Publicly there will be few fireworks when Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu meet today. But here are the issues the vastly different leaders will wrestle with behind closed doors:
- The Two-State Solution: It’s the overwhelming international consensus, but Netanyahu insists it would compromise Israel’s security.
- Iran’s Clock: Obama wants a longer timetable for diplomacy with Iran; Israel wants quick action.
- Gaza: Obama wants the blockade lifted so aid can get in; Netanyahu wants to choke Hamas.
- Iran First: Netanyahu believes the US must confront Iran’s nuclear program before tackling the Palestinian issue.
- Why Now?: Netanyahu argues it’s not time for peace negotiations with a fractured Palestine. Obama argues that unless progress is made, Fatah will collapse.
- The Settlements: Obama believes Israel’s constantly expanding West Bank settlements are crippling the peace process. But Netanyahu draws a lot of political support from settlers, and isn’t eager to confront them.