Seemingly on the brink of approving a limited 90 day settlement freeze this weekend, Israel’s government has put the cabinet vote on hold until further notice, and has demanded further concessions and a formal list of US guarantees ‘in writing’ before they will continue.
Having angrily rejected the notion of ever approving such a freeze several times, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu came around in the wake of pledges by the Obama Administraiton for billions of dollars in military aid and huge diplomatic concessions going forward. Though the cabinet vote was expected to hinge on a single vote, it seemed a yes was likely.
The quest to secure ever more from the Obama Administration is still on, however, as Israeli officials are in “marathon talks” with the US right now seeking, among other things, a promise that the US won’t ask for another 90 day freeze after the proposed one expires.
Which would make the 90 day freeze even less valuable than it already is. The Obama Administration has conceded that it doesn’t expect to have a deal in place in the next year, and if the new freeze expires in three months the situation will be just as it was before, except the US will be billions of dollars poorer and will have promised not to push for any more freezes.