This is insane. If there are any new faces in Washington that truly think the old ways of conducting business needs to be changed, well, this story should be the one to make them react.
For 90 days of holding off continued illegal construction on occupied lands Israel will get 20 advanced fighter jets (worth $3 billion and will also be able to buy 20 more), and other military aid, and a long list of American pronouncements and actions that run counter to sensible international policy.
On the 91st day Israel does what it always does. Go against world opinion and inflame the Middle East by continuing illegal construction on lands they stole from the Palestinians.
Lets see how much Washington has changed after the recent election by watching how this story is reacted to inside the Beltway.
Anyone placing bets?
The pledge by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel to push for a new, one-time-only freeze of 90 days on settlement construction in the West Bank represents a bet by the Israelis and the Americans that enough can be accomplished so that the Palestinians will not abandon peace talks even after the freeze ends.
The Israelis would stop most construction on settlements in the West Bank for 90 days to break an impasse in the peace negotiations with the Palestinians.
Those negotiations began in Washington in early September, but soon faltered over Palestinian anger at resumed settlement construction, when a previous 10-month freeze ended.
In return, the Israelis would receive 20 advanced American fighter jets and other unspecified military aid, as well as American promises to oppose any Palestinian attempt to obtain international recognition of statehood in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza without Israeli agreement.