(Excerpt from column, Ben Caspit, Maariv Friday Political Supplement).September starts soon. The [settlement] freeze is ending with a bang. Construction will restart at full pace. The bulldozers will swarm the hilltops. Is there any way to bypass this minefield? it’s clear that renewal of construction will halt everything. And if the construction renewal doesn’t do it, then the negotiations themselves, where the parties are as far apart as Galant and Ashkenazi [will]. The question is, what will the Americans do? The congressional elections are in November. After them, Barack Obama will be less restrained. And still, it’s unclear whether he’ll be free to take see to us.
The current change in his attitude is politically motivated. Very many Senators and Congressmen [sic] swarmed Washington [sic] and begged the President to loosen the leash and let Netanyahu be (otherwise the Jewish donors will close their pockets.) After the elections, all that will disappear. Will Obama present an American peace plan? Will a bridging document be placed on the table? That question does not yet have an answer. Not in Washington either [sic]. Obama will have to decide what he prefers: A second term, or to get into the history books and make peace in the Middle East. In both cases, the returns are not certain. Bu the first option, taking his hands off the conflict and focusing on a second term, is easier. In any case, the real US attitude towards the Netanyahu government hasn’t changed. Inside the room, nothing has changed about how the two parties regard each other. Both parties.
This is exemplified by the following story: A little while back, Rahm Emanuel paid us a visit. A family visit, on the occasion of his son’s Bar Mitzvah. Still, Emanuel conducted some [working] meetings in Jerusalem. In the Prime Minister’s Office, among others. With Netanyahu’s Diplomatic Adviser, Ron Dermer, among others. The meeting was held at one of the offices in “the aquarium” [the Prime Minister's suite]. The tone was not amicable. At some point, it turned into shouting and cursing. Emanuel, as he regularly does, used obscene language. Don’t fuck with me, for example. That word, F... which is off-limits in the American media, appears in every second sentence Emanuel utters. Whoever translates it, does it at his own risk [I guess that refers to yours truly in a roundabout way -- DR]. Dermer, by the way, gave back as good as he got. Emanuel was angry, he claimed, because Dermer briefed certain Americans, Jewish and non-Jewish, against the President and and Emanuel himself. The ruckus at the meeting was bad and hasn’t leaked until now.
Afterwards, Bibi went to Washington and everything calmed down. The question is, what will happen after November. Will Emanuel remain in his position? Will the President still be in an historic [sic] mood. From Netanyahu’s perspective that’s an existential question.