“No winning strategy begins with a punch in the nose”
Close Associate of George Mitchell, Peace Envoy Extraordinaire.
Those were the ‘comforting sounds’ emerging from Obama’s point team on the Middle East & Israel the night before our great meeting in Washington. In other words, we will wait to lasso Israel around the neck for concessions toward the peace that never came, until later. Or in doublespeak, today we smile for the cameras, moderate Democrats & American Jewry, to reassure them that Obama is not only Pro-Israel, but even knows what’s best for Israel! Later on we can make the public statements that deal the pain.
Indeed, that was some show today in Washington! Apparently they stressed the ‘know what’s best for you part’, as opposed to the ‘Pro-Israel’ parts, despite all the whispered sweet nothings about avoiding ‘face punches’ above. If this is the start of ‘a beautiful relationship’, we’ll surely be drawn & quartered here in Israel in no time at all!
Quite a crew..
To date we have seen: Sec of State Hillary Clinton, Envoy George Mitchell, Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, NSA’s James Jones, CIA chief Leon Panetta, Vice President Biden, not too mention political allies like John Kerry, all speak on the record of the ‘glorious opportunity that cannot be allowed to slip by for Peace right now’. We’ve heard how the Moon & the Starz & Obama are all aligned for the latest, greatest spectacle of Israeli ‘peace’ concessions with nothing in return.
In fact, we hear it from every single arm of the Obama administration, it oozes, permeates & pours out of every crevice, save one. The President himself has yet to spell it out, but today he did.
Our Good Pal, President Obama
He expects a fictional ‘Two State Solution’ by the end of his term, with one imagines fictional peace partners to go along with it. Is not willing to set any deadlines on Iranian appeasement talks well up to the end of the year! (Another 7 months without stronger sanctions!?), he clearly has little to no credible plan for dealing with Iran at all..
Obama drew his lines in the sand. Nothing appears very friendly in these matters. Israel has been willing to accommodate Obama, but was looking for some realistic time-lines, like the fall for actually DOING something regarding Iran’s endless stalling and the lack of INTL veracity regarding sanctions to avoid a potential regional war. We got what appears to be nothing of the sort. So much for having ‘friends in high places’..
Then again, only 31% of Israelis polled consider him particularly ‘Friendly’ – I wonder why?
UPDATE – CSPAN VIDEO of the presser
I don’t want to take potshots at Obama beyond normal, but he was particularly ‘eloquent’ in the 1st minute, where he rummages around emphasizing the US / Israel special relationship. Nice One! Truthfully, it all looked a lot friendlier when Obama embraced President Chavez.
UPDATE II – Links
Speaking to reporters after meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Obama offered assurances that he did not intend for talks with Iran to become “an excuse for inaction,” a major concern of Israeli officials worried that Tehran will string out talks while making progress toward acquiring a nuclear weapon.
But he also made clear that he was prepared to wait months for Iran to respond to the U.S. offer of better ties in return for halting its nuclear activities. He emphasized that the year-end timetable would be for assessing whether the diplomatic effort was “moving in the right direction,” not a deadline for reaching a final agreement with Iran on halting its nuclear activities.
“By the end of the year I think we should have some sense as to whether or not the talks are having some benefit,” Obama said
Prof Barry Rubin says, perhaps we are on solid footing. I don’t know, I remain a huge skeptic.. Holding out for the agent of change, to change his whole worldview seems like a longshot for now, I can’t help but get the feeling we should be taping up ankles for the footing ahead. Horovitz is calling it Obama laying down the law.
Images from the White House visit (Photos by the AP)