Obama: Middle East peace “is a very hard thing to do”

Amid swirling rumors and grand propositions, President Obama spoke yesterday on the so-called peace process and among peace-process professionals his words will be duly noted as an effort to “manage expectations”.

But for those of us who do not have an investment in the idea that the show must go on, what he said can be boiled down to this: Obama doesn’t see the necessary desire among the antagonists for the conflict to be resolved any time soon or under any amount of American pressure. No imposed US peace plan. No big speech in Jerusalem.

I think that the need for peace between Israelis and Palestinians and the Arab states remains as critical as ever.

It is a very hard thing to do. And I know that even if we are applying all of our political capital to that issue, the Israeli people through their government, and the Palestinian people through the Palestinian Authority, as well as other Arab states, may say to themselves, we are not prepared to resolve this — these issues — no matter how much pressure the United States brings to bear.

And the truth is, in some of these conflicts the United States can’t impose solutions unless the participants in these conflicts are willing to break out of old patterns of antagonism. I think it was former Secretary of State Jim Baker who said, in the context of Middle East peace, we can’t want it more than they do.

But what we can make sure of is, is that we are constantly present, constantly engaged, and setting out very clearly to both sides our belief that not only is it in the interests of each party to resolve these conflicts but it’s also in the interest of the United States. It is a vital national security interest of the United States to reduce these conflicts because whether we like it or not, we remain a dominant military superpower, and when conflicts break out, one way or another we get pulled into them. And that ends up costing us significantly in terms of both blood and treasure.

So I’m going to keep on at it. But I think on all these issues — nuclear disarmament, nuclear proliferation, Middle East peace — progress is going to be measured not in days, not in weeks. It’s going to take time. And progress will be halting. And sometimes we’ll take one step forward and two steps back, and there will be frustrations. And so it’s not going to run on the typical cable news 24/7 news cycle. But if we’re persistent, and we’ve got the right approach, then over time, I think that we can make progress.

And who will be most reassured by this message of persistent hope on the long and winding road to Middle East peace? Why, the Israelis of course. Surprise, surprise.

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9 thoughts on “Obama: Middle East peace “is a very hard thing to do”

  1. Romira

    This is so much “crapola” about the USA not being able to exert pressure to bring about a peace.

    All the US has to do is to assert that occupied lands cannot be built on or have the occupiers citizens move onto it. Then followed by a statement that all funds as well as spare parts for their American supplied fighter jets will be withheld and will be cut off till full withdrawal is achieved.

    Viola! Peace.

    But then again, Obama is not the one making policy in the USA. he is a figure-head to the real powers that run the counry, the jewish lobby/money and Israel. How disgusting and revolting.

  2. eatbees

    Romira, progressive Democrats have introduced a bill in Congress to do precisely what you suggest, make military aid to Israel conditional on the steps you describe. And they have 90-some supporters, but of course, that’s against 330 or so for the other side.

  3. Ian Arbuckle

    Not, Throwing in anything. Obama is just acknowledging that the present “status quo” with Israel laying down the apartheid law in the occupied territories and East Jerusalem and maintaining the Gazens and Hamas hermetically locked up in their ghetto prison is acceptable and is alright by him; that the Israelis might just as well go ahead and do any level of social engineering and ethnic cleansing they might like and he will not say much more than “boo” and that’s just show for the softies on the left, while he will always defend his Zionist colonialist friends though thick and thin, and not put pressure on them “not even commenting on their nuclear program”. Have you heard as much as a peep from this administration about the present “military” designation of “infiltrators” used as grounds for deportation of Palestinians?

    To me this is a green light to the Israeli Zionist racists, and a slap in the face to all the moderate Palestinians who had invested hope in a two state solution. In that respect this is a green light also for Hamas, as it shows what everyone should have seen a long time ago that Abbas and his Fattah are too corrupted by Israel and their protected status that any “negotiations” were meaningless prattle and self defeating for the Palestinian people. The eventuality will be defined by the power of Israel to force a solution that they are comfortable with. Just like America, the law is their to be re-written and the UN is there to be coerced or ignored.

    As I commented before in other terms, I believe the Obama administration is trying to give Bibi enough rope to hang himself, and Israel as well but this is not the way to peace. This is the way to a war with Iran and an explosion of violence in the Arab world. The Israelis will suffer and come out of such a war slightly dented, a little bit humbled perhaps but beholding to the US. The Palestinians who did not deserve any of this are screwed.

    Obama’s motto should have been “Yes we con”. And the “we” is him and Bibi. The UN sanctions against Iran are just another dance, another Tarantella like the jig to Iraq. What was the meaning of calling the 50 nations to attend his court all about anyway? Nuclear terrorism is a myth like all the other spectres of hidden menace and threats of terrorist boogiemen. How unfortunate that he US is so dominated by Zionists and its own blind pursuit of wealth at any cost, that it has lost all perspective of moral or ethical rightness. From torture to collateral murder, from indefinite internment of the innocent to the slaying of habeas corpus, the sophistry of redefining any basic concept of law and rights to the pleasure of an imperial administration, we see no end to tyranny as it races to the bottom of the pit.

    Fools without scruples will never find common ground. Left on their own they would eventually tear each other to peaces but between themselves for their greed and lust they can always agree upon an enemy to defeat and make abject.

  4. Jose

    What ever happens to “the land of the free and the home of the brave”?

    How come the citizens of the US (Americans) allowed foreigners (Jews) to take control of their country? Where are the “braves”?

    This land is no longer free; the Jews owns everything, including the lives of every American.

  5. Romira

    @ eatbees

    I did not know about that resolution. Thanks for the infoemation. 90 some odd votes in support is an excellent start.

    However my pessism is still unshakle in the fact, that unless there is a fundimental change in how Congress does business and how elections are funded, that its still Israeli occupied territory and that the President is helpless against that political reality.

    Obama at one time, from what I understand, was a close friend and supporter of the late and brilliant Palestinian Columbia professor Edward Saad. Obama’s understanding of the palestinian tragedy through his friendship with professor Saad made him sympathetic to their plight. Fast forward a few years, add a political campaign for the Presidency, and viola, he is neutered and speaks as though an automaton who is not too well versed on the subject. The ubiquitous transformation of politicians in the Imperial city is astounding as well as a window into how each one of those people have sold their soul to gain “power”.

    Sadly, the only way I can see this being eventually resolved, is when the USA finally goes bankrupt and cannot afford to back Israel and to subsidise its very existence. I say sadly, because I hate to see the ordinary American people suffering for what their gansters in power have done to them.

  6. Romira

    Here is a carzy conspiracy theory that keeps rattling in my alleged brain that might explain this unearthly hold that Israel has on the USA: What if they have taken 3 or 4 of their nukes and placed them in some American cities with the express threat of detonating them in the eventuality that America did not do their bidding? Israel’s history is replete with double crosses and lies throught its creation as well as from the inception of Zionism in the 1860 by Theodore Herzle. I would not put anything being their ability to ensure the survival of their unholy existence, even this Samson scenario.

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