RAMALLAH, West Bank —
When Benjamin Netanyahu was elected Israeli prime minister in early 2009, the Palestinians said they would not negotiate unless settlement construction was frozen. They were further emboldened by Obama’s tough stance.
Obama persuaded Netanyahu to impose a 10-month slowdown, but Palestinians did not agree to restart talks until the period was nearly over. When the Israeli moratorium expired several weeks later, Netanyahu rejected American appeals to extend the slowdown, and the negotiations collapsed.
Obama stopped pushing the matter, and talks have never resumed, and the Palestinians, viewing Obama as afraid to take on Israel’s allies in Washington, have few expectations now.