Why Netanyahu and Obama Got Along Swimmingly - This Time

[New York Daily News] Aaron David Miller - Not since President Jimmy Carter's standoff against Prime Minister Menachem Begin in July 1977 had there been so much misplaced angst about a looming fight between the U.S. and Israel. That meeting turned out better than expected (the two went on with Anwar Sadat to forge an Egyptian-Israeli peace), and this one did as well. Having watched the U.S.-Israel movie many times, I see a rhythm, an ebb and flow, especially at the start of two new administrations. Neither side has fully formed its approach to the core questions of Iran and Arab-Israeli peace. Obama also has no stake in fighting with Israel and its supporters - not at this point in his presidency, at least. The fact is the president is a politician; he knows how hard this issue is. If you're an American president, you don't argue with Israel because you're frustrated or to make nice to the Arabs; you press the Israelis in order to reach an agreement that makes you and America look good. It's got to be really worth it. All of this requires a strategy, and Obama doesn't have one yet. With Hamas, Hizbullah, Syria and Iran still behaving badly, Israel will never stand alone as the sole object of criticism.

2009-05-20 06:00:00

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