Israel sticks it to Crazy Uncle Joe Biden
Israel's announcement of more settlements in east Jerusalem just a day before Biden meets with Palestinian leaders was no mistake. No one plays hardball like the Israelis, and this is their way of giving the Obama administration notice that they aren't going to cater to the demands of Hamas or the Palestinian Authority. They could have waited for Biden to leave before making the announcement, but now the administration is forced to choose a side. Obama's been playing lip service to both sides, and they won't be able to do that anymore. The announcement also prevents Biden from making any concessions or promises to the Palestinians, which kills any chance of a PR victory for Obama with the trip. Israel wasn't willing to pay the price just so Obama could divert attention away from problems back home.
The U.N. has called Israel's new settlement plans illegal, but they never liked Israel anyway. Biden has already tipped the administration's hand by condemning the move, but there's not much he can do about it. We know land concessions won't work: both Clinton and Bush II tried to broker deals with no success, because the Arabs refuse to accept Israel's presence. I guess Obama won't be bowing to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the next time he sees him.
Source: Yahoo News