Even within Israel itself, Obama was heckled by an Israeli Arab college student who was horrified by his "pro-Israel" statements and told interviewers later that he wanted Israel as a state to disappear. Guess he wasn't one of those young people. Would all Palestinians ready to live in their Arab Muslim state alongside Israel as a Jewish state please raise their hands?
How has Israel been rewarded for the risks already taken? With even more risks and international criticism.
Who is pushing in Palestinian politics? The only force that counts is that which wants an even more radical and violent strategy. Can you imagine a peace group being formed on any Palestinian campus? The idea is ridiculous. Obama cannot deliver the other side for peace--he can't even get them to negotiate at all--the president puts the job on someone else.
Yes, we want a two state solution. Yes, we put ourselves in the shoes of the Palestinians and such empathy and reportage is daily in all the Israeli newspapers. It is the opposite that is never true.
On what basis does Obama suggest that things can change? Strength, the very factor he downplays in other circumstances.
Yet I see no risk in what Obama said. First, it is standard U.S. policy. Second, Israel is now immunized by experience against taking foolish risks and making unrequited concessions. Third, because it does reflect Israeli preferences. If Obama wants to be patronizing that's more acceptable if he is ready to be Israel's patron rather than distancing himself.
This article was published in PJMedia.
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Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His latest book, Israel: An Introduction, has just been published by Yale University Press. Thirteen of his books can be read and downloaded for free at the website of the GLORIA Center including The Arab States and the Palestine Conflict, The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East and The Truth About Syria. His blog is Rubin Reports. His original articles are published at PJMedia.
Professor Barry Rubin, Director, Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center http://www.gloria-center.org
The Rubin Report blog http://rubinreports.blogspot.com/
He is a featured columnist at PJM http://pajamasmedia.com/barryrubin/.
Editor, Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal http://www.gloria-center.org