When US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrives in Israel this week she is expected to explicitly remind incoming Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Washington expects the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to conclude with the formation of a sovereign Palestinian state.
Observers expect the visit to clearly highlight points of peace process policy disagreement between the new American and the incoming Israeli governments.
Netanyahu has purposely avoided committing to the creation of a Palestinian state, even when he was pulling out all the stops to get Tzipi Livni and her Kadima Party into a unity government.
According to Ha'aretz, Netanyahu told Livni last Friday that he agrees the Palestinians should have full authority to run their own lives, but cannot be granted full sovereignty lest they post threat to the Jewish state.
He repeated that sentiment in a weekend interview with the Washington Post, saying: "Substantively, there is broad agreement inside Israel and outside that the Palestinians should have the ability to govern their lives but not to threaten ours."
The Palestinians are expected to reject any peace arrangements that do not grant them full sovereignty and all of their demanded land concessions, which means the Obama administration can be expected to strongly oppose Netanyahu's policies.