WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden's administration keeps pressing Israel to reengage with Palestinians as partners once fighting in Gaza is over and support their eventual independence. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu keeps saying no.
Even on actions to alleviate the suffering of Palestinian civilians, the two allies are far apart.
That cycle, frustrating to much of the world, seems unlikely to end, despite U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken's fourth urgent diplomatic trip this week to the Middle East since the Israel-Hamas war started. Though the United States, as Israel's closest ally and largest weapons supplier, has stronger means to apply pressure on Israel, it shows no willingness to use them.
For both Netanyahu and Biden, popular opinion at home and deep personal conviction in the rightness of Israel's cause, and each man's battle for his own short-term political survival, are all combining to make it appear unlikely that Netanyahu will yield much on the U.S. demands regarding the Palestinians, or that Biden will get much tougher in trying to force them.
Support of Israel is a bedrock belief of many American voters. Biden's presidential reelection bid this year puts him up against Republicans vying to outdo one another in support for Israel. For his part, Netanyahu is fighting to stay in office in the face of corruption charges.
Some experts warn it's a formula that may lock the U.S….