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Thursday, March 18, 2010

How Chicago diplomacy makes really easy, really hard

Rick Richman reviews the Middle East 'peace process' during the terms of the Obama administration and the Netanyahu government, and points out that Netanyahu actually was much more accommodating than he had any business being and that it's President Obumbler who has made things 'really hard.'
Things were not “really hard” — Netanyahu had made them relatively easy with his proposal for immediate negotiations. Nor were there political problems “on both sides” — Netanyahu had overcome the ones on his side and put forward a constructive way to proceed. But Arab expectations soared as they watched Obama renege on prior U.S. commitments, demand new concessions from Israel before negotiations could start, and obviate the need for the Palestinians to negotiate themselves.

A year later, Obama has made the same mistake again, choosing to escalate a low-level administrative approval of housing in a longstanding Jewish part of Jerusalem into a crisis with Israel. It is another display of Chicago-style diplomacy designed to demand concessions he knows Netanyahu cannot make, and that were not a condition of the prior negotiations that produced three Israeli offers of a state. Once again, Obama will send Arab expectations even higher, send Israeli trust in him even lower, and reduce the chances of success for any “proximity talks” from slim to none. Another triumph of smart diplomacy — complete with, as Noah notes, a denigration of the intelligence of Israel’s leader.
Yes, this past week has made something that was 'really hard' even harder. What could go wrong?


At 9:05 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

And Obama facetiously claims there is no "crisis." Then what was all the hullabaloo last week all about?

What go wrong indeed


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