House Speaker John Boehner’s invitation to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress has ramped up efforts within the Obama administration to reopen Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. White House officials have been debating whether it is time for President Barack Obama to make a major address on the turmoil in the Mideast and the stalled peace talks, The New York Times
The administration has been debating the issue internally for three months. Meanwhile, Netanyahu has been considering whether to preempt any White House proposal by presenting one of his own in his speech to Congress next month, the Times said.
Former Israeli peace negotiator Daniel Levy told the Times that “people seem to think that whoever goes first gets the upper hand.” The dance between the two leaders exposes the lack of trust between Obama and Netanyahu, the Times reported.
White House officials are putting together a draft that would likely include calls for Israel to accept a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders, Palestinians to accept they would not get the right to return to land in Israel they fled from, Jerusalem to be the capitals of both states, and protection of Israeli security.
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