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May 4, 2010

Haaretz: Time To Stop Pretending And Face The Truth - Obama Administration's Actions Only Making Peace Less Likely

Topics: Middle East News and Perspectives

What's so striking about this is that this report is coming from Haaretz - Israel's left-leaning daily.

Moshe Arens writes at Haaretz: Let's stop pretending:

It is almost a year now that a certain ritual has marked the public discourse between Washington and Jerusalem. Israel gets a good slap in the face and a few days later someone in Washington announces that the U.S.-Israeli relationship is rock-solid. The Israeli prime minister is demeaned in Washington and a day later he declares that the U.S.-Israeli relationship is firm as ever.

Anybody who has been involved in fostering the U.S.-Israeli relationship over the years, so important to both countries, knows that things are not as they have been for the past 50 years. The relationship, which on occasion is being described in Washington as "unshakable and unbreakable," has for the past year been shaken up quite a bit. The administration in Washington is trying to force on Israel a peace settlement with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, a settlement that would involve Israel withdrawing to the 1949 armistice lines that were established after it repelled the armies of Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq, which were attempting to destroy the newborn state.

They want to set the clock back, seemingly oblivious of the many wars and acts of terror that were launched against Israel in the years since then, the serious threats that are being directed against Israel at present, the dramatic changes that have taken place in the past 61 years, and the Jewish people's internationally recognized rights to their ancient homeland. This bitter medicine needs to be taken by the people of Israel, it is argued, because it serves the interests of the United States, and in addition, the administration in Washington believes that it is also good for Israel.

Arens' summary paragraph provides the money quote and points to the Obama administration's anti-Israel stance as only having made peace less likely:
The time has come to stop pretending. Whatever chance that may exist to conduct productive negotiations with Abbas is being hampered by the demands being made on Israel by Washington. They only provide excuses for Abbas to refuse to enter serious negotiations until these demands are met. He cannot be expected to be less of a Palestinian than U.S. President Barack Obama. While objective difficulties exist in any case because of Hamas' control of Gaza and Abbas' tenuous position in Judea and Samaria, outside pressure only makes things more difficult. Peace cannot be imposed. There is little doubt that the administration in Washington will learn this lesson sooner or later.
Interestingly, the recognition that the Obama administration is making peace less likely is something that Conservatives recognized some time ago and said so in a letter to Obama back in March.

Posted by Richard at May 4, 2010 2:46 PM

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