Former No. 3 man in the State Department Nicholas Burns, commenting on the president’s public bashing of Israel on settlements, spews the sort of gibberish for which Foggy Bottom is famous:
Most Palestinians and many Arabs have lost faith in the peace process. . . One of the major issues for the United States is to regain credibility. This is a down payment the Obama administration is making with the Arab world, and they’re saying it publicly.
Oh please. The Palestinians have “lost faith in the peace process”? Which ones — those shooting Fatah supporters in the knee caps?
Recall where we are. After withdrawing from Gaza, Israel was treated to an ongoing assault on its civilian population, prompting a military operation during which Arab states privately and not so privately cheered on the Israelis in their effort to disable Hamas, and thereby bloody the nose of its Iranian sponsors. There is no viable Palestinian negotiating partner. And we are supposed to buy the line that the Palestinians are put out because the U.S. hasn’t done what it is supposed to have done. This is the sort of enabling chatter which only cements the delusional outlook among Palestinians and the utterly unhelpful passivity of Arab states.
But we shouldn’t pick on Burns. This thinking is endemic in the administration and throughout much of the U.S. media. It fits with the “well, we’ve all made mistakes” canard and bolsters the notion that if we all just extract unilateral concessions from Israel it will all work out. ( Yeah well not in Lebanon. And not by exiting Gaza. But it will this time. Honest.) It fits nicely with the egocentric hooey from Obama that he, and only he, has spent time and effort thinking about how to solve this and can, through the sheer force of his “honesty,” get Israel to do the impossible and get the Palestinians to do what they have, for sixty years, refused to do. Where are the “realists” when you need them?