Israel and the Palestinians return to the bargaining table. The U.S. demands concessions from Israel on settlements.
So what else is new?
Specifically, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is calling on Israel to extend the settlement freeze in the West Bank.
Of course, even if Bibi extends the freeze it won't be sufficient for Mahmoud Abbas. He will demand the freeze be extended to East Jerusalem. And why wouldn't he given that Obama demanded as much last spring.
In the grand schem of things, the settlements do not matter. They are a red herring. Did Israel achieve peace in Gaza after they evacuated the settlements more than five years ago? They were rewarded with rocket attacks and the abduction of Gilad Shalit.
Deep down I think Hillary knows nothing good will come of this charade. But one must maintain the appearance of doing something. And if it is all about keeping up appearances then one cannot do better than to bring pressure to bear against Israel. It hardly takes any effort.