President Barack Obama telephones Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Thursday, making a front stage appearance to make sure Israel stays on the White House’s straight and narrow path for a peace agreement with the Palestinian Authority.
The White House issued an announcement on the phone call, just to make sure it received major press coverage.
President Obama also called Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
Details of the phone calls may be released later on Thursday, but it can be assumed that both leaders were politely warned not to say anything or take any action that might upset U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s apple cart.
The big question is whether Israel will announce new housing construction for Jews in Judea and Samaria. The Hebrew-language Maariv newspaper reported on Wednesday that Netanyahu struck a secret deal with Jewish Home’s Housing Minister Uri Ariel to announce more housing starts in return for the party’s swallowing the bitter pill of freeing 1,000 terrorists in order to resume direct talks after three years.
Abbas has warned that he will scuttle the talks if Israel goes ahead with more housing for Jews in Judea and Samaria.