As the Obama Mideast team organizes for its initial contacts with the newly elected government in Israel, demands are growing on the left of the Democratic spectrum for Obama to adopt a strategy of pressure on Israel. Obama is being instructed that "Israeli intransigence" is the principle obstacle to peace, and that Israel needs to be "saved from itself" by using American leverage to force policies on security issues that have been rejected by the Israeli people even though they assertedly would serve Israel's own higher interests.

In a new posting at Foreign Policy, Stephen Walt goes beyond the generalities to lay out "a users's guide" for "pressure on Israel" in some detail. See also this. Here is an extended excerpt from Walt:

"If the Netanyahu/Lieberman government remains intransigent, what should Obama do? Are there usable sources of leverage that the United States could employ to nudge Israel away from the vision of "Greater Israel" and towards a genuine two-state solution? Here are a few ideas.
1. Cut the aid package? ...It's probably not the best stick to use, at least not at first. Trying to trim or cut the aid package will trigger an open and undoubtedly ugly confrontation in Congress (where the influence of AIPAC and other hard-line groups in the Israel lobby is greatest). So that's not where I'd start. Instead, I'd consider a few other options, such as:

2. Change the Rhetoric. The Obama administration could begin by using different language to describe certain Israeli policies. ...Stop referring to settlement construction as "unhelpful," a word that makes U.S. diplomats sound timid and mealy-mouthed. Instead, we could start describing the settlements as "illegal" or as "violations of international law." ...
3. Support a U.N. Resolution Condemning the Occupation.
Since 1972, the United States has vetoed forty-three U.N. Security Council resolutions that were critical of Israel (a number greater than the sum of all vetoes cast by the other permanent members). If the Obama administration wanted to send a clear signal that it was unhappy with Israel's actions, it could sponsor a resolution condemning the occupation and calling for a two-state solution. ...
4. Downgrade existing arrangements for "strategic cooperation."
There are now a number of institutionalized arrangements for security cooperation between the Pentagon and the Israel Defense Forces and between U.S. and Israeli intelligence. The Obama administration could postpone or suspend some...
5. Reduce U.S. purchases of Israeli military equipment. ...
6. Get tough with private organizations that support settlement activity. ...Many private donations to charitable organizations operating in Israel are tax-deductible in the United States,...This makes no sense: it means the American taxpayer is indirectly subsidizing activities that are contrary to stated U.S. policy and that actually threaten Israel's long-term future. ...The U.S. Treasury could crack down on charitable organizations (including those of some prominent Christian Zionists) that are supporting these illegal activities.

7. Place more limits on U.S. loan guarantees. ...
8. Encourage other U.S. allies to use their influence too. In the past, the United States has often pressed other states to upgrade their own ties with Israel. If pressure is needed, however, the United States could try a different tack. For example, we could quietly encourage the EU not to upgrade its relations with Israel until it had agreed to end the occupation....

Most importantly, Obama and his aides will need to reach out to Israel's supporters in the United States, ...work with the more far-sighted elements in the pro-Israel community -- including groups like J Street, the Israel Policy Forum, Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, and others......

Many—though of course not all--Israelis would probably welcome a more active and evenhanded U.S. role. ...The editor of Ha'aretz, David Landau, conveyed much the same sentiment last September when he told ..Rice that the United States should "rape" Israel in order to force a solution. ... I suspect it would not take much U.S. pressure to produce the necessary shift in Israel's attitudes. ..."