Peace Process or no Peace Process?
This is the question it seems for Israel's new government.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has been working hard to get the parties back to the table. One of the conditions for this was the ceasing of West Bank settlement building – something Israel's Prime Minister had more or less capitulated to a few weeks ago.
However what is said is not necessarily what is done, and settlers have continued to place new buildings in new locations, further complicating the peace push America is making.
Mr. Kerry called the Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren to protest the planned legalization of four illegally built West Bank outposts.
Israel's new Government appears not to have a coordinated policy on the Peace Process.
This is the talk of the Israeli media right now.
We have Ministers within the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee stating that the goal government's goal is to restart negotiations with the Palestinians.
However Mr. Netanyahu's new coalition partners have been quick to speak up saying that a two-state solution is not an official government position.
Most notably, Mr. Yair Lapid, Israel's new Finance Minister who blasted his way into Israeli political prominence in last January's election, recently gave an interview to the New York Times saying he is opposed to the Palestinians having a state in the existing framework.
Mr. Netanyahu needs the commitment of its members to the principle of two states for two peoples – the policey Israel has pushed for and America has adopted.
The real question here is where is the Israeli government's real position concerning the peace process. Clearly there are differences among the government members over the Palestinian issue and what an agreement with them should look like.
The Government's policy is negotiations based on two national states which will bring an end to the conflict.
However, neither Mr. Kerry nor Israel's new coalition will be able to get the parties to the table unless there is some enforment of previous obligations of past governments and the forming of consenses among Israel's current coalition.
Brian Bush Middle East Coorespondant LeSEA Broadcasting