White House spokesman Josh Earnest pledged on May 12 that following “the comments made by the prime minister in the closing days of his election,” the United States would change its approach toward promoting a solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Earnest was referring, of course, to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s comment that a Palestinian state will not be established as long as he is prime minister. The most likely assumption, based on Earnest’s words, was that the president will replace his indulgence of Netanyahu’s procrastination on the process with support for proposals for resolving the conflict. Among other things, the new approach appears to include a freeze of the US veto at the UN and its institutions until such time as Israel deigns to extract the two-state negotiations from the freezer.
Although Earnest stressed that the new approach would not be accompanied by “any broad announcements,” newspapers over the past weekend were full to overflowing with statements regarding the essence of that change. These were made by none other than President Barack Obama, who determines US foreign policy. The new approach was presented in interviews with the London-based Asharq al-Awsat and the Saudi Al-Arabiya TV network, as well as in the statement summarizing the Camp David meeting with heads of the Gulf States.