Obama meets Mike Wallace in the Middle East

So you think that Obama’s policy is new and exciting? You believe that Bibi Netanyahu is not talking about a 2-state solution? Scrap the spin and let’s get real.

Over 50 years ago, before Obama was even born, TV legend Mike Wallace took on Abba Eban in a powerful interview. Ebanwas one of the diplomatic greats of the Twentieth Century and who represented Israel for decades.

It is compulsive viewing. Despite taking place before the Arabs launched the 6 Day War, when Israel gained control of the West Bank, the arguments are directly paralleled to those of the present. Israel is aggressive, does not seek peace, is an economic disaster, and all the rest.

In response, Eban set out the cold truths. Seek peace with Israel and we can all live together in prosperity. No rhetoric. That’s how it should be.

In effect, this is the commitment that Obama was seeking from Netanyahu. This is what Obama will tell the Arab world and Israel in Cairo on June 4th, almost 42 years to the day when Nasser declared war on Israel.

Bibi can bluster that he did not cave in during his visit to Washington. However, he has already accepted the Road Map of Bush. Everybody knows that includes a 2-state end game. The media is left to quibble over the semantic finesse.

So where is the difficult bit in the peace puzzle? It is called the Palestinian leadership.

President Mahmoud Abbas is the next politician expected to catch a flight to the White House. To get a state with territorial continuity, all he has to do is:- (A) Say yes to Obama and (B) Deliver on his promises, eliminating terror and that includes controlling Hamas. 

(The Iranian nuclear threat is serious but is a side issue in this context,  even though Tehran will do its utmost to confuse matters through its proxies in Hamas and Hizbollah).

And this is where Abba Eban may have the last word. In 1983, he wrote:

They (the Palestinians) have never missed a chance of losing an opportunity. They have persistently rejected proposals conceived largely in their interest…

Obama has learnt well from Eban and from Wallace. for all the poor analysis of the press, the American President has quietly placed all the real pressure on the Palestinians. They have to deliver in the name of international peace. 

Well that was simple enough, wasn’t it?

Explore posts in the same categories: Israel, Palestinians

One Comment on “Obama meets Mike Wallace in the Middle East”

  1. […] Obama meets Mike Wallace in the Middle East « Afternoon Tea In … […]

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