Thanks for checking in on my blog. These are interesting times we live in with critical things happening here in the Middle East.
Lets bring you up to date on today's happenings.
The optimism of a Middle East peace deal shared over the past few weeks is rapidly fading from both the Palestinian and Israeli sides… President Obama is pushing hard for a deal to keep the parties at the table – but it is not working.
The American administration is reportedly disappointed and upset. Disappointed because the West Bank building freeze hasn't been extended; Upset because they reportedly are feeling that Israel's Prime Minister has gone back on his word concerning efforts to try and extend the freeze.
There are all kinds of reports citing rumors unnamed and close officials who are saying this and that – I can't confirm any of these things. But all the stories point to another potential fracture in American/Israeli relations as the US administration feels it is being slanted by Israel's Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu.
Here's supposedly why; America has written a draft letter, which is a normal thing, outlining steps it will take if Israel will cooperate with extending the freeze on construction. These include security guaranties that Mr. Netanyahu has long sought.
However it seems Mr. Netanyahu is unwilling or unable perhaps, to agree to the conditions. It is feasible that he does not have enough room for political maneuvering with his strongly right-wing coalition.
He is in a tough position because his coalition includes parties that do not want to give up one inch of what Israel controls today – let alone Jerusalem that we haven't even begun to publicly speak about yet!
Something Netanyahu could do is bring in the centrist Kadima party into his government. Currently they are in the opposition. They favor concessions for the sake of peace. But doing so would terribly isolate Netanyahu within his own right-wing Likud party.
For Netanyahu, dealing with an angry Likud would be harder than dealing with a disappointed America.
I'll have a live update for you after the weekend on the Harvest Show – see you there!
Middle East Correspondent