Marty Peretz writes about an inconvenient truth in the Middle East: Obama is not pressuring the Arab countries because he realizes they won’t give. Instead, he pressures Israel, America’s steadfast ally:
What dismays me most about Barack Obama’s Middle East initiative is that the only country in the area he seems to be pressing is Israel. He is not pressing Egypt and perhaps that’s because there is nothing that Cairo can give., Maybe I’ll be surprised by the presidential visit to Riyadh but he is, thus far, also not pressing Saudi Arabia and its king to whom he offered at the G-20 meeting rather curious and extravagant homage. If you read A Safe Haven by Allis and Ronald Radosh (reviewed by me in the Wall Street Journal) you’ll see how King Ibn Saud was flattered by F.D.R. and took that flattery as an index of his actual power. Roosevelt reinforced the illusion.
There’s no point in Obama pressing the Hashemite monarchy of Jordan either: poor Abdullah, as opposed to the very rich one mentioned above, has no compromises to make. He sits on a Palestinian powder keg suppressed permanently by his political police. And, however much George Mitchell sips tea with President Assad, the special envoy won’t be able to match Iran’s armament emoluments to always ambitious Syria. I trust that the president won’t drop into Damascus.Lebanon is a mess. It may have a government of some kind after the coming elections.The real question is whether it will be a country.
The point being,
The Obama administration has foregone that expectation of symmetry. He is trying to hand to the Palestinians on a platter what needs to be toughly negotiated reciprocal arrangements.
This is an important post, so please read it in full.
Obama has chosen to ignore previous agreements between Israel and the United States. Agreements that were used to sell Israel on agreeing to the “road map.” The President talks a lot about the importance of dialogue, diplomacy, and humility. His actions are very much at odds with his words.
Israpundit finds it predictable:
If Israel’s government really is shocked and appalled by this, I would regard that as the most shocking and appalling thing of all, since Obama’s irrational beliefs that a) removing the settlers is the route to a Palestinian state and b) such a state will end the Arab war against Israel and help defeat Iran, not to mention c) his ignorance of international law dating back to the still legally binding Mandate giving the right of Jewish settlement throughout the whole of (then) Palestine which includes present day West Bank and Gaza, have been crystal clear since way before his election. (As for Hillary, since she was against Israel’s interests before she was for them — which by an astounding coincidence took place while she was Senator for New York – and is now against them again, who can be surprised?)
The Obama administration’s pattern of cultivating our enemies to the detriment of our allies is now well established, just as Obama’s infantile blaming his predecessor for everything. This does not bode well.
The Obama team… is pressuring Israel while trying to accommodate Iran
More at Memeorandum
There will be no podcast today due to a scheduling conflict.