Monday, August 31, 2009

Can Obama Succeed With Peace Where All Others Have Failed?

U.S. President Obama is about to step into that dubious Middle East ring and act as referee between Israel and the Palestinians. My hope is he will succeed where every other U.S. President for the last 60 years has failed -- bring about an actual, working, fair and equitable, long-lasting peace between these two rivals for the holy ground they both claim as their own.

As much as I want to see all of Obama's socialist ideas for the U.S. fail, this is one area that I really do want him to succeed. There has been enough killing, heartache, pain and suffering on both sides of that conflict in the Middle East. It is now time for real progress in the region before it finally blows like a seething inferno.

According to an exclusive interview to be aired on Fox News, Israeli President Shimon Peres will announce that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will sit down together during their trip to the U.N. at the end of this September. President Obama has been asked by both parties to act as moderator of the talks between the two leaders. No one is really sure of what, if any, influence Obama can bring to bear on these talks, but if past comments from the President are any indication, don't be surprised to see him lean more a little in favor of the Palestinian side of the equation and may even use some foot-to-the-neck political techniques on Netanyahu. I personally am not sure what the Israeli Prime Minister thinks will come of this meeting with Obama acting as a go-between. The President has already made it quite clear in past and recent speeches that he feels Israel needs to put a permanent freeze on future settlements in the disputed areas and must also recognize the West Bank terrorists as viable negotiating parties. He has also indicated that he isn't opposed to dividing up Jerusalem. None of these proposals from the American President sit well with the majority of the Jewish citizens in Israel (96% oppose such radical moves), or with those living right here in the U.S. (the majority of which voted for Obama). Therefore, one must ask why Netanyahu even bothers to go along with it.

It will be interesting to see what, if anything, will result from these talks. My guess is more of the same -- Israel making concessions it can ill afford, and a lot of hope for peace but very little real gaining of that elusive prize.

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