To add to John’s piece, there are probably a couple more layers of political foolishness here.
One is the timing. All the pro-Israel heavies are coming to D.C. in a few days for the AIPAC policy conference, the single most important event of the year for the pro-Israel community. And now Obama has set it up so that pretty much the only thing people are going to be talking about is this crisis — and not just talking, but planning how to push back.
He has also given Democrats in Congress yet another reason to distance themselves from the administration in the immediate runup to the health-care vote. You’d think he would have wanted still waters during this, of all weeks. But no: Laura Rozen reports that congressional Democrats are in the dark and wondering what the administration is up to — what the next steps are, what the end game is, what happens if Netanyahu cannot, or will not, meet Obama’s new demands, and so on. You know it’s bad when even an old peace-processor such as Aaron David Miller says about the administration, “The tree they’re up on this one is very tall.”