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New book examines Barak Obama's tense relations with Israel

When he assumed office, President Obama lent his weight and prestige to jumpstart a process that would lead to an Israeli-Palestinian agreement, shunning the advice of many within and outside his administration who argued that the gaps between the sides were too wide to allow a comprehensive agreement. On the brink of a substantive rift between Israel and the United States, President Obama ultimately accepted a compromise on the issue of construction in the West Bank settlements. This opened the door to a limited thaw in United States-Israel relations.

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Zaki Shalom’s new book sketches the long and winding road President Barack Obama took during his first two years in office to bring about an Israel-Palestinian agreement. Based on a wide range of sources and the testimony of senior members of the US administration and the Israeli government, the book describes how US-Israel relations deteriorated to the verge of a severe crisis. The author analyzes the reasons and constraints that kept an agreement from being advanced.

While President Obama’s efforts did not advance an Israeli-Palestinian agreement, the parties grew more deeply cognizant of their constraints and the limits of their power.

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