The US is hoping that Obama's positive first trip will reinvigorate peace efforts, though most settlers are not worried. They see the composition of the new Israeli cabinet as a reassurance that Israeli policy will move away from peace negotiations. Christian Science MonitorObama's visit to Israel was strictly for domestic American consumption, because unless the president and Netanyahu took a decision on when to attack or not attack Iran or intervene in Syria's civil war, which they could have done by telephone, his trip was strictly a public relations exercise, certainly it wont affect the "Peace Process" or lead to Palestinian statehood.
The much talked about "Two State Solution" is not stalled or even dead, it never existed: it and the "Peace Process" said to leading to the founding of a "viable, contiguous, Palestinian state", or even a Bantustan, was never more than a way of stalling, killing time, running out the clock. Israel has been waiting for a moment that now appears to be fast approaching: the disintegration of the Middle East as the west has known it since the end of World War One. In a short time all of the borders that were designed during the First World War by Britain and France to suit western interests, will now probably become undefined, fluid if not gaseous... just as Israel's own borders are.
You may not have noticed, but Israel's frontiers have been undefined since 1967. The objective of the Israelis in avoiding the "Two State Solution" is to not define them "prematurely", before all the pieces on board start to move. In times like these, the last thing the Israelis want is to be the only ones with firmly drawn frontiers when all other borders in the Middle East are going to be negotiable. The settlers are not an "obstacle to peace", they are merely an excuse for Israel not to define those frontiers.
This Middle Eastern disintegration has been a long time coming and perfectly foreseeable by anyone as cool headed and long headed as the Israelis. The neocon led invasion of Iraq with its "real men go to Tehran" leitmotif, was itself a desperate, Hail Mary pass, attempt to control the events that are now taking place with that certain spontaneity of what looks like a historically driven process.
"What we're seeing here is, in a sense, the growing—the birth pangs of a new Middle East, and whatever we do, we have to be certain that we're pushing forward to the new Middle East, not going back to the old Middle East". Condoleezza Rice - 2006Just in case you don't know what the "old Middle East" looked like, check this map... As you can see, it's mostly about Turkey and Iran... Not many borders visible except theirs and Britain's protectorates and today the British, who used to control Egypt, are no longer players... and as you may have noticed lately, America's once smothering grip on the area is fading fast.
At this moment Syria is literally disintegrating, spewing nearly half a million refugees into tiny, neighboring Jordan, where the Palestinian majority is permanently restless and the influence of the Muslim brotherhood is growing. The Muslim Brotherhood controls Egypt and Hamas in Gaza is an offshoot of the Brotherhood; and then there is always Al Qaeda which is growing exponentially in the Syrian conflict. So much for the Sunnis
As to the Shiites: Iran besides working diligently on developing atomic capabilities is fighting a proxy war alongside Assad in Syria, is the major power influence in Iraq and is heavily arming Shiite Hezbollah on Israel's Lebanese border...
What could the Israelis expect to achieve as all this comes unraveled and the shooting starts?
Simple: they could ethnically cleanse Judea, Samaria, Gaza (and maybe Israel itself too while they are at it) all in the midst of the confusion of a military free for all. Chaos with thousands of refugees simultaneously in movement everywhere... and when the dust settles, let the Palestinians establish their "viable and contiguous state" on the ruins of the Jordanian monarchy as a Sunni buffer between Israel and Shiite Iraq... if they so desire.
Who thought all this up? Ariel Sharon, I should imagine, who else?