The Six Issues That Divide Bibi from Barack

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(From left): Amr Abdallah Dalsh / Reuters; Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

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Iran First?
Netanyahu will argue that Washington's goals are best achieved if it gives priority to curbing Iran's nuclear and geopolitical ambitions before separating Israel from the Palestinians. He claims his Arab neighbors agree that reining in Iran is the region's priority, because it threatens their own stability. Given Tehran's support of Hamas, he'll say progress toward peace between Israel and the Palestinians is impossible until Iran has been pushed back. (See pictures of Jerusalem divided.)

Obama will agree that curbing Iran's regional influence and limiting its nuclear activities is an urgent priority. But the U.S. President won't buy Netanyahu's sequencing. Resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains a matter of urgency, Obama will argue, and he'll point out that the moderate Arab neighbors with whom the Israelis want to stand against Iran are also the ones most urgently insisting on the immediate implementation of a two-state solution with the Palestinians, whose unresolved plight strengthens radicals against moderates. Netanyahu will say no progress is possible on the Palestinian front until Iran is defanged; Obama will argue that rallying Arab support against Iran's ambitions requires resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Next: The Timetable

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