Powered by WebAds

Monday, August 24, 2009

Diplomats: Obama's devotion to Israeli - 'Palestinian' dispute a 'waste of time'

After questioning why President Obama would want to try to solve the Israeli - 'Palestinian' dispute when he has so many other things on his plate right now, Jackson Diehl almost nails it.
Why do this now? There is, Obama said after meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak last week, "a growing realization on the part of the Palestinians that Israel is not going anywhere and is a fact, a reality that has to be dealt with; and a recognition on the part of the Israelis that their long-term security interests require finding an accommodation with the Palestinians and ultimately with their Arab neighbors."

In general, those observations are correct. But the administration's efforts to broker the initial steps that Obama hopes to announce have demonstrated just how difficult it will be to translate those promising trends into a peace agreement.

At the moment, in fact, there is still no deal. Instead, Obama's Mideast envoy, former senator George J. Mitchell, has become embroiled in protracted and publicly fractious negotiations with the Israeli government of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu over whether and for how long it will freeze Jewish settlement construction in the West Bank and Jerusalem. Arab states led by Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, have repeatedly and publicly dismissed the idea of taking steps toward normalization of relations with Israel.

As so often happens in Middle East negotiations, what were intended as simple first steps have become an end in themselves, subject to months of posturing, hair-splitting and horse-trading. Both sides seem fairly confident that Mitchell and Netanyahu will reach a deal on the settlement issue; they are due to meet again this week. But it will be a messy compromise that will be time-limited and probably fall short of the complete halt in building that the administration has repeatedly sought. Similarly, Obama probably will get only two of the three actions he requested from Saudi King Abdullah when he traveled to Riyadh in June. The Saudis will privately support small concessions to Israel by four or five other Gulf states, and they have provided long-overdue financial support to the Palestinian Authority. But they are unlikely to make a public gesture of their own.

The administration believes that the sum of the measures Obama is to announce will be impressive enough to sway Israeli and Arab public opinion and energize the subsequent talks. But several Israeli and Arab officials I spoke to last week depicted the effort as a waste of the new administration's time and political capital. Israel's ambassador in Washington, Michael Oren, said: "There's been a long learning process over the last six months of what can and cannot be achieved."
The only part Diehl didn't nail is "why now"? There are two answers ro "why now" and neither of them has anything to do with Israel not going away - a fact that most of the Arab countries have recognized since sometime in the late 1970's. One is that Obama feels a fierce moral urgency to resolve our dispute with the 'Palestinians.' That's because he genuinely feels that
Israel is an aggressive, Western imperialist power exploiting indigenous people of color who simply wish to be free--in other words, the Rev. Wright-Bill Ayers-Rashid Khalidi view of the Middle East.
Obama realizes that no sitting President has ever even been close to this hostile to Israel. Bush 41 doesn't come close. Carter comes close but only after he left office. He understands that this may be the one and only time in American history when the occupant of the White House is willing to send troops to force Israel to allow the 'Palestinians' to establish a state reichlet. But he needs the pretext of an agreement first and enough time to be able to enforce it.

The second reason why now is that a 'Palestinian state' is the Obamacare of Obama's foreign policy. It's what he promised Edward Said and Rashid Khalidi and Jeremiah Wright and Ali Abunimah and Bill Ayers that he would do. And unlike ordinary Americans, those are people to whom he has promises to keep.


At 8:27 PM, Blogger Chrysler 300M said...

the best offer Obama might achieve for his Palestinian brothers, is a May 2000 situation (which was rejected by Yasir)

At 10:01 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

“Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it, misdiagnosing it, and then misapplying the wrong remedies.” - Groucho Marx

At 11:16 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

After six months, the peace process is dead. The impending settlement freeze is akin to embalming the corpse. It changes nothing in the future.


Post a Comment

<< Home