Middle East Peace Talks Frustrate Obama

Apr 14, 2010 No Comments by

14th April, 2010

Was it pressure from within his own party of Democrats?

Was it pressure from the American people?

Was it a sudden case of reality that inspired President Obama to show frustration over the prospect of peace in the Middle East?

Immediately after the Obama Nuclear Forum, the President displayed angst over the stalled Middle East peace efforts.

Since arriving at the White House, Obama has bullied Israel and cajoled the Arabs, but his efforts have been water off a duck’s back for both parties.  In fact in many circles his rhetoric and approach has done little more than energize Arab terrorists who believed he could be manipulated to accuse Israel of anything and everything.

“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,” Obama told the Washington news conference.

“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 these issues no matter how much pressure the United States brings to bear,'” Obama said.

Obama must take time to reconsider his approach to international issues. He is the new kid on the block and he came to the scene as if all past U.S. presidents were wrong but he had the magic wand.

I know the Israeli’s are sick and tired of hearing the Obama administration talk about their friendship and unswerving commitment to the Jewish state while publicly the president mistreats Israel’s prime minister and has him lectured like an errant school kid.

President Obama

Israel is not likely to play the President’s game until they identify some practical solution from Washington to the problem of Iran. The White House has promised sanctions for more than a year but repeatedly the process is delayed. That makes Israel very uncomfortable.

Repeatedly Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu has said Iran is the major threat facing his government. Like so many others, he has looked to Washington for leadership but found that expectation lacking.

Make no mistake Netanyahu and his advisors cannot wait for the Iranian solution forever. Janes Intelligence yesterday announced Israel has an arsenal of 100 to 300 nukes, ‘equal in size to Great Britain.’

That same report described the Jericho 3 with a range up to 8,000 kilometres (5000 miles) and the Jericho 2 which flies 4,500 kilometres (about 2,750 miles).

Israel, if it has the weapons, has handled them responsibly in the face of severe torment in the past. But the prospect of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and a nuclear bomb may be the trigger to unleash their response.

If U.S. policies and attitudes continue to isolate Israel, Netanyahu may be left with no chance but to go it alone.

Hackles were also raised in the Middle East when analysts predicted Obama would soon announce his own solution for the stalled peace talks. It was freely reported he would impose a take it or leave it policy.

Imagine the attitudes in Israel if they thought the White House was about to carve up Jerusalem and impose a right of return which would effectively overthrow Jewish sovereignty in the Jewish state?

The U.S. President said in his press conference he planned not to ‘surprise anybody at any time’ with such a change.

He said progress on issues like Middle East peace, nuclear nonproliferation and nuclear disarmament would be measured “not in days, not in weeks.”

“It’s going to take time, and progress will be halting,” he said. “And there will be frustrations.”

The decision to send a new U.S. ambassador to Syria is just one of many Obamarizations that confuse and frustrate the Israelis.

In fact Israel President Shimon Peres, speaking in Paris April 13 said, the resumption of peace talks with the Palestinians is an urgent matter. But he criticized Syria, saying the country must decide whether to engage in pace talks or support Hezbollah against Israel.

What role will the U.S. Ambassador play with Syria while the transfer of weapons to Hezbollah goes on? Questions like that drive the Israeli’s to believe the USA has embraced a strange new approach to the region.

Also on April 13 Jerusalem officials announced plans for a new synagogue and school to be built in Gilo, a neighborhood of East Jerusalem. While that proposal requires approval from the city planning commission I am told that’s a formality.

It is this building programme that brought such an over-the-top reaction from Obama weeks ago. It was an East Jerusalem building programme that Obama used to create tension with his ally that spiraled out of control. So now Israel has announced another one.

The Middle East situation is complex. It is a step in the right direction to hear President Obama confess his frustration.

He joins a long line of leaders who failed to understood the deep biblical roots to events in the Middle East.

World News

About the author

Ron Ross worked as the first Sports Editor at WINTV. In Wollongong. He ran The Hamburger Hut an outreach and discipleship program for youth. He served with Youth With a Mission in Hawaii, Philippines and Australia. He was senior pastor of the Noosa Baptist Church, Queensland for 9 years. He reported news from Jerusalem for five years and is now the Middle East correspondent for United Christian Broadcasters and travels regularly preaching and teaching.
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