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Born at the Crest of the Empire

Thursday, June 04, 2009

The two tracks of middle east diplomacy - The Israelis try to undermine

It's no coincidence that as Obama continues his mideast tour with a major speech calling for "a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world,” the Israelis are continuing to press the idea that the Bush administration had held a secret deal with the Israelis on settlements.

I think Arab leaders and decision makers will largely see through this, but to the man on the street and to those already inclined to suspicion of the US, the Israeli discussion of secret deals is hugely undermining for any efforts at outreach.

I mean, seriously. The Israelis choose today to create a concurrently running headline across the Muslim world that the US sold out the last peace deal?

This is about way more than settlements. This is about taking a second, larger chop at the Obama administration, undermining a fairly critical foreign policy goal of outreach to the Muslim world.

(Stray thought: Israelis trying to undermine Muslim outreach puts them on the same side as Bin Laden and Ahmadinejad.)


  • It will be interesting to see what kind of support Obama gets from the Senate and Congress.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:40 AM  

  • Very much so. That's a big pressure point.

    Have you noticed, though, that the Republicans aren't really screaming about this yet?

    I'm finding that curious, but maybe it's just a question of yet....

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 11:07 AM  

  • Major shake-up going on. My impression is of a big huddle. Lots of Tel Aviv/Washington traffic. I see some Israeli minister has accused Obama of anti-semitism.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:14 AM  

  • Yeah.

    But again, Obama seems to be a man who doesn't like being forced. He will concede on a losing issue, but his natural response seems to be to want to push back against any pressure for him to do something.

    Again, he can and has certainly conceded when pushed.. His moments of concession seem to be either when he can already see the end of the chess match against him or when conceding can still get him some measure of what he wants.

    Neither of those seem apparent yet here, so we'll have to watch the play.

    (PS. As big as they are on media rollouts, the Obama folks will not be pleased the ISraelis tried to crap on this one which is meant to be a signature of the administration.)

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 2:13 PM  

  • It's going to be a major debate for sure. And hard for the MSM to ignore.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:40 PM  

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