President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met yesterday for talks. Obama emphasized the famed “Two State Solution”, that has been suggested, pressured, insisted on for years and years. The pressure is all on Israel, since there really isn’t a Palestinian government with which to negotiate. It is split between Fatah and Hamas who are busy killing each other when they are not lobbing rockets into Israel. Fatah is weak and has no authority to negotiate, and Hamas is simply a terrorist enterprise invested in war.
For Israel and her neighbors the primary problem is Iran. Iran’s push for a nuclear arsenal, support for Hamas and Hezbollah and meddling in Iraq are threatening, and their interest is in curbing Iran’s power. Iran is threatening to foment Islamist unrest that threatens the governments in Egypt, Bahrain, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.
For Washington, emphasis is on “the peace process.” Although Obama has great faith in “negotiations” with Iran, he suggested for the first time that those negotiations are not open-ended, and that “we’re not going to have talks forever.” But words, in the mouth of this president, often have changing meanings.
It is disappointing that Washington seems to have so little interest in the real problems.