The Obama administration is fresh out of ideas for what to do in the Middle East. After scrapping an effort to persuade Israel to halt construction in the Gaza Strip, U.S. officials are soliciting ideas from everywhere about what they should say and do about the Mideast conflict. The jockeying between top officials comes just hours before a major policy speech by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that is expected to clarify U.S. expectations for the region after the unexpected abandonment of Washington's demands that Israel freeze settlements for 90 days to allow peace talks. Even before it came time to decide on a policy for Clinton to announce in her speech, officials were wondering if the White House would continue spending political capital on the peace effort, which has isolated Israel supporters and won it little credibility in the Arab world.
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