[I]t’s actually not puzzling at all why Netanyahu doesn’t form a different coalition and agree to a settlement freeze—Netanyahu favors settlement building. This is the whole trajectory of his political career, from leading the charge against the Oslo Agreement to rump Likud in a rebellion against Ariel Sharon to forming a coalition with Avigdor Lieberman. The guy’s not a fool. He knows what he’s doing.
I suspect Matt is right. If Netanyahu doesn't fire Lieberman for his UN speech, it reveals that Netanyahu's and AIPAC's alleged support for a two-state solution is merely a smoke-screen for deeper and further colonization of the West Bank, and expansion and war. I fear the Likudniks, religious settlers and AIPAC are merely trying to wait Obama out, and using the Washington media (yes, I'm talking to you, Ben Smith) to portray themselves (ludicrously) as the moderates, while planning a war on Iran, whether the US wants one or not, and regardless of the consequences for the rest of the world.
But then I'm cynical about Netanyahu.
Which sane person would not be cynical about a man caught on tape saying the following:
“I know what America is. America is a thing you can move very easily, move it in the right direction.”
If Steven Walt had put those words into Netanyahu's mouth, and rightly ascribed Netanyahu's blithe confidence that America is putty in his hands because of AIPAC and the pro-Israel media lobby, he'd be called an anti-Semite. But that statement is on tape, along with disgusting remarks about collective punishment of all Palestinians.