2 readers online now  |  69 million page views

real change

Reader comment on item: Insight into Obama's Middle East Policy?
in response to reader comment: disagreement

Submitted by pete murray (Ireland), Jan 7, 2009 at 16:51

I believe that Obama will initially prefer to deal with Israel behind closed doors rather than picking an open fight when the Israelis inevitable move to frustrate any attempt to achieve progress towards a fair solution of the Palestine/Israel conflict. Initially at least, there will be no harsh words in public. He will privately tell Israel that its colonization project is at an end as far as the US is concerned. In public he will give a nod towards balance by shunning the extreme element in the Knesset who refuse to recognize the right of the Palestinians to their own state.

I think that Israel will test Obama to see how far the new administration will tolerate Israeli actions designed to frustrate US policy. Israel will also want to see if its protectors in the media and Congress have as much influence over the new administration as they had over the outgoing one.

In the longer term I believe that Obama and his team will take a harder line on the continuing confiscation and settlement of Palestinian property. He will recognize that Abbas and a two-state solution are doomed if his only reward for being compliant is to have his land stolen from under him. He will probably try to "do an IRA" with Hamas, and in a ceasefire context deal with it's more politically-oriented leaders while incentivizing it towards splitting from its violent wing.

Obama is suffciently intelligent to realize that a piecemeal solution of the conflict is never going to work and that Israeli security and Palestinian viability will need to be addressed in tandem. He also knows that a solution will not be accompanied by a complete cessation of violence and that the fanatics on both sides will continue trying to sabotage any solution that falls short of their absolutist goals. A long-term third-party peace-keeping presence will be needed.

Finally, Obama knows that Islamic extremism thrives on the forces that sustains all extremism - outside attack from "the other" and lack of recourse to peaceful means of resolving greivances, and that Arabs and Moslems are much like Israelis and Americans in their response to stimuli. His policies will reflect this reality.

Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Comment on this item

Mark my comment as a response to real change by pete murray

Email me if someone replies to my comment

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

See recent outstanding comments.

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List
eXTReMe Tracker

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2020 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)