Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Has the Obama Administration Failed Again? No Freeze, No Talks, No Competence

This critique of Obama’s Middle East policy is by Professor Barry Rubin, director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal (I've added the cartoon):

While the outcome still isn't clear, it seems that a new example of failure and humiliation is unfolding for the Obama Administration's Middle East policy.

It appears increasingly unlikely that the president's high-profile effort to restart Israel-Palestinian talks will succeed during the remainder of 2010 or even well beyond that time.

This Administration has had a very clear idea of what it wanted to achieve:

1. A comprehensive Israel-Palestinian and Arab-Israeli peace.

2. Getting rid of the Arab-Israeli conflict in the belief that this will reduce terrorism and strengthen US power in region and US interests.

3. Getting rid of the conflict to get Arab support on Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan.

The embarrassment is taking place due to faulty assumptions about these goals and how to achieve them:

- That a high-profile effort would serve U.S. interests. By showing American engagement on the issue, the Administration thought it would please Arab and Muslim-majority countries so as to gain their support on other issues. This didn't work.

- That, at best, a high-profile campaign would be likely to succeed in bringing rapid progress toward comprehensive peace. That obviously isn't working.

- That, at minimum, they could at least get the two sides to sit down to pretend talks where nothing actually happened but at least it could be portrayed as a diplomatic achievement. Even that isn't working and that's really embarrassing.

Part of the problem is due to the Administration's additional wrong assumption that the Palestinians are eager to negotiate and get a state plus the belief that the current Palestinian Authority (PA) leadership could deliver a deal. In fact, both of these ideas are wrong, too. The PA leadership can't - and doesn't want to - deliver even on holding talks that go nowhere.

Read the rest:


  1. From today's Jerusalem Post:

    Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu [has]defended his policies against opposition claims that he had not kept his promises in regard to the peace process....Netanyahu defended his policies, blaming the Palestinians for the lack of progress in the peace process in the Knesset and calling on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to condemn a PA report denying the Jewish people's connection to the Western Wall in Jerusalem. "I'm trying to imagine what the world's reaction would be if Israel would say that Islam had no connection to Mecca or Catholicism had no connection to the Vatican," Netanyahu said. "I say to Abu Mazen [Abbas], condemn this phenomenon. Tell your people 'there is a Jewish nation here that we recognize.'"
    "We want a true peace, based on truth, not on spin and lies," said Netanyahu in response to claims that he was stalling the peace process.
    The prime minister added that Iran, not the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, was the main factor causing a lack of stability in the Middle East.
    Netanyahu criticized Kadima for not supporting the recently passed Referendum Law. He stated that Kadima had supported the idea of a referendum in the past and had even been among those that initiated the law. "Do you want to take the place of the people?" Netanyahu asked. "A referendum is the best option from the moral standpoint," he added.

  2. Arutz Sheva reports:
    The American State Department gave $770,000 in grants to Merchavim, an Israeli organization working to weaken the character of the Jewish state under the guise of "promoting diversity" and "shared citizenship" in Israel.

    Most of the grant, some $750,000, will go to expand the collaboration between Merchavim and the American nonprofit Sesame Workshop, producer of the Sesame Street program, to continue to produce Israel’s version of the show, "Rechov Sumsum," which features both Jews and Arabs as characters. The grant will reportedly be used to develop content in Hebrew and Arabic for use by 1,200 kindergarten teachers in order to indoctrinate children away from Jewish national sentiment.