A U.S.-Israel Test of Wills
In this photo released by the Israeli Government Press Office, US President Barack Obama speaks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, during their meeting in the White House in Washington, Monday, May 18, 2009. The leaders of the United States and Israel tackle an array of Mideast issues on which they disagree: U.S. overtures to once-shunned Iran and Syria and pressure on Israel to support a Palestinian state. (AP)

President Barack Obama speaks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House on Monday, May 18, 2009. (AP)

Nobody expected a shouting match in the Oval Office. But there is wide speculation that the agendas of Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu may ultimately put the U.S. and Israel on a path to tough tensions.

Tensions over Iran, and whether to talk or attack. Tensions over a “two-state solution,” and whether to push forward.

Observers joke, grimly, of a “yes, we can” Obama versus a “no, we won’t” Netanyahu — and don’t joke at all about a potentially very real U.S.-Israeli test of wills.

This hour, On Point: Obama, Netanyahu, and the way forward in the Middle East.

You can join the conversation. Tell us what you think — here on this page, on Twitter, and on Facebook.


Joining us from Washington are:

Gerald Seib, executive Washington editor of The Wall Street Journal, where he writes the Capital Journal column. He’s co-author with John Harwood of “Pennsylvania Avenue: Profiles in Backroom Power.”

Aaron David Miller, public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. From 1978 to 2003 he advised six U.S. secretaries of state on Mideast policy and Arab-Israeli negotiations. His latest book is “The Much Too Promised Land: America’s Elusive Search for Arab-Israeli Peace.”

Robert Satloff, executive director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. His most recent book is “Among the Righteous: Lost Stories from the Holocaust’s Long Reach into Arab Lands.”

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