For Middle East Peace, Think Small

[ Institute for Near East Policy] Michael Singh - When it comes to Arab-Israeli peace, the president would be better served to think small. Hamas remains firmly in control of Gaza, and there are few prospects for dislodging, defeating, or taming it. PA leader Mahmoud Abbas enjoys mixed support at best from his constituents. Adding to these obstacles, relations between the U.S. and Israel have suffered over the otherwise peripheral issue of "natural growth" in West Bank settlements. The prolonged dispute has hardened the positions of Palestinians and Arab states, and undermined American reliability in Israeli eyes. An opportunity exists to achieve progress between the Israelis and Palestinians, but it is a modest one, and the surest way to quash it is to overreach. The writer, former senior director for Middle East affairs at the National Security Council, is the Ira Weiner fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

2009-07-29 06:00:00

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