US officials said Thursday that President Barack Obama has made a “realistic
assessment” that a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians is not possible during his final months in office.
The stark assessment comes ahead of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s
visit to the White House on Monday — the first meeting between the two leaders in more than a year. Preparation for that meeting has been overshadowed by Netanyahu’s appointment of a new media
chief, Ran Baratz, who has previously branded Obama an anti-Semite and mocked Secretary of State John Kerry. Netanyahu was Thursday night said to have told Kerry that he was reviewing the appointment.