Obama and the Settlements

Why is Barack Obama spending so much time focusing on Israeli settlements in the West Bank? Two thoughtful explanations of the widening dispute on the settlements issue have been developed  by Dore Gold and George Friedman.What is clear is that Obama has chosen to pick a fight with Israel. Friedman argues Obama has chosen his fight carefully, on an issue on which the Jewish community both in Israel and the US is split, and therefore resistance will be weaker. The question of course is why? Is it because Obama believes he will now get more support in the Muslim world for US actions in Iraq and Afghanistan if he appears to be cutting Israel loose? How likely is this?  What kind of support in each country does Obama expect to get if only Israel froze settlement growth?  Could it be that the policy people around Obama actually believe a resolution of the Israeli Palestinian conflict is within reach if only settlement activity were totally frozen?  I have trouble...(Read Full Article)