President Barack Obama is unable to succeed. He tries and misses. He wants to bless the peace process and ends up cursing it. Another chapter in this sad story was written last week when the president once again channeled the sides into the dead end of a final-status agreement, while standing in the way of the establishment of a Palestinian state - the only chance for diplomatic progress between Israel and the Palestinians.
Rick Perry accused President Barack Obama on Tuesday of not standing behind Israel as the Texas governor sought to draw Jewish voter support in his bid to win the 2012 Republican U.S. presidential nomination.
Eight months into President Barack Obama’s administration, his Middle East peace “road map” is crystal clear. First, he dialed down the pressure on Iran, whose nuclear weapons program presents an existential threat to Israel. Second, he shifted the blame for Islamic extremism to Israel and solely blamed it for the Palestinian’s plight. Then he unilaterally ratcheted up the pressure on Israel to cease building settlements and to ease its self-defense blockade of Gaza. Now, Obama has upped the ante even further, framing lasting peace in the Middle East as requiring Israel to retreat to its 1967 borders. Although he blandly claims that there are “no preconditions” to relaunching negotiations, in truth he has doomed the peace talks before they even start. Obama has set up Israel as the fall guy for negotiations that will ultimately fail and is the architect of that failure.
U.S. Mideast policy during the second Bush administration will be even more focused on the White House, with a new secretary of state who will be more directly involved in implementing the president's policies.
That was one message Condoleezza Rice, the president's choice to replace Colin Powell as secretary of state, offered to members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during the opening round of her confirmation hearings on Tuesday.
She was expected to win confirmation and be sworn in by the end of the week.
What is the proper pro-Israel litmus test for presidential candidates? And who gets to decide?