A reader writes:

Something is seriously wrong with the debate over Israel and the Palestinians. Not only does one side of the Jewish community vilify anyone for criticizing Israel, they reject the very basis of negotiation: it takes two sides. AIPAC advises the Administration to lay off any public disagreement or rebuke of the Israeli government's policies. Why? The Israeli government stepped over the line and put both the Obama and Fayyad administration in untenable positions. Yes, this is the argument.

Of course, in the cross-blog debate over the last few days no one (except the vilified Juan Cole) has brought the Palestinians into the picture. Is this the view of Israel?

That how the settlement announcement is seen by Palestinians and how it undermines the Fayyad administration is of no concern in the controversy, is of no concern to the Netayahu government?

By criticizing Israel, the Obama administration tried, rightfully, to balance Palestinian concerns. That's what really irks the Israelis and their Israel 'right or wrong' American backers. An intentionally provocative question: why is their refusal, on the eve of proximity talks, to consider the interests of their negotiating partner not called out as anti-Arab, or anti-Palestinian?

Or doesn't it matter?

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