According to a startling report in the Jerusalem Post, David Makovsky of the Washington Institute of Near East Policy told Israeli Army Radio that President Obama is asking (read begging) Prime Minister Netanyahu to accept a two-month temporary settlement freeze. In exchange, Washington will promise never to bother Israel about freezing the settlements again and pledge to veto all UN peace initiatives for one year. Among other concessions, Makovsky claims the deal includes American support for a long-term (read permanent) Israeli military presence in the Jordan Valley.
This deal seems ludicrously biased in favor of Israel, which calls the veracity of the report into question. However, it is noteworthy that David Makovsky is a close associate of Dennis (Israel’s Lawyer) Ross, who is now the President’s closest White House adviser on Middle East policy.
It is widely believed that Ross angered Obama, who hates leaks, early in his Presidency by telling the press that he (Ross) would be appointed “Middle East Czar.” As a result, Obama exiled Ross to a minor role at the State Department. Since then, Ross’ status has been elevated to top adviser, which some see as indicative of Obama’s increasing concern with the powerful pro-Israel lobby and his new solicitousness toward the Israelis.
Update: Ha’aretz is reporting that Bibi is inclined to reject the two-month extension deal! If this is true, it would show that the Israelis have total contempt for the Obama administration.