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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Can Obama 'reset' his relationship with Israel?

Here's an interesting comment from Aaron David Miller reported by Laura Rozen at Politico.
On the administration debate after Biden's trip over how to get past continued upsets to U.S. efforts to reviving an Israeli-Palestinian peace process, veteran U.S. Middle East peace negotiator Aaron David Miller writes that there's got to be a "reset" of the U.S.-Israeli relationship:

"This crisis is way above Mitchell's pay-grade," Miller said in an email. "The U.S.-Israeli relationship can now only be reset by the president who's very very busy now."

"Wait a month, let Mitchell tend the garden," Miller continued. "Come April/May, there has got be a Bibi-Obama meeting and effort to see if you can hit the reset button."

The key, Miller says, is an agreement on borders where the gaps between the Israelis and Palestinians are the narrowest, and to get that agreement via U.S.-brokered talks.
Miller's got it wrong for two reasons. First, this President isn't capable of pressing a re-set button with Israel because his 'moral code' goes against relations with the Jewish state being any better than they are now. As I wrote nearly a year ago on this blog:
The 'fierce moral urgency' for 'peace' in the Middle East arises from Obama's 'moral code' learned from the likes of the anti-Semitic Jeremiah Wright, Billy Ayers and Rashid Khalidi that calls Israel "an aggressive, Western imperialist power exploiting indigenous people of color who simply wish to be free." But that 'moral code' doesn't allow for Israel's existence at all, so don't look for Israel to play along with it.
Second, if the gap between Israel and the 'Palestinians' on borders is the narrowest, it's because the gaps on other issues are chasms. The gap on borders probably cannot be bridged.

Netanyahu was elected a year ago because Israelis are deeply skeptical that peace can ever be achieved by giving up any amount of land for a 'Palestinian state.' The Gaza expulsion shows that there is no return for expelling Jews from their homes. 10,000 Jews were expelled from their homes in 2005 (most of whom are still not resettled) and in return we got 8,000 rockets and had to undertake Operation Cast Lead. The vast majority of Jewish Israelis are just fine with our borders as they are right now.

The 'Palestinians' actions over the last ten years have definitely lessened Israelis' willingness to make concessions to them. This isn't the same Middle East in which Miller was a negotiator under Bush I and Clinton.


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