Not getting to the promised land

“I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!” Dr Martin Luther King Jr, Memphis, Tennessee, April 3, 1968

“[T]oday, I state clearly and with conviction America’s commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons. I’m not naive. This goal will not be reached quickly — perhaps not in my lifetime.” President Obama speaking in Prague, April 5, 2009

“I do know also that the future holds the possibility of progress, if not in our lifetimes then certainly in our children’s.” Hillary Clinton addressing the American Task Force for Peace in Washington DC, October 20, 2010

Is this the star by which President Obama plots his course: the promise of destinations that others must reach? Realism that just looks like cynicism, or cynicism dressed up as realism?

Just over a year ago, he sounded quite emphatic on the issue of the Middle East conflict — the issue on which Clinton now hints that progress may have to wait a generation.

Israelis must acknowledge that just as Israel’s right to exist cannot be denied, neither can Palestine’s. The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements. This construction violates previous agreements and undermines efforts to achieve peace. It is time for these settlements to stop.

I say sounded emphatic, but here’s the clue revealing Obama’s own lack of commitment: he leaves himself out. He is the observer rather than the agent. He doesn’t make demands.

What’s the use of an American president who can see the promised land but has no idea how to get there?

Less than two years after making Middle East peace central to his foreign policy agenda, Obama’s efforts have come to nothing.

The Washington Post reports:

In perhaps the shortest round of peace negotiations in the history of their conflict, talks between the Israelis and Palestinians have ground to a halt and show little sign of resuming.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas haven’t met since Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton brought the two together on Sept. 15 in Jerusalem, two weeks after President Obama launched the resumption of negotiations on Palestinian statehood in Washington with much fanfare, including the presence of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and King Abdullah II of Jordan.

Now, the nearly six-week pause threatens to become permanent.

Pressure to restart the talks eased after the Arab League said it would wait a month – until Nov. 8 – before ending Abbas’s mandate for negotiations, thus pushing the issue beyond the U.S. midterm elections. But if Republicans score big gains, some Israelis argue, that could limit Obama’s ability to pressure Israel to make concessions. U.S. peace envoy George J. Mitchell is supposed to return to the region, but no date has been set.

In a speech Wednesday to Palestinian peace activists, Clinton acknowledged that “I cannot stand here tonight and tell you there is some magic formula that I have discovered that will break through the current impasse.”

While the administration has set a goal of achieving an agreement less than 11 months from now, Clinton at one point suggested a much longer time frame: “The future holds the possibility of progress, if not in our lifetimes, then certainly in our children’s.”

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3 thoughts on “Not getting to the promised land

  1. Ian Arbuckle

    “I cannot stand here tonight and tell you there is some magic formula that I have discovered that will break through the current impasse.”

    Its not magic Hilary, but it would be near on a miracle to get the US government to apply its own laws which prohibit aid to a country that conducts targeted assassinations, which prohibit aid to countries holding clandestine WMD not least a nuclear arsenal and is proven to have transferred nuclear technology to South Africa that, at the time, was under a complete UN embargo, laws which prohibit aid to a country using US supplied and financed weaponry to commit war crimes…..

    Yes Hilary, it would take a miracle to get the hundreds of Senators and Congressmen weaned off the Zionist financial support from the Jewish lobbies, so that they would actually pass legislation that was in the interests of America and the American people instead of Israel and their coffers, just for a change.

    The formula is simple and there is nothing magic about it. Stop subsidizing the Zionist ethnic cleansing of Palestine and colonial war crimes against the Palestinian people with US government funds provided from taxpayers. Stop America’s sponsorship of state terrorism directly and through surrogates like Israel. Now, to see America behave with any moral or ethical fortitude would take a real miracle, I guess! Not quite in your administrations league I guess.

  2. Norman

    What a gal, kick the can down the road so our children can perhaps do the same. I guess Ms Clinton is a warmonger too. The “O”, indecisive except that he has a vision. B.S. the only vision he shows is that he can repeat what others have said. Looks like the “O” is just a flimflam man, along with his cabinet members. Oh, he also doesn’t have what it takes to stand up to the Israeli cabal when it comes to putting the U.S. first, that goes for all the others too.

  3. Christopher Hoare

    I’ll bet Hillary and Obama are not delegating the amassing of their retirement savings to later generations. It’s wonderful how much it sharpens the focus when the person who stands to lose happens to be one’s self.

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