Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem February 25, 2018. REUTERS/Gali Tibbon/Pool
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Under the best of circumstances, a Mideast peace deal is the holy grail of diplomacy, a goal that has eluded American presidents for generations. With Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visiting Washington this week, the mix of politics, personalities and historical grievances that has stood in the way of Israeli-Palestinian peace is even more combustible than normal.If that weren't enough, Netanyahu and Trump are both distracted by mushrooming legal investigations at home.Israel also is concerned that behind Trump's tough public stance toward Tehran is an acquiescence to Iran's growing presence in Syria and influence in Lebanon – two Israeli neighbors.U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley and Trump's envoy to Israel, David Friedman, will give speeches, and each is likely to hammer away at Iran.Critics, including Netanyahu and Trump, say Tehran got too much for too little.Israeli officials are most immediately concerned about Iran's missile work. They want U.S. and European commitments to punish Iran for work on medium-range missiles capable of hitting Israel and Iran's Arab rivals.
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