Will the Arab League accept the Saudi Plan?

While I don’t think Obama’s intent is to damage Israel so much as it is to arrive at an agreement. To do this he must strong-arm Israel. I also don’t think that he considers the Israel/Palestine matter is a collateral matter that he wants out of the way as Rubin suggests. If it was he wouldn’t have started up as he did or been so agressive. His advisors are fixated on this. They can’t stand the idea that Israel is getting away with “murder”. Nor do I think that fruitless negotiations in any way help his efforts in Iraq, Afghanistan or Iran.

I also don’t believe that Obama’s success depends on the cooperation of the AL or the PA. What I believe he wants to acheive is an internation determination of the issues in line with the Saudi Plan save for the refugee issue. I do not think that Res 194 will be followed entirely. It recommends that refugees who want to return home to Israel be permitted to do so. At worse for Israel will be that he allows for only a token return. Is he saying the Arab League won’t accept this? If so, Israel is saved once again.

On the Verge of Israel-Palestinian Authority Talks and What Comes After?

By Barry Rubin

[..] There are many rumors of some dramatic action–an imposed solution? an international conference? U.S. backing for a PA declaration of independence?–if the talks break down as the next step. Much of the analysis of this issue, especially on the right, is based on a series of false premises. Obama is seen as a semi-demonic force who can do anything he wants and will sacrifice everything in order to damage Israel. This perspective is not borne out by the administration’s behavior so far.

The main goal of the Obama Administration is to look good, implying that it is succeeding in the “peace process,” and to avoid trouble on the Israel-Palestinian front so it can get on with Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Iran nuclear issue. Clearly, this is the least friendly administration to Israel in history, yet it is also a government which has taken no material step to pressure or punish Israel despite a fair amount of growling.

It is also a White House aware that this is the last popular policy in its entire foreign policy repertoire. Congressional Democrats have criticized the president’s strategy–albeit politely–to a considerable extent. Public opinion polls show that the American people don’t like it. The White House is certainly not blind to the consequences of these problems.

If, however, the Obama Administration invests too much prestige and political capital on Israel-PA issues, it is going to be the big loser. An international summit would end in humiliating disputes, for example. The same applies to other extreme measures. The PA is simply not going to cooperate even with a pro-Palestinian White House; the Arab states are not going to give U.S. policy any real help on this or other issues.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu remains quite strong. He has won a strong victory in his own party for his policy and the harder-line right has remained pretty quiescent. The country does not blame Netanyahu for the problems in U.S.-Israel relations because they have been so obviously due to Obama, his behavior, and to his lack of sympathy for Israeli needs.

In addition, Israelis are quite skeptical about any likelihood for peace, progress in negotiations, and the reliability of the PA as a negotiating partner. They are also quite aware that the U.S. government has let them down so far over Iran.

And so, as in 1991-1992 and after 16 more recent years of direct talks, there will probably once again only be indirect talks between Israel and the Palestinians. One can’t take even this for granted until they actually happen. But one can take for granted that these negotiations and any U.S. efforts to broker instant peace will fail completely.

May 2, 2010 | 5 Comments »

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  1. On reflection, since Obama is throwing Israel under the tank to get an agreement, it follows that makes him an enemy of Israel.

    Rubin is right about a lot of things so I post him. When it comes to Syria and Iran, he has their number. But to my mind he is off when it comes to his view of the Obama. But I post him nonetheless with my contrary comments. The gives readers the opportunity to hear two opposing sides.

    I post him for another reason. He informs his readers of a great deal of background and history. That has a value in itself even if hif his conclusions are off.

  2. Maybe it is like “King Of The Hill”.

    I saw the first episode and it was the least funny “comedy” show I had ever witnessed.

    Even the bad ones can wedge a laugh in there somewhere, if only by accident.

    But “King Of The Hill” was unique: a comedy containing zero comedy.

    As they say in Swahili, “Bupkis.”

    Fatefully, I vowed to watch that turkey until it made me laugh at least once.

    Given how execrable it was, I thought it might take a few weeks.

    Or a few months.

    Well, that comedic sinkhole was on Fox from 1997-2009 and never once did it come within a billion light years of anything funny.

    Ted must have taken the same mistaken vow with regard to Rubin.

    He will keep posting Rubin’s work until it contains something coherent.

    Based upon the available evidence, it could be a long wait.

  3. What worries me is Ted is so persistent in posting Rubins commentary . If it were at least erudite commentary I could understand but Rubin

    has not called one right in the last 15 years and as a head of a University think tank he must be beholden to those who endow and pay for his

    well endowed standard of living.

    I could understand Ted’s persistence were he right 50% of the time but zero right calls?

    I could do that and nobody pays me for being wrong

    or right for that matter.

  4. Rubin’s “What? Me Worry?” attitude is reminiscent of the pre-election assurances issued by the American Jewish establishment that Obama – despite having surrounded himself with Jew haters – was a friend of Israel.

    It was bullshit then, and it remains bullshit.

    Rubin and the rest of the Pollyannas have been wrong every step of the way.

    Obama despises Israel, and will do as much damage to Israel as he is allowed to do.

    Meanwhile, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu remains quite strong

    If by “strong” Rubin means “cravenly backpedaling like a postmodern Neville Chamberlain”, then by that standard – and only by that standard- is Netanyahu a tower of strength.

  5. While I don’t think Obama’s intent is to damage Israel…

    How frustrating for BO.

    He institutes an arms embargo against Israel while increasing weapons sales to Israel’s enemies.

    He facilitates the building of Iranian nuclear weapons which will be used to destroy Israel.

    He seeks to alienate the American public from Israel by scapegoating Israeli Jews for the deaths of American soldiers.

    Yet after all that sincere effort to convince you he wants to damage Israel, you remain skeptical.

    Poor guy.

    It’s not like he isn’t trying.