On the other hand, I can’t see Netanyahu being bullied into signing something that would jeopardize Israel’s future.
WASHINGTON — President Obama, after avoiding a hands-on role in Middle East peacemaking since the setbacks of his first term, plans to plunge back into the effort, his advisers said this week, starting with an urgent appeal to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel.
When he welcomes Mr. Netanyahu to the White House on Monday, these officials said, Mr. Obama will press him to agree to a framework for a conclusive round of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations that is being drafted by Secretary of State John Kerry.
On Thursday, the administration announced that Mr. Obama would meet the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, at the White House on March 17 to make the same pitch. The president’s goal, officials said, is to announce the framework, a kind of roadmap for further talks, by the end of April, the nine-month deadline Mr. Kerry set last summer for a final peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians.
For Mr. Obama, the decision to thrust himself into the talks is fraught with risk. He made Middle East diplomacy a centerpiece of his first term, bringing Israelis and Palestinians together at the White House in September 2010 for face-to-face talks, only to watch those negotiations collapse three months later in acrimony.
Since his re-election, Mr. Obama has left the Israeli-Palestinian issue almost entirely to Mr. Kerry, who has made the process a consuming priority, making nearly a dozen trips to the region and holding countless meetings with Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Abbas in an attempt to bridge gaps that have separated the two sides for more than three decades.