Thursday, January 21, 2010

Netanyahu meets Mitchell in Jerusalem , but has no intention to offer more gestures

( Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met US Mideast envoy George Mitchell tonight, a few hours after Time magazine published an interview with President Barack Obama in which he admitted that he erred during his first year in office by raising too high expectations of a Middle East breakthrough.

While the Prime Minister’s Office had no official response to the president’s remarks, Channel 2 quoted an unnamed senior Israeli official as saying that Israel had warned the Americans that their Middle East strategy would not bear fruit.

Another senior official tried to lower any expectations that Mitchell’s current regional trip - the US envoy arrived in Israel Wednesday night from Lebanon and Syria - would lead to any dramatic progress, saying that it was not clear whether the Palestinian Authority had made the strategic decision to re-enter the talks.

The official said Netanyahu had no intention of giving Mitchell any more gestures to take to the Palestinians, saying that the Palestinians have climbed up a “eucalyptus tree,” and every time a gesture is given as a ladder, they climb even higher.