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What America Wants in the Middle East

The New America Foundation held a soiree in Washington on Monday on “U.S.-Saudi Relations in a World Without Equilibrium.” It’s no surprise to learn that the highlights were all about how the U.S. needs to get tough, not with the Islamists running an oil empire but with the tiny Israeli democracy to its north. Indeed, the jabbering from the likes of Zbigniew Brzezinski, Chuck Hagel, Rita Hauser, and Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal about forcing the Zionists to knuckle under was enough to prompt the Nation’s Robert Dreyfuss to lose his own balance.

The consensus among this confederacy of dunces was that President Obama must force Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to recognize Hamas or a Hamas-Fatah coalition, surrender to this terrorist alliance every inch of the West Bank, and partition Jerusalem. Oh, and forget about trying to stop the near-imminent acquisition of nuclear weapons by the Islamists running Iran. Don’t worry that they will soon be in a position to blackmail the entire Middle East or make good on their promise to annihilate the Jewish State.

This is what passes for wisdom at the New America Foundation and the Nation. It would, if Obama heeds their advice, only set the stage for even more bloodshed and suffering for both Israelis and Palestinians. Seeing a group that is supposedly interested in helping the Saudis, so intent on ignoring the threat from Iran (which is just as dangerous to the Saudis and other Arab regimes as it is to Israel) just shows how malice toward Israel can distort people’s thinking.

What is particularly dense in Dreyfuss’s thinking is his pick for the smartest thing said by Brzezinski: that the United States has never spelled out what it wants from the peace process. This is absolutely false:

In 2002 and again in 2004, the much-reviled George W. Bush did exactly that. He said he wanted a democratic Palestinian state, led by politicians who are neither corrupt nor compromised by terror, living in peace alongside the State of Israel. Unfortunately, that is exactly the kind of Palestinian state that is never going to exist so long as the Palestinians are led by Fatah or Hamas, which are both more interested in destroying Israel than in having their own state. Nor is it the sort of Palestinian state that most of Israel’s American critics are particularly interested in seeing.

If Obama is really interested in Middle East peace, he will ignore his onetime adviser Brzezinski and echo Bush’s call for Palestinian democracy and a genuine renunciation of terror.



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