The Arab Spring may not be what it’s cracked up to be. “Spring in Egypt, Libya, and Bahrain has begun to stretch ominously into rather a Long Hot Summer, and all the hotter in Syria, the Iranian satellite, where the landscape is a killing field saturated with the blood of its own citizens.” Read the whole thing.
President Obama doesn’t repair all the damage. “Obama’s revisionist talk before AIPAC was short, but it was not all rainbows and unicorns. While the president seemed to understand that his previous pre-1967 remarks caused widespread anger here and abroad, Obama also seemed to call attention to a Sword of Damocles suspended over the Middle East and Israel.”
Bashar al-Assad isn’t what he was cracked up (by the Obama team) to be: “One mystery of American foreign policy, in Administrations of either party, is the eternal hope that the Assad family dynasty in Syria will one day experience an epiphany and become a reforming, pro-Western government.”
Obama didn’t repair all the damage: “President Obama failed to ease mounting worries of key Jewish donors Sunday at a speech before the annual policy conference for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). . . . ‘Here they were clearly hoping to soothe the concerns of Jewish donors in the Democratic Party. It turned into a disaster, maybe the worst confrontation this administration has had to date with Israel. If Obama gets re-elected, there will be a price for Israel, these guys hold a grudge.’”
Border disputes aren’t what they have been cracked up to be in the “peace process,” says House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.): “A Palestinian woman from Gaza arrives at Soroka Hospital in Beersheba for lifesaving skin treatment for burns over half her body. After the conclusion of her extensive treatment, the woman is invited back for follow-up visits to the outpatient clinic. One day she is caught at the border crossing wearing a suicide belt. Her intention? To blow herself up at the same clinic that saved her life. . . . It is this culture that underlies the Palestinians’ and the broader Arab world’s refusal to accept Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. This is the root of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. It is not about the ‘67 lines. And until Israel’s enemies come to terms with this reality, a true peace will be impossible.” Is Obama capable of saying this? Certainly not.
Bret Stephens on a panel at AIPAC following the president’s speech said he didn’t repair all the damage. “The question of the 1967 lines I don't think is as innocent as the president laid it out earlier today.The issue isn’t where the lines are drawn, the issue is the nature of the Palestinian state.The one Arab society in which he didn’t call for reform is the Palestinian society, that’s problematic.” This got loud and sustained applause.
Pressuring Israel isn’t what it’s cracked up to be as a jump-starter for the peace process, Israeli Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Danny Ayalon told ambassadors: “The Palestinians have misinterpreted the messages from your countries. You have placed all the pressure on Israel and given an open check to the Palestinians, who have hardened their position. A unilateral track is one headed for collision. Considering the instability in the Middle East, it is important that the international community put pressure on the Palestinians to return to the negotiating table without any excuses. A Palestinian state will arise, as you well know, only as a result of negotiations with Israel and with the agreement of both sides.”
If Obama said what Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) did on Fox News Sunday he might be able to repair all the damage. “I mean, everybody knows that the ‘67 lines are just not tenable. There has been a lot of movement around in the last 44 years. Everybody knows the Palestinians are not in the end going to have a right to return. It wouldn’t even be a Jewish state if that happened. And everybody knows that Jerusalem, in the end, is not going to be divided. So, I think the old maxim that the parties to the conflict need to be the parties to the settlement still holds. The U.S. ought not be trying to push Israel into a deal that’s not good for Israel.” McConnell further observed, “And I think the president made a mistake. I think he’s been sort of trying to backtrack since then, as well he should.”