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Whose “peace chances”?

The Washington Post simultaneously displays its Obama-centric world view and its dislike of Israel in this headline: “Israeli Airstrikes on Gaza Strip Imperil Obama’s Peace Chances.” The accompanyting Post story isn’t much better.

The Post never pauses to ask what realistic “peace chances” there were prior to the counter-attack, given the central role in Palestinian affairs of an outfit that relentnessly bombs Israeli villages to the disgust even of some of Israel’s Arab enemies. And the Post certainly never considers why a paper peace accord, even if possible to achieve, would be desirable on balance in this context. The Post’s gaze is fixed instead on the narrow partisan question: “is it good for Obama?” with Israel taking the blame for impairing his “peace chances,” by which it probably means his best shot at the Nobel Peace Prize.

Post columnist Jackson Diehl is even more explicit in designating Israel the villain in the latest battle. Diehl hands most of the blame for the latest “missed opportunity for Middle East peace” to Israeli Prime Minister Olmert. President Bush finishes second in the blame game, with Palestinian Presdient Abbas third. Hamas does not even make it as an also-ran. Its rocket attacks against Israel go unmentioned.

Ironically, Obama has taken (sincerely, let’s assume) a far more realistic view of the matter. During his visit last summer to Sderot, the town primarily victimized by Hamas’ rocket attacks, Obama stated:

If somebody was sending rockets into my house where my two daughters sleep at night, I’m going to do everything in my power to stop that. And I would expect Israelis to do the same thing.

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