From day one of the Obama administration, Glenn Reynolds has asserted that a rerun of the Carter era is a best-case scenario. Obama’s Middle East diplomacy provides a striking illustration of Glenn’s proposition. Carter’s bumbling support of an all-party peace process including the Soviet Union seemed to have something to do with Sadat and Begin seizing the initiative to come to terms on their own and cut the ground out from under Carter’s plan.
By contrast, Obama’s bumbling has led to the preliminary agreement between Fatah and Hamas to form a unity government and hold elections. Mahmoud Abbas publicly professed that he felt Obama hung him out to dry with the Sturm und Drang over apartment construction in Jerusalem. What was the poor guy to do?
Moreover, as Ronald Radosh observes, the folks now running the show in Egypt even helped facilitate the beautiful coming together between Fatah and Hamas. The former Egyptian prime minister, who somehow had to go, used to be a stalwart opponent of Hamas.
Hamas is constitutionally dedicated to the destruction of Israel. The establishment of a Palestinian national unity government does not mean that Hamas will recognize Israel or will participate in peace negotiations, the senior Hamas official and a member of the Hamas delegation to the Cairo discussions (Mahmoud Zahar) said overnight Wednesday in Cairo.
“Our plan does not involve negotiations with Israel or recognizing it,” Zahar said. “It will be impossible for an interim government to take part in the peace process with Israel,” he said. Thanks for clearing that up.
Will the Palestinian security forces trained and funded by the United States now come under Hamas control? And what about the hundreds of millions of dollars forked over by American taxpayers to support the Palestinian Authority? Jennifer Rubin has a timely report.
If Congress takes the lead in cutting off the Palestinian Authority, as Rubin’s report suggest, this is one more scenario in which President Obama can claim to be leading from behind.
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