Israeli’s And Palestinians Agree: Obama Is A Big Problem On The Way To Peace

This would probably be funny if it wasn’t so sad, and opened the door for Iran

JERUSALEM – Vowing to change a region that has resisted the best efforts of presidents and prime ministers past, Barack Obama dove head first into the Middle East peace process on his second day in office.

He was supposed to be different. His personal identity, his momentum, his charisma and his promise of a fresh start would fundamentally alter America’s relations with the Muslim world and settle one of its bitterest grievances.

There’s a huge problem to start with: he relied on listening to him with unicorns in their eyes, mesmerized by The One, willing to go out and do his bidding. Problem is, creating Middle East peace is a bit more difficult than reading from a teleprompter, and requires an actual plan, rather than a cult of personality.

Two years later, he has managed to forge surprising unanimity on at least one topic: Barack Obama. A visit here finds both Israelis and Palestinians blame him for the current stalemate — just as they blame one another.

Instead of becoming a heady triumph of his diplomatic skill and special insight, Obama’s peace process is viewed almost universally in Israel as a mistake-riddled fantasy. And far from becoming the transcendent figure in a centuries-old drama, Obama has become just another frustrated player on a hardened Mideast landscape.

In other words, a smile and a speech were no substitute for reality and wise planning. Who would have thought a guy with no foreign policy experience, with a hatred for Israel (just like his base), and little actual real world experience, could mess up so badly? His policy has been described as “bumbling”, and some think he has made the issues worse.

Obama has resisted advisers’ suggestions that he travel to Israel or speak directly to Israelis as he has to Muslims in Egypt, Turkey, and Indonesia.

“Israelis really hate Obama’s guts,” said Shmuel Rosner, a columnist for two leading Israeli newspapers. “We used to trust Americans to act like Americans, and this guy is like a European leader.

The shame of it is that there was an actual opportunity, what with some of the most virulent Palestinian leaders, such as Yassar Arafat, gone to meet their 72 virgins. But, Obama has consistently taken the wrong tracks, as even far lefty Jackson Diehl notices

But that is just the point: The dream of a “greater Israel” died more than 15 years ago. Even the Israeli right now accepts that a Palestinian state will be created in the West Bank. The settlements have become a sideshow; the real issues concern how to create a Palestinian state in a Middle East where the greatest threat is not Israeli but Iranian expansionism. What to do about Hamas and Hezbollah and their Iranian-supplied weapons? How to ensure that the post-occupation West Bank does not become another Iranian base? Those issues did not exist in 1983 – and the Obama administration seems to have no strategy for them.

The Obama foreign policy towards Iran, which is perhaps the biggest impediment towards peace in the region, is to make nice with Iran. That’s the plan. They don’t love and worship Obama, either.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach. sit back and Relax. we’ll dRive!

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