Obama's Real Message: Hamas is the Main Stumbling Block

Matthew Levitt picks up on an important shift in Obama's thinking on the Middle East:

What did surprise, and runs contrary to the conventional wisdom among many within the chattering classes analyzing the speech, was that the President publicly recognized that the primary stumbling block preventing forward movement on the peace process is not settlements, or even the status of Jerusalem or the right of return, but Hamas.

Many commentators quickly seized on the President's call for border negotiations to "be based on the 1967 lines," without noting that he qualified the statement by adding "with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states." In fact, border negotiations have in the past been premised on this very formula, using the "Green Line" not as a hard and fast border but as the starting point for negotiations.