Barely into his new term, Benjamin Netanyahu is already facing major difficulties—caught between a Washington-led demand for a Mideast peace deal and right-wing insistence that he oppose a Palestinian state. The Israeli PM tried to forge a middle path in a major speech yesterday, but as Rory McCarthy writes in the Guardian, his limited support for a free Palestine is likely to please neither side.
Netanyahu put strict conditions on the recognition of a new state that the Palestinian Authority called outrageous and "a ghetto," and he refused to meet President Obama's demands for an end to settlements in the West Bank. Yet the hard right that forms part of his coalition was just as angered. One nationalist legislator said that Netanyahu had broken promises by even coming close to accepting a Palestinian state.