WASHINGTON — The Obama administration's row with Israel over settlements has prompted some analysts to wonder whether it seeks "regime change," a new government that can make peace with the Palestinians.
However, the analysts doubt that President Barack Obama's administration, which has made Arab-Israeli peace a national security priority, will achieve anything if it has indeed adopted such a strategy.
In unusually harsh words, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday that his right-wing government's plans to build new settler homes in east Jerusalem sent a "deeply negative signal" about Israel's ties to its top ally.
"Is this about regime change, or is it about (Israeli) behavior modification?" asked Aaron David Miller, a Middle East peace negotiator in past Republican and Democratic administrations.
"Because either way, it's going to be a rocky ride," Miller told AFP.
"If it's the former, then I think we're naive in the extreme in thinking that we will be able to produce and somehow manage that," said Miller, now at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
From Agence France Presse: