The New York Times
May 18, 2011 - 12:00am


The Arab uprisings that have swept the Middle East touched Israel directly for the first time, as an unprecedented wave of Palestinian protesters charged toward Israel's borders from four directions on Sunday.

With President Obama set to give a major speech on the Middle East on Thursday and with the departure of George Mitchell, the chief United States envoy to the Israelis and Palestinians, the White House is facing new challenges on both sides in dealing with the impasse in peace talks .

In a speech on Monday, in advance of a trip to Washington, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel is willing to show more flexibility on territory, but his position is far from what any Palestinian leader will accept.

Should the White House play a more active role in pushing both sides toward compromise? Or will more involvement simply raise expectations that cannot be met, as has occurred in the past? What should the White House strategy be?


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