U.S. Push to Mediate Israel-Palestine Conflict Goes Nowhere

Posted: Jul 09, 2011 8:37 AM

In May, President Obama made an embarrassingly feeble, poorly-thought-out attempt to play the Great Diplomat and mediate the Israel-Palestine conflict, but it went down in the books as yet another foreign policy-fumble. His call for Israel to return to its pre-1967 borders was based in neither reality nor logic, and he pretty much threw our longtime and only Middle Eastern ally under the metaphorical bus. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu countered with a rousing speech to Congress and set the record straight, but since then, we haven't really seen anything come of the whole affair, and further talks have been foundering.

The Obama administration's furious efforts to relaunch stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks this summer are going nowhere, and a looming U.N. confrontation could further set back prospects for a negotiated settlement any time soon.

Despite attempts to get the parties back to the table based on parameters that President Barack Obama outlined in a May speech, U.S. and other officials say neither side appears willing to commit to new discussions.

Senior officials from the international group of Mideast peacemakers _ the U.S., the U.N., the European Union and Russia _ planned to meet Monday in Washington. The goal is to revive the process by increasing pressure on the two sides to return to talks. ...

Yet repeated visits to Israel and the West Bank last month by U.S. envoys have produced no tangible results. That's been the case, too, in recent talks in Washington between U.S. officials and their Israeli and Palestinian counterparts. ...

Still, it's anyone's guess when the Israelis and Palestinians might sit down together again, let alone hash out questions ranging from borders to security arrangements.

The Israelis are still fuming over Obama's speech May 19. The president said new negotiations should use territorial boundaries that existed before the 1967 Mideast war as a starting point, with the sides swapping some territory to account for population shifts and security concerns.

By endorsing what had long been a Palestinian goal as a basis for the talks, Obama upset Israel, which has maintained that all boundaries should be subject to negotiation.

Obama's attempt to intercede here was a major show of both disloyalty and weakness, and, in sum, an epic fail. For a great reminder of why we need to continue to support Israel as a friend and ally, check out Dennis Prager's video below.