PM Netanyahu makes no concessions in a speech before Congress, and Ha’aretz says he wasted a golden opportunity. Israeli experts say these represent “starting positions,” while Palestinians call it “an obstacle to peace.” AP and Ha’aretz both fact check the speech. Both Thomas Friedman and Jeffrey Goldberg warn that if Israel does not change course it will become an “apartheid state.” Jackson Diehl says Netanyahu was speaking to Congress but Obama was speaking to the Europeans. The Palestinian leadership reiterates its determination to approach the UN in September. Palestinian officials describe Congress’s reaction to the Netanyahu speech as “pathetic.” A Hamas leader, Mahmoud Zahar, says national unity doesn’t mean adopting Fatah’s positions, and challenges the authority of Politburo chief Khaled Mashaal. US skepticism about the Palestinian unity deal poses new challenges. Pres. Abbas says solutions cannot come before negotiations. Israeli MKs are divided on Netanyahu’s speech. Ron Ben-Tovim says Menachem Begin outlined the logic for Palestinian statehood. Settlers say they will never live in a Palestinian state. Obama says both sides must make “wrenching concessions.” David Horovitz explains how he thinks Palestinians will be able to use a UN vote in September to advance statehood. Jane Eisner says lots of Jewish Americans don’t agree with Netanyahu. Israel has again become a partisan issue between Democrats and Republicans. Tariq Alhomayed says that Netanyahu’s speech betrayed signs of panic. Rami Khouri says Obama understands the implications on Palestine of the “Arab Spring,” but Netanyahu doesn’t. Osama Al Sharif says the US and Israeli positions are now clearly at odds.

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