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Posted at 9:40 AM ET, 12/ 8/2010

Middle East 'peace process' revealed as a debacle

By Jennifer Rubin

It is not hard to understand how the American negotiators reached the conclusion that they did in the Middle East "peace process." Yes, those quotes are appropriate, for there has been no sign, during the course of the Obama administration, that the Palestinians were able or willing to make a deal to recognize a Jewish state -- and no sign the U.S. team had any process by which to alter that reality.

What is confounding for those all along the political spectrum who have been warning for two years that the administration was pursuing a flawed strategy, and doing so clumsily, is that it took two years for Obama and his diplomats to figure this out. The Jerusalem Post reports:

According to Israeli sources, the US - after hearing the position of both sides -- came to the conclusion that even if there was a moratorium for the next 90 days, it would not ensure success of the process, and that the entire process could actually explode on the 91st day if an agreement on borders was not reached.

Interested in forestalling that scenario, the US has - according to Israeli sources -- decided to rethink the entire process, look at the process with "fresh eyes," and perhaps come up with a new path forward.

Perhaps more modest goals would be in order: improving security and building Palestinian civil institutions, for example. Gosh, why didn't any of us think of that?

By Jennifer Rubin  | December 8, 2010; 9:40 AM ET
Categories:  Israel, foreign policy  
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Next: Rep. Peter King interview (Part 1)



I wonder if McConnell knew that Obama would run to the microphone in attempt to claim credit for the deal before he got the democrats behind the deal.

On Monday, it was Obama's ego getting in the way again


There is another subtle point here - the White House appears "sold" on the stimulus aspects of the tax cuts.

That is important.

Obama and the White House are looking at re-election - and they have perhaps decided to get another stimulus into the economy - the politics on Capitol Hill clearly indicate that this set of tax breaks is the only kind of stimulus which is politically possible.

From an ECONOMIC point of view, a set of supply side policies would probably work best.

These Middle Class tax-cuts might go into the economy fast, however they have LOW job-creation multipliers - EXCEPT IN CHINA.

That is the rub, Middle Class tax cuts stimulute China, not the US economy. And clearly that adds to our debt

In a Free Trade Economy, Keynsian Economics just doesn't work that well -

Obama (who is an idiot to begin with) thinks he can twist Keynes into a socialist-type Middle Class Stimulus - and somehow he has come up with a good policy which fits his class-struggle prism.

The result is a COMPLETE FAILURE OF A POLICY - one which stimulates China, and adds to the US foreign trade deficit and foreign debt.

In addition, this policy ADDS to the existing imbalances in International trade which HAVE TO BE BALANCED in order for a recovery to take hold with a firm foundation.

Obama's policies are actually HURTING THE RECOVERY by making the trade situation worse, not better.

A far better strategy would be to focus on fixing the Trade deficits and supply-side incentives which apply to the US economic growth and job creation only.


Posted by: RainForestRising | December 8, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

So the two parties involved refuse to actually negotiate seriously and somehow that makes it the fault of the mediator.

Got it!

Posted by: 54465446 | December 8, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

54465446 at 10:03 AM

I'm hoping you read the article yesterday - and I hope you can follow the reasoning

In Federalist papers, they outlined how the government is the interplay of money, special interests and the people, the voice of the people.

Each political party MIRRORS that interplay - each party has its own special interests which fund the party and the party platforms which are designed to get the support of the people - the platforms represent the voice of the base of each party.

If you follow that reasoning - please utilize that analysis to Free Trade


We have a situation in the US in which the special interests have the money - and for decades they have been pushing for their version of Free Trade

Then we have the voice of the people - which ultimately is represented by the wages of the people in the US.

The moneyed interests of the democratic party have been pushing for the Free Trade deals - they got "into" Bill Clinton - and they pused through the Free Trade deals on a "fast track."

However, what happened to the wages??? What happened to the people in all of this ????

NOW that article touches on some of these issues - and STARKLY outlines how the interests of capital have diverged from the interests of the workers in the country, and its just just factory workers, it is white-collar workers now.

The democratic party has been funded by these interests of capital - Obama has taken a massive chunk of this money too.

There is the conflict.

Where you do you want to come down?

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 8, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse


I read the article and have a great deal of respect for the opinion of Bill Gross. Why do you keep trying to hijack the Middle East thread though? Don't you find the topic intersting?

My short answer is that Gross is right when he says we're not going to make the necessary long term investment and take the "easy" way out because it's politically more feasible.

Incidentally, if you had taken my advice on Greg Sargent's thread a month or two ago, before I stopped posting there, and gone short Treasuries and long the dollar, you are a very happy, richer man today!

We can't influence policy, but we sure can benefit from it.

Posted by: 54465446 | December 8, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Obama and Hillary Clinton have just about destroyed what little was left of the Palestinian Israeli peace process.
Now no informed person believes that there is any chance for a settlement ever, but a very good chance for low level, ongoing, and continuing Palestinian violence.
And the real kicker, it could all have been avoided. The Palestinian narrative which informs Obama and Clinton has been forcefully and absolutely proven false, Israel is not the inhuman oppressor of a group of innocent and peace loving Palestinians, rather, a Palestinian terrorist organization, which for decades, literally tried to physically destroy Israel and murdered thousands of innocent Israeli civilians while doing so, is continuing that terrorist war, but now at the negotiating table. Indeed, Israel has made several significant territorial concessions to prove her sincerity and has received no Palestinian concessions in return, just further demonizations and demands.
Obama and Clinton could have publicly demanded that the Palestinians put down their guns and forget deluging Israel with the "right of return" of Palestinian refugees, but rather chose to put the onus on Israel.
Well now the Palestinians won't negotiate at all and are trying to either get a settlement on their terms imposed by the International Community or de facto, by simply declaring that their state exists.
Either way leaves the Palestinian Israeli conflict intact, with all the violence and instability that implies for Israelis, Palestinians, and our region.
It could and should have been so different.

Posted by: Beniyyar | December 8, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse


I agree with your conclusion, but not with your analysis. Why blame Obama and Clinton for not being able to play Dr. Frankenstein and bring back to life that which was already dead, dead, dead,.

Personally I thought that Netanyahu was going to use the talks as leverage to try to get Obama to go after Iran, but it looks like either that failed, or perhaps I read too much into it.

Anyway, neither side is interested in a deal because the drop dead positions are unacceptable to their relative constituencies.

Posted by: 54465446 | December 8, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

The whole affair has highlighted the undiminished loyalty of Congress to Israel.
Members of Congress even went to the extraordinary step of asking for the release of the convicted traitor (to the United States) Jonathan Pollard to induce Israel to even sit down for peace talks.
The vast majority of US citizens will increasingly see that it is not in their interest to keep bribing and paying off and condoning treason for this unholy rogue state.

Posted by: ronin1776 | December 8, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

My dear 54465446, I disagree entirely with your blanket statement that " neither side is interested in a deal because the drop dead positions are unacceptable to their relative constituencies." This is simply and completely untrue, Israel and Israelis are literally dying for a peaceful settlement with the Palestinians and every survey and poll shows this. On the other hand, every survey and poll indicates that by very wide margins, most Palestinians still cling to the hope of destroying Israel and the Jewish People. Israel has made huge and even dangerous territorial concessions and offered in depth compromises on Jerusalem, territorial exchanges, and even the return of some Palestinian refugees and has had every one of these concessions and compromises flatly turned down, entirely ignored, or simply dismissed out of hand by every Palestinian negotiator. This while at the same time the Palestinians have never offered one single concession or even a counter compromise offer in response. This is a common and really tragic mistake, to confuse Palestinian intransigence, rejectionism, and an utter lack of good faith with blaming Israel and the Palestinians equally for the failure of the peace negotiations.
Let the Palestinians even offer just one single compromise, for example, recognizing Israel's legitimacy as the Jewish State, but they won't even do that.
The Palestinians do not want peace or two states, they want Israel destroyed and one state, Palestine, replacing it.

Posted by: Beniyyar | December 8, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse


I don't disagree that Palestinian leadership at least would like to see Israel gone. I will take your word for it on the rank and file Palestinians. Isn't that the point I was making though? What Palestinian leadrship can get their people won't accept, and the things that Israel would have to give to the Palestinians are competely unacceptable to the Israeli people.

I wrote earlier what I truly believe. The two state solution was mortally wounded when Rabin was shot, and expired at the Wye River.

Posted by: 54465446 | December 8, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

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