A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman
March 4, 2009--Clinton Promises to Work to Stop Expansion of Settlements
Today Secretary of State Clinton met with the President of the Palestinian Authority. After the meeting, Clinton stated that she would work to stop the expansion of settlements. She also stated that the destruction of houses in East Jerusalem violated the road map. Sources in the Palestinian Authority reported that Clinton promised that whatever else happened, the US would not stop working for a two state solution. Those sources stated there was a clear difference between the attitude of Obama administration vs. the Bush administration.
Tonight Israel killed Challa Ashal who was the regional head of the Islamic Jihad. He was the one responsible for firing the missiles in the last few weeks. He was killed from the air by an Israeli remote piloted vehicle. The Islamic Jihad has promised to retaliate..
Coalition negotiations are continuing. It would seem that all of the major ideological problems between Likud and Yisrael Beitenu will be easily resolved when Netanyahu agrees to Lieberman's major demands for positions. It looks likely that Avigdor Lieberman will become Minister of Foreign Relations and Friedman will remain the Minister of Justice. Lieberman wants Friedman to remain as in his position since he is known to down play the issues of public corruption- something important for someone who is being investigated for corruption. Of course, the id ea of Lieberman being Minister of Foreign Relations would be laughable if it was not true. He is persona non grata in Egypt because of his various remarks, including suggesting that Israel bomb the Aswan Bomb and a personal insult to Hosni Mubarak. While in the West he is simply considered a racist. Sound like a great plan, regardless of whatever diplomatic policy Israel is planning under Netanyahu it is hard to see how this appointment will not make it all the more difficult to sell.