Oh, to be a fly on the wall at President Barack Obama’s closed-door meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The two administrations have been at odds over Israel’s settlement construction, a disagreement that might have had something to do with Obama’s snubbing of Netanyahu by holding a meeting that lacked the usual fanfare.

Haaretz reports that the prime minister was prepared to be “generous” but stop short of a total freeze on construction and any perceived compromise on Israel’s security.

Netanyahu has called on his Palestinian counterpart, President Mahmoud Abbas, to “seize the moment to reach an historic agreement,” but his own policies have made that exceedingly difficult. — PZS

AFP via Yahoo:

Netanyahu on Monday urged moderate Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, who last week announced he would not run for re-election in January, to immediately renew peace negotiations.

“I say today to Mahmud Abbas, the leader of the Palestinian Authority, ‘let us seize the moment to reach an historic agreement. Let us begin talks immediately,’ ” he told a conference of North American Jewish leaders.

But Washington’s efforts to relaunch Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, a goal the US administration has made the cornerstone of its Middle East policy, have recently encountered serious setbacks.

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