For those confused about the U.S.'s latest push for Middle East peace, State Department spokesperson Jennifer Psaki has handily summarised Obama administration policy:
Reporter A: "Isn't part of the problem here that despite the U.S. condemnation of settlement building, the Israelis have absolutely no incentive to stop it. They know that they're going to have the U.S. support for ad infinitum. Shouldn't there be consequences... for the Israelis going ahead and deliberately tarnishing the waters that the Secretary is trying to build [great image—ed.] here?"
State Department: "Our focus right now is not on consequences as much as working with both sides... So I don't have anything new, or any new policy on that front."
Reporter A: "But diplomacy's always been about a carrot and [a] stick... Israelis are still moving forward with plans which you yourself concede are'unhelpful. Shouldn't there be some kind of modification of the U.S. policy in that case, to say 'if you guys do this, we're going to do that?'"
State Department: "That's not the current plan..."
Reporter B: "Is it still the policy though that if the Palestinians try to get recognition at UN agencies or affiliates, that there will be consequences...?"
State Department: "You're familiar with our policy; that hasn't changed."
Reporter B: "So in other words that there are consequences for the Palestinians if they do things that are unhelpful, but there are not consequences and there are no plans to have consequences for the Israelis if they do things that are unhelpful to the process? Is that correct?"
State Department: "There's no change in our policy on either front".