Obama tells Israel he will prevent Iran bomb

…Obama’s first presidential visit to Israel comes at the onset of spring – the “red line” previously set by Netanyahu for attacking Iran’s nuclear sites…

“We think that it would take over a year or so for Iran to actually develop a nuclear weapon, but obviously we don’t want to cut it too close,” Obama said.

Asked if he would order an attack on Iran should diplomacy fail, Obama said: “When I say that all options are on the table, all options are on the table. The United States obviously has significant capabilities but our goal here is to make sure that Iran does not possess a nuclear weapon that could threaten Israel or could trigger an arms race in the region.”

…Netanyahu, victorious in a January election, only clinched a coalition deal on Thursday, and Obama said any breakthrough in peace negotiations with the Palestinians would be unlikely until the Israeli government stabilised.

“My goal on this trip is to listen,” he said.

Obama stopped short of calling for a freeze in settlement building in the occupied West Bank, but suggested a change in Israel’s policy would empower moderate Palestinian leaders.

He said “it’s a matter of both parties coming together and recognising that their futures in some ways are going to inextricably linked and that Israel will be safer, more secure, more prosperous if the issue can be resolved”.

“Obviously Israel can’t resolve it by itself, but it can’t stop trying.”

In a direct appeal to the Israeli people, Obama said he regretted that he would not have an opportunity to walk the streets and hear what average folks have to say…

The Wapoo followed on… White House: Israel must appeal to public opinion as it seeks peace in changing Mideast…

The Guardian calls it like it is…

Obama’s visit to Israel criticised as a ‘maintenance trip’ without peace plan

President’s three-day Middle East trip heavy on sight-seeing but will not involve any new drive for peace, White House confirms

Barack Obama will present no new Middle East peace initiative when he makes his first visit as president to Israel next week, the White House confirmed on Thursday.

Obama is due to arrive in Israel on Wednesday at the start of a three-day trip that will also take in the West Bank and Jordan, a tour critics have said is largely devoid of substance…

Now, about that ‘Coalition Deal’… Netanyahu Deal on Forming Israeli Government Hits Snag…

And, about that ‘Public Opinion’… Iran and the United States—What Really Matters to Middle Eastern Publics?

It truly is all about Iran…!

So, Let the Circus begin…

*gah*