The current government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was created due to a series of compromises between factions including powerful religious political parties who dislike Palestinians and do not seek peace with any Arab entity. After months of negotiation, the Palestinian Authority agreed to return to the peace table even though still upset at Netanyahu’s continued efforts to further housing development in the West Bank and E. Jerusalem. Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Jerusalem with warm words of praise in the morning about willingness to talk with Palestinians, but by the afternoon he was furious and blasted Israel for undermining peace efforts.
Within twenty four hours, Biden was joined by Israel Defense Minister Ehud Barak who denounced the announcement that Israel would proceed with building 1,600 apartments in E. Jerusalem. His office made clear his feeling: “the entourage of Defense Minister Ehud Barak expresses its anger after the unwarranted announcement which affects peace negotiations with the Palestinians–negotiations of the highest interest for Israel.”
A spokesman for the Palestinians said the housing decision was a “dangerous decision that will torpedo the negotiations and sentence the American efforts to complete failure.” the ball is in the court of Netanyahu–Israel first or votes first is the question!