Beinart’s argument hinges on the assumption that the Israeli government doesn’t want to “own” its own rejectionism and won’t be willing to put up with increased international isolation. As long as the relationship with the U.S. remains more or less intact, why wouldn’t it? As we all know, there was a failed, half-hearted attempt to pressure Israel on settlements at the beginning of Obama’s first term, and it quickly became clear from that episode that the administration had no intention of using U.S. support as leverage with Israel to extract concessions. What Beinart describes isn’t neglect, and it isn’t particularly benign. On the contrary, it is a good example of how the U.S. enables its clients to act in ways that Washington theoretically deplores without risking the support and backing of the U.S.
Greg Scoblete responds to another facet of Beinart's argument:
[T]he "facade of the peace process" was never for the benefit of Netanyahu — or Israel, for that matter. It was a means for the United States to offset the negative regional response to U.S. aid to Israel. Dropping this facade isn't going to materially harm Israel, and I doubt it will do any damage to the U.S., either. It has long been understood in the region that U.S. aid to Israel is unconditional, so the new administration policy isn't a sharp break with the past. Indeed, it seems like the Obama administration is resetting U.S. policy to what it was under the first term of the Bush administration: there will be a stated desire for a negotiated settlement ending in "two states for two peoples" but little U.S. effort to push the process along.