ill-scheduled and ill-conceived visit," said Gidi Grinstein, president of the Reut Institute, a Tel Aviv-based think tank.
"On the Iranian situation, Israel and the U.S.A. don't seem to have anything new to say to each other. On Syria, the Americans don't have a clear outlook, and on the Palestinian issue, they are taking a step back and their hands off."
With both Obama and Netanyahu just starting new terms and mindful that they will have to work together on volatile issues for years to come, they will be looking to avoid the kind of public confrontation that has marked past encounters.
"To tell the truth, they can't stand one another," a commentator for Israel's Channel 10 television said in a live broadcast from the airport as Air Force One came to a halt.
Signaling the emphasis being placed on symbolic gestures, the U.S. president will inspect an Iron Dome anti-missile battery at Tel Aviv airport before flying up to Jerusalem by helicopter for the start of his official meetings.
The White House has touted the U.S.-funded system, which has helped protect Israelis from Hamas rocket attacks from Gaza, as a prime example of Obama's commitment to Israel's security - a message likely to be rammed home during the trip.
Annual U.S. military aid to Israel is put at $3 billion.