US envoy George Mitchell is in Israel today pressing for a new temporary settlement freeze, which according to Sen. Levin (D – MI) is a 60 day long extension, as part of a last ditch effort to save the floundering peace process.
The previous settlement freeze expired on Sunday, and amid much fanfare Israeli settlers claimed plans for massive new expansions into the occupied West Bank. The Palestinian Authority has given the US one week to come up with some sort of compromise to salvage the peace talks.
Which would seem like it would almost have to include some sort of restriction on settlement expansion, but so far the Netanyahu government has vigorously opposed any such move, and there seem to be growing internal clashes within Israel’s ruling coalition about the process in general.
At the same time, Netanyahu insists that he has an absolute commitment to the peace process. But with the talks seemingly in ruins the growing question is whether this comment is simply about framing the debate over whose fault the collapse was.