IT’S understandable a new U.S. president coming into office, frustrated by the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian stalemate, might figure the key to breaking the impasse is getting tougher with Israel. That’s where President Barack Obama and his administration seem to be heading. Vice President Joe Biden talked tough this week at a Washington meeting of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the big pro-Israel lobbying group. "Israel has to work toward a two-state solution,” Biden said, suggesting Israel hasn’t been doing so. Last month, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Israel risks losing Arab support for combating threats from Iran if it rejects peace negotiations with the Palestinians. The London Times’ online edition reports that National Security Adviser James Jones told a European foreign minister the White House is ready to lean on Israel. "The new administration will convince Israel to compromise on the Palestinian question,” Jones reportedly wrote in a confidential telegram. "We will not push Israel under the wheels of a bus, but we will be more forceful toward Israel” than the Bush administration. This fits with an administration worldview, unfolding since Obama’s inauguration, that the United States is to blame for intractable global problems. Or, in the case of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, blame goes to America’s proxy, Israel. Certainly the Obama administration views the election of a more conservative Israeli government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with trepidation. Netanyahu is scheduled to visit Washington in a couple of weeks, and we can only assume there’ll be a good deal of arm-twisting. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, interviewed by The Jerusalem Post, called Obama’s Middle East policies "very dangerous for Israel” and the "clearest adoption of weakness since Jimmy Carter.” Gingrich said there’s "almost an eagerness to take on the Israeli government to make a point with the Arab world.” The trouble with the administration’s position is it assumes Israel has a willing partner for peace and that peace would result if Israel quit building new settlements and forcing the Palestinians to pass through checkpoints on their way into Israel. This buys into the Israelis-as-oppressors argument served up by left-wing advocacy groups. It ignores the fact the Palestinians — their government largely controlled by the terror group Hamas — won’t commit to the existence of a Jewish state. That’s a non-starter for Netanyahu, just as it would be for any Israeli prime minister. The Obama administration shouldn’t pressure Israel in this way to gain a flawed peace. Israel won’t comply and shouldn’t. There is a problem in the Middle East, but it’s not America and it’s not Israel.