Obama Shifting to Mideast ‘Conflict Management’?

P. David Hornik is a freelance writer and translator living in Beersheva and author of the book Choosing Life in Israel. 


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Israel’s Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon, a deep thinker and close colleague of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, claimed to a Jerusalem audience this week that Israel has talked some sense to President Barack Obama about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“We convinced the American administration,” Yaalon said, “that there is no way to solve the conflict in one or two years…. The US is trying to manage the conflict now, rather than solve it.”

Reporter Gil Hoffman notes that “there has been no public indication that the Americans have given up their hope of solving the conflict, and the US helped draft the Quartet position that aims to solve the conflict by the end of 2012.”

And just a few weeks ago Defense Secretary Leon Panetta sounded as sure as ever that the conflict could be solved if the parties would just “get to the damn table” and Israel would “reach out” to its neighbors and be more pliable.

Yaalon, for his part, gave Obama less credit on Iran, saying that “France and Great Britain are leading the West now in calling for crippling sanctions on the Iranian central bank and preventing Iran from exporting oil, while the US is unfortunately leading from behind.”

Still, as Hoffman points out, Yaalon’s words regarding the Palestinian issue constitute “the first time a high-ranking Netanyahu administration official has indicated that the US had shifted from conflict resolution to management.”

If Yaalon is right, one would expect an easing of the administration’s pressure on Israel regarding this issue—pressure that has been obsessive and often brutal.

Upon taking office the administration proclaimed all Jewish life over the 1967 lines—including in parts of Jerusalem that it saw as off limits to Jews—illegitimate and the main obstacle to peace. Obama pursued the theme in his June 2009 Cairo speech, in which he sang the praises—often with invented “facts”—of Islam as a civilization while portraying “the settlements” as the hub of evil and equating self-imposed Palestinian displacement with the Holocaust.

The pattern of Israel-abuse reached another high point with the administration’s tantrum over Israeli building plans in Jerusalem in March 2010 and Obama’s notorious snub of Netanyahu at the White House. Also around that time Obama signed onto Arab attempts to divest Israel of its nuclear deterrent—that is, its fundamental guarantee of survival in the region.

Even more grave, though, was the president’s explicit call in May this year for an Israeli return to those 1967 death-trap borders, a violation of solemn American commitments dating back forty years to uphold Israel’s right to defensible boundaries.

Naturally, even if the pressure lets up at this stage, one can attribute it to the upcoming US elections unless the administration shows some explicit sign of actually having learned something on the Palestinian issue.

Seemingly, though, it would be hard for Washington not to learn something about the difficulty of achieving amity in the Middle East. One would think a headline like last week’s “Deadly Blasts Rock Baghdad…” would leave an impression, coming so soon after the U.S. pullout and tolling over 60 dead and over 200 wounded.

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  • John_Kelly

    The extreme arrogance of Obama, Hillary Clinton & the U.S. State Department is encapsulated in the often used phrase "fixing the Israel – Middle East Dilemma."

    This festering problem goes back thousands of years to the time of Isaac & his half – brother Ishmael, the son's of Abraham.

    4000 years of ingrained Middle Eastern hatred & treachery towards Israel will not be solved by an egotistical Chicago Community Organizer and his band of sychophants.

    The best Obama can do is kick the problem down the road but this modern day "Haman" (Obama) will betray Israel in a heartbeat when he has an opportunity.

    Shalom Israel and watch your back.

  • Mickey Oberman

    Obama's administration is more notable for its failures than its successes.
    Obama's "Conflict Management" will without doubt rank among the former.

  • WildJew

    David Hornik writes: "…if the Iraqi variant of the age-old Sunni-Shiite conflict continues in full fury despite America’s best efforts, why should the “Israeli-Palestinian conflict” be at the point of ending? If the two great branches of Islam are still in deadly discord after 1400 years, by what contrivance does Obama think the Arab-Islamic side (or “the Palestinians”) will formally and explicitly accept the blasphemy and humiliation of a Jewish state on what they see as Islamic land…..?"

    I am guessing this is rhetorical question. The point is, they don't care. The Obama administration (virtually every past U.S. administration) does not care if Israel's withdrawal from her historic, God-given land results in a mass-slaughter of Jews by the Muslims – which it surely would.

    Defense Secretary Leon Panetta summed up decades of American policy in the Middle East nicely: “Just get to the damn table!"

  • Bert

    In all this discussion the missing element is the failure of the American Jewish establishment to speak up properly. Their problem is too much callous indifference, ignorance and cowardice. Supporters of Israel do not mention this missing element because no one even expects the Jewish establishment to ever show any courage. Unfortunately it is the unJews on the left like J Street that make so much noise.

    • WildJew

      The American Jewish Establishment is J Street Lite, isn't it? What American Jewish leader does not support Israel committing national suicide by means of the two state solution to the Jewish question? What has changed since the nineteen thirties, early nineteen forties? Abraham Foxman (Anti Defamation League) ubraids Israelis for not giving this antii-Semite in the White House credit for the positive things he has done. Other Jews in The Daily Forward write that Obama should be re-elected because of "man-made" global warming.

  • http://www.03br.com/ alase

    Mark my words, this emerging “conflict-management” paradigm of Obama’s – if it exists at all – will last only to November 2012. If he’s re-elected, he will push anew with vigor and conviction to divest Israel of its territorial depth….so that he can bask in the glory of “peace-maker” and re-enforce his bonafides in the Muslim world. And if Israel doesn’t play ball, he will preside over a dramatic rupture in the US-Israeli ‘special relationship’ that will usher in the Jewish state’s near-total international isolation.

    Good talk.

    • WildJew

      Every few weeks I like to change the picture on my desk top screen. Right now I have a picture of former President George W. Bush in the Roosevelt room with Muzammil H. Siddiqi. Siddiqui is seen presenting a smiling Bush a copy of the Qur'an. Bush thanked the Imam and praised his participation at the National Cathedral in Washington where Siddiqi had the solemn honor after 9/11 to represent the Muslim faith in a prayer service.

      At an anti-Israel rally across from the White House in October 2000, Siddiqi and other Muslim leaders praised Palestinian jihadists, demanding Clinton end support for Israel. "America has to learn," Saddiqi said to a crowd of cheering Muslims, "if you remain on the side of injustice, the wrath of God (Allah) will come. Please all Americans do remember that, that Allah is watching everyone. If you continue doing injustice and tolerating injustice, the wrath of God will come."

      Bush met with these violent extremists like Siddiqi. He prayed with them in the White House and in their mosques. He assured Americans and his conservative supporters (readers of Frontpagemag, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Townhall.com, News Max, etc.) Islam is a beautiful religion of peace, etc. Who said anything in the conservative camp (our camp) which refuted Bush?

      Is it any wonder Americans elected this very dangerous Muslim born president only seven years after the 9/11 attacks?

  • StephenD

    Unless we don't mind the thought of WWIII or something close to it, we had better make sure Obama is a one termer. Can you imagine him being given 4 more years? The thin veil would come off then and there would be no stopping him. I wouldn't be surprised if he appointed folks like Ayers and Farrakhan, Wright and Dorn. We'd see out and out hatred of Israel and he would know we here in America would be too preoccupied because he'd also have ongoing attacks against a Free Market System of commerce. You almost long for the days of a Czar or Emperor…at least with them if you cut off the head the body died.

  • mrbean

    Hmm… another liberal speak term… conflict management. I suppose in liberal speak Osama bin laden was having a mid-life crises and only needed counseling, say, from Oprah or Dr Phil?

  • ricksgeiger

    Political leaders from Israel frankly, when it come to dealing with US presidents, are not too smart. They get snookered all the time.
    Obama will do or say anything to get re-elected and if he was re-elected (Heaven forbid) he will call Abbas and Haniyeh and tell them "Boys, start rounding up the Jews, you now have a free hand" Obama will turn on the Jews so fast it will make your head spin and any Israeli leader falls for this act by Obama they should be thrown out of office immediately.

    It is bad enough that too many Jews in the US support this Israel hater and anti Jewish president, but of leaders of the Israeli government to fall for this ruse is sickening

    • Michael

      You are ABSOLUTELY correct!These are stupid/suicidal Jews

  • LindaRivera

    From above article: “there has been no public indication that the Americans have given up their hope of solving the conflict, and the US helped draft the Quartet position that aims to solve the conflict by the end of 2012.”

    For 1,400 years Islam has waged conflict — WAR against ALL Non-Muslims. What do they mean they are going to end the 1,400 year war by the end of 2012?

  • LindaRivera

    Mr. Hornik,

    I must respectfully disagree with you when you state: "What the U.S., after all, has been trying to achieve in Iraq since 2003—peace, democracy, conciliation between parties long at war…".

    America's leaders are UNITED WITH ISLAM in the WAR against Christians. Iraq's Christians were ruthlessly disarmed by America rendering Christians defenseless prey for barbaric Muslim killers.

    FRONTPAGEMAG: The Plight of Christians in Iraq By: Jamie Glazov
    Wednesday, September 24, 2008

    Murray: More than half of the Christian population has been forced to flee their homes in Iraq because of Islamic violence against them. Their churches have been burned and bombed.

    The official position of the Administration has been that “Coalition Forces assisting the Christians would cause them to be identified with the United States and have even more problems.” As a result they receive no assistance in defending themselves at all.

    Immediately after the American invasion of Iraq, the Christian militias were disarmed. They were the only militias to be disarmed. American forces allowed both the Sunnis and Shiites to keep their armed militias.

    Christians first fled from Baghdad to the Nineveh Plains, and then to Jordan and Syria. In Jordan and Syria the American embassies told Iraqi refugees to go to the United Nations because their plight “was not an American problem.” Excuse me?

    Meanwhile the official position of the State Department under Condi Rice​ is that Christians are harassed by “criminal elements” in Iraq and that no persecution exists. That attitude has caused even greater persecution and led our embassies and other nations to be unhelpful. http://archive.frontpagemag.com/readArticle.aspx?…

  • P. David Hornik

    To Linda Rivera–The U.S. had unrealistic aims in Iraq once it embarked on a purported nation-building, democracy-building project there, and it may have engaged in cold realpolitik regarding the hapless Christians there, but to say it joined Islam in a war against the Christians is off the mark. At different times U.S. forces fought various Muslim forces pretty bitterly while they were there.

  • Nakba1948

    If Obama had any cajones and REALLY wanted to advance the "peace process," he'd make the ridiculous amount of aid Israel receives from the US every year contingent on stopping the illegal settlements in the West Bank and removing the settlers from existing settlements. War criminal Netanyahu has already called Obama's bluff; talk about the tail wagging the dog. Yes, such an action would vastly reduce Obama's election funding and lose him votes among the ZioNazis in the United States (no more than 2% of the population, and likely far less than that–most Jews are far more rational than those who post on this website). It's not like the Christian Zionist wingnuts are going to vote for him anyway. He'll still win the election handily, and the majority of the American population–and indeed the rest of the world–would applaud his for standing up to Zionist "chutzpah" for once.

    • Nakba1948

      Of course the better course of action would be to economically sanction Israel, place them under naval blockade, and isolate them from the rest of the international community. The Apartheid state would then be forced to recognize a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital and acknowledge the Palestinian right of return–or simply integrate the Palestinian population into a single, secular democratic nation. But with the US government under firm Zionist control, we can't hope for REAL justice, can we? ;) Like Nazism, Stalinism, and South African apartheid before it, Zionism is a doomed ideology. It's only a matter of time, inshallah!

      • UCSPanther

        You honestly think you can defeat a nation that has survived worse threats such as Gamal Nasser, the Soviet Union, the Yom Kippur war and a massive air raid by the Syrians.

        I highly doubt the US population will go for a blockade of Israel (Including the Gentiles) and to put American lives on the line to defend a pack of murderous terrorist bandits who can't run a state much less form an alliance against Israel.

        If there is one state that is finished, it is Palestine. They have been in a downhill slide since Arafat got sent to the trash heap of history.

      • ziontruth

        "…the illegal settlements in the West Bank and removing the settlers from existing settlements."

        For a just and viable peace in the Middle East, all the illegal Arab settlements in the Land of Israel need to dismantled.

        "Of course the better course of action would be to economically sanction Israel, place them under naval blockade, and isolate them from the rest of the international community."

        Couldn't think of a better way to turn the entire Israeli Jewish populace flamingly militant and uncompromising, myself. Go ahead, such policies would be the greatest boon possible to the land-faithful Israeli Jewish Right.

        "…would then be forced to recognize a[n Arab settler] state with Jerusalem as its capital and acknowledge the [Arab colonist] right of [depriving the Jews of their state]–or simply integrate the [Arab colonial] population into a single [Rwanda-like bloodbath arena]."

        I think most Israeli Jews will prefer to go with a different option: Booting all the Arab settler-colonist land-grabbing imperialists off the entire Land of Israel.

        "Like Nazism, Stalinism, and South African apartheid before it,…"

        …Islam is a doomed ideology. It's only a matter of time, HaShem willing!

        Back to Mecca you go, Islamonazi scum!

        • Nakba1948

          I like you, ziontruth. You're absolutely crazy, and you make no apologies for it. There's absolutely no doubt as to where you stand. A true Ziofascist if ever there were. Do you ever stop to consider why you are in the EXTREME minority of opinions, why militant Zionism is rejected almost universally? And why the majority of the world believes as I do, that Zionism is a form of racism, a cancer that needs to be expunged from the globe? And no, that doesn't mean I want to "kill 6 million Jews." I'd rather not a single Jewish life is lost in the struggle. But too many Arab lives have been lost already. Something's got to give.

          • ziontruth

            "…why you are in the EXTREME minority of opinions,…"

            Not in Israel no more, I ain't. Thanks to you Arab imperialists, who have been doing nothing the past few decades but turn the Israeli Jewish man in the street far rightward.

            "And why the majority of the world believes…"

            The majority of Marxist traitors and Islamic imperialists believe.

            "And no, that doesn't mean I want to 'kill 6 million Jews.' "

            If not, then at the very least you would have no problem with it as a side-effect. As in: "Regrettable, but the Jews brought it on themselves." I know your thought-patterns, I know the evil behind the masks you wear.

            "But too many Arab lives have been lost already. Something's got to give."

            Let the possessors of over 20 states over a huge mass on the globe stop coveting the tiny single state belonging to the Jewish nation, and then lives on both sides will no longer be lost. Arab/Islamic imperialist aggression is the root cause of all bloodshed in the Middle East (and much of it beyond—see Nigeria for a recent example).

  • GKC

    Sorry. Can't bear the above as an end to some by and large good discussion.

  • John_Kelly

    Chezwick_Mac you are absolutely, totally, completely 100% correct !!!!!!!

  • WildJew

    Conservatives like to boast of "American exceptionalism." Isn't a nation only as exceptional as its people? Don't get me wrong, compared to defeatest Europeans, Americans are "saints." But what kind of a people would elected a dangerous Muslim-born Marxist – who has deep sympathies for the world of Islam – to lead them, only seven years out from the 9/11 Islamic attacks? Even today, Politico is reporting, "According to the latest Gallup tracking poll, more Americans approve of the job that President Obama is doing than disapprove…" How can this be? Obama's approval ratings should be in the toilet. This is American exceptionalism? Sometimes I think I am stuck in a boat full of idiots who are drilling a big hole in its hull.

  • ziontruth

    "And if Israel doesn't play ball, he will preside over a dramatic rupture in the US-Israeli 'special relationship' that will usher in the Jewish state's near-total international isolation."

    While I agree Obama's reelection would be bad for Israel (not to mention disastrous for American exceptionalism), I don't care for this bogeyman of "international isolation." After France cut off ties with Israel following the Six-Day War (1967), a new door opened in the form of the U.S.–Israel relationship; therefore, if this door closes there will no doubt be some other.

    Whatever happens, being isolated is hardly the worst that could befall Israel. In fact, it may be beneficial: An isolated Jewish State would never make the mistake on relying on others for its security.

  • http://msn.com Tim k

    you say–"According to the latest Gallup tracking poll, more Americans approve of the job that President Obama is doing than disapprove…" How can this be? Obama's approval ratings should be in the toilet.–I say that it is all LIES by Obama butt heads.
    it's all PROPAGANDA to make one think that we are a bunch of NUTS.well to this I say did they think the 2010 Vote that put them BACK TOO 1938 by the Americans in 2012 there going back a lot farther then 72 YEARS THAT YOU CAN TAKE TO THE BANK. To get back to the Constitution one needs to Vote for Ron Paul.

  • ziontruth

    American exceptionalism is right now being put to its second serious test (the first was in the 1860s). The 2012 elections will show it to be true or false.

  • WildJew

    No question about it, the aim of the party of Obama is to subjugate and enslave the American people. He is very dangerous.

  • ziontruth

    "But the idea that isolation will be painless is flat-out wrong."

    I never said it would be painless. However, it's not the disaster for Israel so many people predict it to be.

    "Without America's veto in the Security Council, it eventually could mean economic sanctions."

    Sanctions are never airtight in our world. That's, after all, one of the reasons why they couldn't work on Iran—far too many parties would just pay lip-service and do business with Iran anyway. Israel may not have oil, but it has other exports, especially in the realm of hi-tech. Things would go on as they have been for the past few decades: The many countries that have paid lip-service to the Arab Boycott of Israel but done business with Israel on the sly would do the same in the face of U.N. sanctions. Especially when you consider how few people take the U.N. seriously.

    "…and at the end of the day, both will likely avoid any kind of rupture with the Arab/Iranian oil producers."

    As I said: That's what deals through circuitous routes are for.

    "I hope I'm wrong. In fact, I hope we never have to find out, that Barry will go down in defeat in 2012 and it will all become academic."

    I hope so too. For America's sake and not just for Israel's. Just taking a look how many changes for the worse have been wrought for the past few years, it's obvious a second term for the Marxist-in-Chief would see the conclusive laying low of a once exceptional nation and bright light unto the world. It would be a loss mourned for ages.

  • Anamah

    Yes Chezwick _Mac is absolutely correct but if Hillary is elected we will have the same miserable Saul Alinsky, pro Islamic, anti Israeli politic. We need to take out of power the entire Democratic Party. Happy New Year friends!