Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu meets President Barack Obama for talks today, intent on making Iran the number one issue.
But the US administration wants to talk about the Palestinian problem. Washington is hoping the new Israeli right-wing leader will be prepared to back a diplomatic initiative towards an independent Palestinian state. Netanyahu has indicated he might, but that’s not why he’s in town. Security adviser Uzi Arad said: “Mr. Netanyahu will focus on the subject of a nuclear Iran. That is clear, not only because it is (an) existential threat as far as Israel’s security is concerned, but because Iran is constantly making progress towards nuclear military capability. It’s a joint objective for both countries, preventing Iran from obtaining doing this.” But the US has made a two state solution a policy priority to revive the currently frozen peace process in the Middle East. There’s been little movement towards that goal since Hamas took over the Gaza strip in 2007. However there are reports that Hamas has agreed with the rival faction Fatah to form a joint new security force to police the militant-run strip.