JERUSALEM — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel returned from Washington on Wednesday to a nearly unanimous assessment among Israelis that despite his forceful defense of Israel’s security interests, hopes were dashed that his visit might advance Palestinian peace negotiations.Read the rest here.
One of the widely articulated goals of his trip, where he met with President Obama and addressed Congress, was to find a way to lure the Palestinians back to direct negotiations, thereby preempting their plan to approach the United Nations in September for recognition of statehood within the pre-1967 lines.
Instead, the Palestinians now say, Mr. Netanyahu’s speeches convinced them that they have no negotiating partner. They plan to intensify their United Nations efforts, leaving Israelis worried about increasing international isolation and pressure, especially in light of the popular uprisings across the Arab world.
A cartoon in the centrist Yediot Aharonot newspaper summarized the concern. It showed Mr. Netanyahu’s returning plane flying near a volcano. Inside the plane someone says, “All in all, it was a very successful visit.” From the volcano, smoke rises that spells out “S-E-P-T-E-M-B-E-R.”
Newspapers and airwaves were filled with similar commentary.