Wednesday, May 20, 2009

No agenda for Middle East peace

Obama's meeting with Netanyahu didn't produce any momentum for future negotiations between Israel and Palestine

Richard Silverstein, Tuesday 19 May 2009

"Quite a disappointing first White House meeting between Bibi Netanyahu and Barack Obama. Each seemed to reiterate the standard rhetoric and pretty much talk past each other. There was one area, Iran, in which Obama seemed to move closer to the Israeli position.

The president seems to have adopted an articulation favoured by Iran envoy Dennis Ross and the Israelis, by which Iran will be given until the end of the year to accede to demands that it renounce its nuclear programme....

This will delight the Israeli intelligence and military echelons who are itching for an Iran attack. It is no different from the policy of the previous administration. But George Bush's approach to Iran was so belligerent that many had hoped for a muscular response from Obama that rejected or at least minimised the possibility of a military attack.

Israel has waged an intense perception management campaign in the US to prepare the ground for such an Israeli attack. Israeli diplomats and intelligence officers intimately involved with such a project will see Obama's pronouncements as a clear victory......"

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