New Israeli Government on Collision Course With US

Is confrontation ahead between Obama and Netanyahu?
By Gabriel Winant,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 20, 2009 10:42 AM CDT
New Israeli Government on Collision Course With US
Avigdor Lieberman, to be foreign minister in the new coalition, is in favor of a Palestinian state as a way to get Arabs out of Israel.    (AP Photo)

Israel’s incoming governing coalition is expected to take a harder line on a Palestinian state than its predecessors, even as the US may be moving more toward a conciliatory position, reports the Washington Post. Incoming Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thinks American-backed talks are a waste of time, and he relies heavily on conservative partners to keep the delicate coalition together.

“The more narrow the government the more difficult it will be for Netanyahu to make some gesture towards the US,” says one analyst. If Washington asks Netanyahu for concessions to the Palestinians, “it is likely to lead to a major confrontation.” President Obama, however, may be more willing to press than his predecessors; Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently called Israeli activity “unhelpful.” (More Arab Israeli conflict stories.)

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