Has Obama delivered his masterpiece?

Israel’s Prime Minister, Bibi Netanyahu, walked into a trap, created out of his own ego. President Obama simply closed the door, tight. Elegant and simple. In the eyes of the White House, Bibi has finally to revert from spin to substance.

Reading the papers, many argue that all Bibi has to do is to carry out the Road Map, which previous governments had already committed to. Yes, there are a few tag ons, but they would happen sooner or later anyway.

And why was the Road Map of 2002 not carried out? Without going in to the whole time line, the Palestinian leadership stuck with the Intifada, which turned out to be a series of unacceptable sporadic and inhuman attacks against Israeli citizens. Jerusalem was forced into a series of military responses. In parallel, the trust, which developed via the Oslo Accords and Nobel Peace Prizes was replaced with doubt and deep suspicion. The violence had to cease before there could be an effective return to the negotiating table.

Obama is pushing aside a decade of terror, forcing Israel to dismiss literally overnight all its misgivings. He is demanding that Israel freeze all West Bank activity including in East Jerusalem, as well as the release hundreds of deemed terrorists from prisons.

In return, the Jewish State is offered the promise of peace. Tens of percent of its wealth will be released from the military sector and devoted to social issues. Its sports teams will compete in Asia. Arabia will open up to trade and other delights. Europe will cease its diplomatic coldness. A brave new world could be around the corner.

So if Bibi delivers on what Obama demands, assumedly it will be left for Obama to convince the members of the Arab League to come to the party. And we all know that we are talking about a group, which remains united on one issue only – its common distrust if not demonic hatred of Israel.

What will this mean in practice? Will Syria stop encouraging Hizbullah in Lebanon from attacking Israel’s northern border? Will Hamas, which has held an Israeli soldier captive for 1,400 days without one visit from the Red Cross, respond to calls to open itself to pluralism? Will Saudi Arabia finance the peace plan, when it has rarely honoured monetary promises to the Palestinians?

And President Abbas cannot be ignored. Here is the man, whose heroic path in the Palestinian resistance movement was engraved in his planning of the massacre at Munich in 1972. Yes, Munich, the same city where Chamberlain had signed away the deaths of millions decades earlier. For all Obama’s pressure on Bibi, Abbas has yet to say openly and unreservedly and repeatedly if he is prepared to recognise Israel, unconditionally.

Obama is a man of sincerity. The health bill has its critics, but it will be bringing a major improvement to the lives of millions, very belatedly. To have lost the Congress vote would have meant a loss of credibility and power for the president. To fail in the Middle East will mean the loss of some Jewish votes and maybe the eventual demise of the one democratic state in the region, but not much more than that.

So the question is not as the media would have us believe when it asks how much pressure is on Bibi. What interests me more is if Obama will deliver on his peace promise or has he will he be handing over Washington to the ghosts of Munich past?

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4 Comments on “Has Obama delivered his masterpiece?”

  1. Judy K. Warner Says:

    I am sorry that you seem to be as deluded about Barack Obama as so many other people abroad. Americans are quickly coming to their senses about this incompetent radical. Obama was raised among communists and other hard leftists and probably heard hardly a good word about America until he won a U.S. Senate seat. He sat every Sunday for 20 years in the church of a radical pastor who preached anti-Semitism. He treats America’s enemies like his best buddies and treats our best allies like dirt.

    It is obvious that he stands in solidarity with the Arabs, with whom he identifies as people oppressed by the west. If anyone in Israel has any illusions about this, I hope they quickly come to their senses. The great majority of the American people stand in solidarity with Israel, but there is no hope for you from the U.S. government as long as Obama is president. I hope you can find a way to hang on until things change at our end.

    • Michael Horesh Says:

      Hi Judy – my point is otherwise
      I am neither for nor against Obama. What I am saying is actually the next challenge lies with him and not with the Israeli government. Pressuring a democracy is an easier task, especially when you have economic leverage. The pressure is accompanied by the conviction amongst the presedential team that they can force out the same concessions from the Palestinian side, backed by the Arab League.
      That would appear unlikely at this stage.
      If that is true, then yet again an Israeli team will have shown that the basic issue is not about land but recognition. Thus, will the Israeli side have relinquished poitions – a la Munich – in order for Obama to have understood that?

      • Judy K. Warner Says:

        I think I take your point, Michael. Israel has been through that farce many times, having given up a great deal to show one U.S. president after another that the Arabs are not going to give up anything. But I doubt this presidential team is thinking about that. I doubt Obama has a strategy here, any more than he was thinking strategically when he insulted Britain by sending back their gift of the bust of Churchill. He is simply acting out of his basic hatreds and likes. It falls to his followers to interpret his actions. He is truly a hollow man. But a very dangerous one, both for your country and for mine.


  2. […] Afternoon Tea In Jerusalem What you want to know about Israeli commercial life and society « Has Obama delivered his masterpiece? […]


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