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Thursday, April 08, 2010

Obama's Middle East policy goes from bad to worse

Elliott Abrams adds some commentary to Wednesday's David Ignatius piece in the Washington Post about the Obama administration imposing a 'settlement' on Israel. Obama's Middle East policy just want from bad to worse.
The inability of Israelis and Palestinians to get to the negotiating table is, in this administration, an iatrogenic disease: Our diplomatic doctors have caused it. The astonishing incompetence of Obama and special envoy George Mitchell has now twice blown up talks—direct talks last year, and proximity talks more recently—by making Israeli construction plans a major world crisis, thereby forcing Palestinian leaders to back away from engagement with the Israelis. So the administration will, in the fall, just do it the simpler way. Why bother with Israelis and Palestinians, in whom the president apparently does not have “growing confidence,” when you can just have your own brilliant team draw up the terms? As Ignatius’s sources, “two top administration officials,” tell him, “everyone knows the basic outlines of a peace deal.”

Ignatius reports, approvingly, that Obama came to the conclusion that he should impose a “peace plan” after meeting with six former national security advisors. The first to suggest imposing terms on Israel was Brent Scowcroft; he was seconded by Zbigniew Brzezinski. This will not reassure Israelis. (Absent from his list of those attending, and approving, were Condoleezza Rice and Steve Hadley, George W. Bush’s two NSAs. Perhaps this was mere accident; perhaps they are not invited to these festive events in Jones’s office; perhaps they are too smart to lend their names to such White House games and the ensuing leaks.)

Perhaps this is all a trial balloon by Obama and Jones. If so, it will make Israeli-Palestinian negotiations even harder than they are today, after 14 months of Obama administration failures. For Palestinians will conclude that they have no reason to negotiate seriously, or to make concessions, when Obama may deliver what they want on a nice platter; and Israelis will conclude that Washington no longer takes their security seriously, so they must toughen their stance.
Read the whole thing.

What could go wrong?


At 4:20 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Hi Carl.
I think it might even get worse i keep thinking back about a story:
Petraeus proposed inserting US troops into the Occupied Territories.
"Petraeus sent a paper to the White House requesting that the West Bank and Gaza (which, with Israel, is a part of the European Command — or EUCOM), be made a part of his area of operations."
I wouldn't be surprised if this story comes back.

At 4:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I must be missing something here: So Obimbo wants it. Does that mean that Israel HAS to accept it?
Wasn't it during Bibi's first term that he told Clinton "Israel is a sovereign nation and will do what it has to defend itself and its capital"? I'm probably misquoting but I seem to recall that interview back in the 90's.

At 4:55 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Does the US really want to police the Land Of Israel? The British did it and left exhausted, never to return. One would think Obama would pay attention to history. The Jews lost to Rome but not before they broke the back of the empire's ability to hold out in the face of all the forces besetting it from all sides. What is ironic is the same people who accused Bush of waging an unwinnable war in Iraq now want to repeat the entire fiasco with Eretz Israel.

At 11:47 PM, Blogger Findalis said...

Let the idiot try. He will find out very fast that Israel unlike Iraq and Afghanistan is NOT a 10 day push over!


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