Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Obama's Middle East Policy Is Based On Fear

Last year, I posted about how Obama used the threat of an Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear reactors to China to stop supporting Iran.

He has also, in turn, used the threat of Iran as a club to get peace talks going.

In addition, Obama recently used the threat of Palestinian demographics to urge Israel on the need for concessions on the way to a 2 state solution.

Now, Obama has come up with a new threat to push Israel into making concessions, as U.S., EU to present Mideast peace plan in last push to prevent Palestinian UN bid:

In a last-minute effort to stop the Palestinians from seeking unilateral recognition at the United Nations in September, the Mideast Quartet is planning to present a new international peace plan at a summit in Washington on July 11, senior Israeli and European officials said Tuesday.

The Quartet's envoys - representing the United States, the European Union, the United Nations, and Russia – will be mapping out a peace plan based on U.S. President Barack Obama's Mideast speech on May 19, which is supposed to present an alternative to the Palestinian move at the UN.

So now Obama will insist on the need for negotiations to start with the 1967 lines--putting the Kotel, among other things on the table, and requiring Israel to make concessions to Abbas in order to keep it.

The problem with this is that a number of people, such as Elliot Abrams, have pointed out that the Palestinians will get very little from UN recognition--a view shared by Palestinian Prime Minister Fayyad:
U.N. recognition of a Palestinian state would largely be a symbolic victory and would not change the reality of Israeli occupation, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said Tuesday.

So what is the big deal? Why the rush to use the UN as a club to apply pressure on Israel.

For one thing, the US wants to avoid using its veto in September if it can help it--why antagonize the Arab world any more than it already has.

Secondly, the US is feeling heavy pressure from the EU to do something to restart talks.

Imagine that, it looks like Obama is feeling the pressure too.

I wonder how he likes it.

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