Some [Israeli] officials expressed disappointment after Tuesday’s round of meetings in London with George Mitchell, Obama’s envoy to the Middle East. “We’re disappointed,” said one senior official. “All of the understandings reached during the [George W.] Bush administration are worth nothing.”
Another official said the U.S. administration is refusing every Israeli attempt to reach new agreements on settlement construction.
…Defense Ministry chief of staff Mike Herzog…spoke to Mitchell and his staff about understandings reached by former prime ministers Ehud Olmert and Ariel Sharon with the Bush administration on allowing continued building in the large West Bank settlement blocs. He asked that a similar agreement be reached with the Obama government.
Meridor spoke of the complexities characterizing the coalition headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and said Washington’s demands of a complete construction freeze would lead to the dissolution of the Netanyahu government.
The Israeli delegates were stunned by the uncompromising U.S. stance, and by statements from Mitchell and his staff that agreements reached with the Bush administration were unacceptable. An Israeli official privy to the talks said that “the Americans took something that had been agreed on for many years and just stopped everything.”