Friday, October 9, 2009

Does Israel Hate Obama?

One of President Obama’s biggest goals as President is to broker a lasting peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians. That task became more complicated as a recent poll revealed that just 4% of Israelis found him to be “pro-Israel.”

This means that it will be tougher for Obama to get concessions out of Israel on settlements, or other issues that are stumbling blocks in the peace process. If he can’t show any substantive concessions from Israel, then Obama will lose any goodwill he has with Muslim nations and the Palestinians.

Ironically enough, it might be thought in much of the Arab world that he is pro-Israel because he’s failed to produce any concessions from Israel. So neither side will think he’s an honest broker.

So Obama has a tough task. He has to convince Israel that he’s an ally to be trusted without alienating the Arabs. One way might be to deal with Iran soon. Iran is a shia Muslim state, while most Palestinians and Arabs are Sunni Muslims. Presumably, many Arab rulers are wary of growing Iranian power. Dealing with Iran would show Israel that Obama is serious about protecting it.

Of course if Obama is seen to be unfairly picking on Iran, he will incur the ire of the Muslim world, whatever its divisions. That should give you a sense of the tight-rope Obama has to walk.

1 comment:

  1. You gotta love how ALL "sides" had major demonstrations after his Muslim World Address because they all thought it was against them... tightrope indeed