John on November 30, 2009 at 9:53 am
Mr. Obama’s own credibility is so diminished (his approval rating in Israel is 4 percent) that serious negotiations may be farther off than ever.
Peacemaking takes strategic skill. But we see no sign that President Obama and Mr. Mitchell were thinking more than one move down the board. The president went public with his demand for a full freeze on settlements before securing Israel’s commitment. And he and his aides apparently had no plan for what they would do if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said no.
Most important, they allowed the controversy to obscure the real goal: nudging Israel and the Palestinians into peace talks. (We don’t know exactly what happened but we are told that Mr. Obama relied more on the judgment of his political advisers â€” specifically his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel â€” than of his Mideast specialists.)
Rahm Emmanuel as peace negotiator, a man known for his tact and quiet dignity.
Category: Foreign Affairs |