Archive for February 10th, 2013

10/02/2013

Obama-Netanyahu: Peace Needs More Than Handshakes

Human Wrongs Watch

By Ernest Corea*, Washington DC, IDN-InDepth News,  – Hear those sounds? They are probably the echoes of Israel’s fervent supporters in the US erupting in hosannas when the White House recently confirmed that President Barack Obama is due to visit Israel in March 2013. On the same safari, he will stop over in Jordan and in the Palestinian territory universally known as the West Bank.

Netanyahu and Obama | Credit: White House

Netanyahu and Obama | Credit: White House

The visits are of regional and international significance because they raise the possibility that Obama intends to be directly engaged in the Middle East peace process and that this time around he will be more focused, and supported by more decisive aides, than he was during his administration’s previous attempt to support effective peace negotiations. That effort now lies as inert as road-kill on a highway.

Obama’s visit to Israel will, as well, deprive his domestic critics of a favorite rallying cry, one that the Romney campaign touted during last year’s presidential election campaign: Obama has not visited friend and ally Israel as president but has visited several Muslim nations. Actually, the talking point is both frivolous and meaningless, and had no electoral impact.

Obama visited Israel as a presidential candidate in 2008. Moreover, only four of the last 11 presidents visited Israel while in office: Jimmy Carter, Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. Presidents Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush did not.

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