Obviously overcome with the power of Obama’s appeals for peace and reconciliation, two Arab reporters refused to sit in a room with a Jewish reporter to interview Obama after his Cairo speech. Do you think it would have made a difference if the latter promised not to let his relatives build any ad-ons to their East Jerusalem homes? Not likely. This is the reality of the Middle East.
The president seems blissfully unconcerned with the evidence before his eyes. At times he seems downright delusional:
President Barack Obama took credit Friday for improving the climate for Middle East peace negotiations, and added that ‘if we stick with it, having started early, … we can make some serious progress this year.’
The State Department pipes up: “The president made clear that the United States, under his administration in the past few months, has probably done more than it had in the previous eight years.” Did Hamas amend its charter when I wasn’t looking? Did the Saudis recognize the Jewish state? Oh, no. What exactly has the U.S. government done other than antagonize Israel and give Iran the green light to pursue its weapons program?
This is a classic case of mistaking one’s own grand intentions and the actual circumstances which motivate both our allies and foes. Are we all closer to peace now that Obama has spoken? Less so, I would argue. For the Palestinians now have hope the U.S. will squeeze unilateral concessions out of Israel and the Israelis have no confidence that the U.S. will rush to their aid or do much of anything about the existential threat posed by Iran.
And finally, a few words about the last eight years: George Bush comes second to no one in expending time and energy in the fruitless pursuit of a non-existent peace process.