Top members of the Israeli government today informed the Associated Press that their position is that any peace deal with the Palestinians is impossible at the moment, and that a speech to that effect from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is coming in a few weeks.
The position is likely not to surprise anybody who has been paying attention, as the direct peace talks Israel had been harping on for months were killed almost immediately by the Netanyahu government announcing major new settlement expansions, and some six months later the talks show no sign of restarting.
But while officials are taking peace off the table, they are concerned that they will face even more international pressure, particularly in the wake of the high profile Obama Administration veto of a resolution critical of them on the grounds it hurt the peace process.
To that end, Israeli officials say they want to continue to take measures to convince the US that they are still “interested” in keeping the peace process alive, even though they’ve already confirmed it is long dead. This might include a return to the indirect, US brokered talks that were going nowhere early in 2010 and which, interestingly enough, Israeli officials were condemning in the past as pointless.