While exploiting Israel's ill-timed announcement of 1,600 new homes in East Jerusalem for concessions to the Palestinians, Washington will keep the hullabaloo against Israel at top pitch until the Netanyahu government toes the line on Iran, debkafile's Washington sources report.
This issue goes way beyond a campaign to unseat Netanyahu, in which Washington and Israeli elements have happily joined forces. The Obama administration is at odds on its Iran stance not only with Israel but Saudi Arabia, too, as well as the moderate Arab regimes of the Middle East, none of whom buy its new line.
Had Netanyahu's political reflexes been sharper, he could have removed the immediate pretext for the crisis, the Jerusalem housing announcement during vice president Joe Biden's visit, by firing a couple of bureaucrats and apologizing on the spot. But that would not have averted the crisis.
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