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Posted at 4:35 PM ET, 12/ 7/2010

Obama's Middle East policy collapses

By Jennifer Rubin

If President Obama's press conference meltdown were not enough for one day, reports now indicate that the U.S. has given up on trying to bribe induce Israel to resume a freeze on West Bank settlements. Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu merely asked for the deal in writing. Alas, did the White House not support Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and negotiator George Mitchell's proposal to give Israel 20 F-35 fighters, veto future anti-Israel U.N. Security resolutions and provide additional security guarantees? That's one logical conclusion that could be drawn from this Associated Press report:

The Obama administration has abandoned attempts to convince Israel to slow West Bank settlement activity, dropping a demand that had been considered key to getting the Palestinians to return to direct peace talks, officials said Tuesday.

After months of trying to broker a formula under which Israel would put a new freeze in place in return for U.S. incentives, two American officials said the administration had concluded their efforts were not the best way to relaunch negotiations. Talks stalled in September, barely a month after they started.

Obama staked a huge amount of political capital on brokering a Middle East peace deal. But as Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), a consistent advocate for Israel, told me today, when it came to the settlements, "the president made more of an issue than it originally was. He created a problem both for the Israelis and Palestinians." The problem was so big, it could not be resolved.

Where does the administration go from here? If Obama were riding high, he might revive the idea of an American-imposed peace deal -- an idea floated and then reeled in earlier this year under a firestorm of opposition from supporters of Israel. But the president is without domestic support on much of anything these days so such a gambit seems all but impossible now. The failure of a prime foreign policy objective is quite simply an enormous defeat for the administration at the worst possible time.

By Jennifer Rubin  | December 7, 2010; 4:35 PM ET
Categories:  Israel  
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Comments


WHAT the liberals don't realize


It is simply wrong to divide off 2% of Americans for anything.


It is UNAMERICAN


If EVERYONE gets the tax cut, that is equitible and fair. EQUAL PROTECTION. All men are created equal.


Obama wants to divide people - and few people want to go along with that.


IN addition, there is a RACIAL component here. Most everyone above 250K is WHITE - MOST OF THE BLACKS ARE BELOW 250K


THE WHOLE 250K NUMBER IS RACIST


IT IS THAT SIMPLE.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 7, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

I don't know anyone who didn't know that Obama's Middle East policy was a complete disaster from the start - anyone could see that thousands of miles away.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 7, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Re: Obama's Middle East policy collapses

Good! As an American, I was ashamed of that craven, disgusting deal that Obama, Ross and others cooked up for Bibi... unbelieveable! And for a 90-day fake freeze!?

Good... The Israelis have been making unilateral decisions for years and it is time for the Palestians (and the South Americans!) to take the initiative. Keep the spotlight on Bibi, Avigdor and their far rightwing extremist settler allies. They are insane and their "success" will ruin Israel...

Posted by: Fulcrum99 | December 7, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

"The failure of a prime foreign policy objective is quite simply an enormous defeat for the administration at the worst possible time."

Is it purple prose day in your column Jennifer? No one of any familiarity with the situation was expecting anything to come out of these talks, certainly not you or me.

Right now Israel is at best seventh in importance on the foreign policy agenda behind Afghanistan, Iran, North Korea, Iraq China, and Mexico (yes Mexico which is a lot closer to becoming a failed state than most people realize)

That's not a dig in any way at Israel. They are certainly more than capable of taking care of their own interests. This is just a case where your personal interests make events loom much more important than they actually are.

Posted by: 54465446 | December 7, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Lieberman now says that the NY Times committed a crime by publishing the wikileaks documents - instead of whitewashing the content of their articles.


Is there anyway we can shut them down completely???

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 7, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

"The failure of a prime foreign policy objective is quite simply an enormous defeat for the administration at the worst possible time."


Posted by: 54465446 at 5:16 PM


___________________________

We have to compare Obama's performance to what the nation was promised in 2008.


The country was told time and time again "if only we elected a black man" then all the nations of the Earth would see how wonderful a country America was, and peace would break out everywhere.


That was HOGWASH - ALL the liberals ideas were RIDICULOUS


And yet, the country had to listen to this crap over and over again about Obama - and the liberals NEVER STOPPED -


Now that Obama is a complete failure on so many fronts, WHERE ARE THESE LIBERALS?

Are they calling for Obama to resign - and allow the nation to "move on" for the next two years ???


NO - because of the Arrogance of the Liberals, the nation is now STUCK WITH AN INEXPERIENCED, INCOMPETENT AND UNQUALIFED OBAMA FOR THE NEXT TWO YEARS.


Hopefully the damage won't be too bad.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 7, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

RainForestRising

RAIN,for once I agree with you,that's why I'm against continuing the tax cuts for everyone. My fight is with a policy of Inflation that has cut OUR purchasing power by 190% over the last 40 years. That is a cut in our incomes of approx. 4.5% per year,off the top line. And that's on top of any tax increases.

Posted by: rcaruth | December 7, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

RFR:

You're off your medication again and your posts are off the wall.

Can we get back to the rational person who is occasionally as insightful as he is over the top please?

Posted by: 54465446 | December 7, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

54465446


On one condition, you read this article, and we have a reasonable discussion about the Free Trade deals


http://www.pimco.com/Pages/AllentownDecember2010.aspx


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 7, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

To all you liberals


We can NOT borrow our way out of the economic crisis - we are only helping other countries like China, and making the situation worse for us.


Let China borrow money to keep its own factories going -

NO borrowed money to BUY IMPORTS - what is wrong with YOU?


http://www.pimco.com/Pages/AllentownDecember2010.aspx

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 7, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Why make a deal with Israel and then balk at putting it in writing? Did they think Bibi fell off the back of a turnip truck?

Why did Obama make a construction freeze in the settlements and East Jerusalem a condition for peace talks? It had never been so before? All Obama did was give the PA an out and make negotiations impossible.

Posted by: eoniii | December 7, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

To all you liberals


We can NOT borrow our way out of the economic crisis - we are only helping other countries like China, and making the situation worse for us.


Let China borrow money to keep its own factories going -

NO borrowed money to BUY IMPORTS - what is wrong with YOU?


http://www.pimco.com/Pages/AllentownDecember2010.aspx

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 7, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

To all you Conservatives:

Since when is it that the Liberals wanted to borrow our way out of the economic crisis? It was borrowing our way into 2 wars and giving those tax cuts that brought us into the economic crisis to begin with!

The fact that the unemployment rate is now 9.8% is simply collateral damage.

So giving the unemployed enough money to eat and stay in their homes until jobs magically appear is something we can't afford? If we can't afford that, what can we afford?

Posted by: michael_chaplan | December 7, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Michael Chaplan

I said yesterday I was in favor of the extension of the unemployment benefits - when I refer to "borrowing" I am referring to the two defictis - the Federal fiscal deficit and our trade deficit which forces us to borrow money from overseas.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 7, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

54465446

This is one of the conclusions this author gives - I'm not sure I agree, however it outlines the issues at hand:

"If so, investors should recognize that an emphasis on currency depreciation and trade restrictions are counter to their own interests. Not only would their dollar-denominated investments lose purchasing power over time from a global perspective, but they would do so also via a policy of near 0% interest rates, which are confiscatory in real terms when accompanied by positive and eventually accelerating inflation. In addition, although corporate profits are in many cases broadly diversified across national borders, there should be little doubt that the objective of tariffs and trade barriers is to advantage domestic labor as opposed to domestic capital; profits, therefore will ultimately not benefit."

___________________________

Now one may understand why all the Wall Street firms are pushing the Free Trade deals - and how labor in this country is getting slammed.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 7, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

RFR:

I'll get to read it I promise, but we really shouldn't hijack what should be an interesting thread like the above topic!

Posted by: 54465446 | December 7, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse


The israelis are not relaible partners for a peace deal. We should rid ourselves of them.

Posted by: Thoughtful-Ted | December 7, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

eoniii: "Why did Obama make a construction freeze in the settlements and East Jerusalem a condition for peace talks? It had never been so before? All Obama did was give the PA an out and make negotiations impossible."

"illegal settlements" is all Obama's base screams about. Going postal over apartments in Ramat Shlomo (in NORTH Jerusalem on a rocky hillside used for goat grazing until 1967) in March was a huge mistake. But, the left is insane over any construction east of the 1949 armistice line, and Obama really blew it by making it an issue the Palestinians could not ignore.

RFR: I read Bill Gross's article earlier. America needs to MAKE THINGS, NOT PAPER. Actually, one of things we should still be making IS paper, another casualty of Wall Street paradigms, being a cyclical capital-intensive industry that I once had a career in before Wall Street (and the last gasp of Enron) killed it.

Getting back to the topic, I am pleased my congressman shared my heated letter in early November to stop making apartments in Jerusalem an issue.

Obama now knows Peace with the Palestinians is NOT going to happen on his or any other timetable.
"The prospects for a Palestinian state have rarely been more grim" By Benny Morris
http://www.tabletmag.com/news-and-politics/51926/bleak-house/print/

regardless of what South America says...

Posted by: K2K2 | December 7, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

MarkinJC: News flash - almost no American newspaper covers stories in the Jerusalem Post. If they did, Khalil Abu Toameh's excellent coverage would be syndicated in the U.S.

To accuse Jennifer Rubin of somehow controlling what the WashPo prints is delusional.

Posted by: K2K2 | December 7, 2010 7:53 PM | Report abuse


The israelis are not relaible partners for a peace deal. We should rid ourselves of them.

Posted by: Thoughtful-Ted | December 7, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse
------------------------
Ted, that's not so thoughtful. Israel has been trying to make peace and to co-exist with the Arabs for its entire existence. The problem is that one gang, Hamas, is opposed to any agreement with the "Zionist entity" and the other, the PA, sees any agreement as an interim step toward the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state. You see, in the ummah, only Muslim states can be tolerated.

Posted by: eoniii | December 7, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Peter King is R-NY, not D-NY.

Posted by: bigcitizen | December 7, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

k2k2:

Disagree on some points, but I agree there is no such thing as a two state solution. That idea was mortally wounded with Rabin, adn expired at the Wye River.

Posted by: 54465446 | December 7, 2010 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Rep. Peter King (D-N.Y.)

ftr... Peter King is (R- as in "racist homophobe moronic simpleton hypocrite" -- NY).

Posted by: daggar | December 7, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

I got my Criminal Justice degree from "United Forensic College" I got a job in 2 months and now solving crimes. You can also do the same, search internet

Posted by: sveinyael | December 8, 2010 1:29 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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