"...A moment before the end of the moratorium and the resumption of construction in the territories, Defense Minister Ehud Barak cobbled together, in conjunction with the US administration, a package of compromises that was geared to keep Israel and the Palestinians at the negotiating table.Barak is going to try to persuade Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to accept that compromise so as to prevent the Palestinians from derailing the direct talks. Israeli political sources said that Netanyahu has not yet decided whether to accept that package of compromises. That said, the sources underscored that Netanyahu would ask to have the American package presented to the broadest forum of cabinet ministers for approval, "in order to confer legitimacy on the package of decisions," said the political source.Barak returned yesterday afternoon from a week-long visit to Washington and New York. Throughout the entire course of his visit Barak spoke on the telephone with Netanyahu and kept him apprised of the various developments. Chief Israeli negotiator Attorney Yitzhak Molcho was on the line on a regular basis as well. the US administration made feverish efforts in recent days to find a creative solution to the issue of an extended construction moratorium in Judea and Samaria, which has threatened to derail talks. During his stay in Washington Barak met with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Dennis Ross and special US envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell. Barak also met with PA Chairman Abu Mazen and spoke on the telephone with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. It should be noted that Barak's political activity was conducted with a great deal of coordination with the Prime Minister's Bureau.Sources close to the negotiations said that the American package includes a compromise for both parties on the issue of a construction freeze in exchange for a written American commitment to support the parties on other issues that are important to them in later stages of the negotiations. The sources said that in exchange for a compromise on the issue of extending the moratorium, Israel apparently demanded a written American commitment to support its demands on a number of issues, such as recognition of Israel as the Jewish people's nation-state and security strategies that pertain to defending the eastern border of the Palestinian state. The Palestinians demanded, apparently, American commitments on the issues of borders and Jerusalem, in exchange for their concession regarding the discontinuance of the complete construction moratorium. ..."Rosen adds:
"... This tracks fairly closely with much of what the Washington Institute's David Makovsky reported Wednesday on a draft letter from the U.S. administration to Netanyahu detailing such a package and including various pledges and assurances. And indeed, an administration official, reacting to the Makovsky piece Wednesday, even brought my attention to the existence of the Maariv article, which I hadn't seen, saying something to effect of -- many of the details in the Makovsky piece had appeared in Maariv two days before... Interestingly, the White House did not offer a denial when queried about the Makovsky piece on Wednesday evening, instead saying, "as we've said repeatedly, we are not going to comment on any private correspondence." That's not a confirmation, but it's not a denial either.)Makovsky is off for a three-day Jewish holiday and not available to respond until Saturday night..."