Obama visits Israel and Palestine

Dear reader, It’s on every newspaper on the net and newspapers as I took the subway this morning still half asleep.
I wasn’t eagerly waiting for it, but the way it has been advertised and proposed caught my curiosity. The oh-so attended visit of US president to the turbulent region of Israel and Palestine (Jordan is also in the agenda) is advertised as the biggest mission since his second term. And I believe it, this is indeed the biggest challenge he has on international ground: peace in the Middle-East. Even La Repubblica has reserved a front seat to the news.

In the past Obama argued frequently with Netanyahu over the Palestinian peace process, and despite the public efforts of maintaining a cordial and solid public relation, it is no secret to anyone that Obama has been often criticized by pro-Israel conservatives blaming him for not doing enough for the Middle-East stability. The most brutal attack came after he agreed that a two-state solution was the only choice. In fact he took the statement back.

The reactions are varied, some display Welcome signs for the president while others see it as a waste of time.



Well now he is back in the region with no specific plan nor policy, only as listener and observer. I remember during his presidential debates how he stayed quiet and humble towards Romney’s attacks, so I wonder if this low-profile mission will have another successful outcome.

He finished his speech in Hebrew saying “Tov l’he’ot shuv b’aretz”. This surely depicts an effort to rekindle ties with Israelis, who already feel betrayed by his former administration. Is his goal to reassure them in order to set things straight? And by straight I mean trying to create further chances for peace negotiations?

As long as the US continue the excessive economic and defense support to Israel, any visit of the US to the area will be worthless for any real peace process progress. On the other hand, protecting Israel by providing defense support sort of gives a balance of forces. Without this support, Israel would be facing terrible consequences such as invasions as the least. I sincerely think he will not waste his time, somehow he has demonstrated that he can find balance within possible conflicts of interest and the task is not easy. So keep your expectations low, as this mission may not provide some interesting turn of events.

FYI, our dear friend Abed has long invited Obama to have tea at his cave in Al Walaja, maybe this time he’ll go? I hope he enjoyed seeing the Dead Sea Scrolls as much as I did.

13 replies »

  1. “As long as the US continue the excessive economic and defense support to Israel, any visit of the US to the area will be worthless for any real peace process progress.”…this pretty much sums it up. Its our economic and military support that give Israel a license to occupy.

    • Hi Jeff, thank you for your contribution.
      I have a question, since I never had faith in the US government into solving this conflict, what’s your opinion on Obama’s move this time? I do think that Israel, without the army and weapones support, would suffer terrible consequences (they’re basically surrounded by enemies), so I can see why they need such support.

      • Well, based on previous actions by the Obama administration, it looks like maintaining the status quo is the most that can be expected from the POTUS. He has not made any meaningful statements on behalf of the Palestinian people that I am aware of beyond empty rhetoric. The cynical part of me thinks the “tiff” that Obama and Netanyahu had during his reelection, when Netanyahu supported Romney was more theater to make it look like Obama isn’t as in bed with the Israeli government as he really is when it comes to Iran and other events in play in the Middle East. I hope I’m wrong.
        Here is another take on the U.S./Israel relationship: http://www.blackagendareport.com/content/freedom-rider-usisrael-axis-evil

        • True, in fact today what he did was basically support Israel and Palestine which is exactly what we expect from POTUS.
          What’s the secret weapon in his sleeve if he has one?

  2. If you don’t mind… I would like to know about the economic support from the united stated to Isreal… since, as far as I know… it is Israel giving money to the united states that keeps this going on… in fact, that is one of the main reasons why it was so important that Obama took his words back in the first place… since they could lose that economical support from Israel

  3. I believe the solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict lies in the Arab world. In fact, if the the Arab nations replaced the US (in terms of brokering an agreement), then a solution may actually be achieved. Otherwise, this game will continue on for an indeterminate period.

    • Thank you for your comment!
      If the idea is to guarantee Israel’s security while establishing a Palestinian state, do you think that the Arab states would actually perceive this opportunity with neutrality? I have my doubts…

      • Yes, I think that can work. A number of them already deal with Israel and have come to accept that it isn’t going anywhere. Plus, we need to look at this problem through new lens since US involvement hasn’t really resolved anything.

  4. The U.S. has the power to require Israel to come up with a legitimate two-state solution. It has in fact been the official policy of every president since at least Jimmy Carter if I recall correctly. America’s actions are completely contrary to this notion though. In my opinion the only way a peace deal will come about is if the United States starts to restrict weapon sales to Israel on the condition that it dismantles its settlements and return to the 1967 borders.

    The U.S. has all the leverage it needs but no political will in large part because the Israeli lobbyists in Washington have such deep pockets. Interestingly, most Jews in America want an amenable two-state solution. Another consideration is that the U.S. may simply want a nuclear satellite state in the area. We hardly need it anymore now though considering how many countries in the Middle East are in the U.S.’s pockets, although none of our puppet regimes in the region could launch a nuke at Iran and take a hit for the team the way Israel might.

    Oh just imagine! We could split Iran’s oil reserves. Israel would just have to hit first. The U.S. would condemn the preemptive strike and then help them anyway; it’s not like either country abides by international law anyway. U.S. companies want Iran’s oil so bad they can taste it. The U.S. wants Iran to see Israel as a loose cannon to keep it in line and Iran wants some nukes so they can protect themselves from war against them for their oil (among other reasons). If Iran gets nukes in time it is highly likely no war will happen and Iran will have some leverage on the international stage – you know, like North Korea, Pakistan, and India do now that they have nukes.

    It is interesting how Pakistan and India are great pals with the US. even though they are violating the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty as well. This should tell us something, but enough of me ranting for now. I could go on about this forever.

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