Right Wing Nut House



Filed under: FrontPage.Com, Middle East, Politics — Rick Moran @ 8:38 am

It’s a big week for Middle East diplomacy in Washington with three events that will shape the future of our policy.

I wrote about it for FrontPage.Com:

Three major events will occur this week in Washington that will impact US relations with the Arab world and the state of Israel: a visit by King Abdullah of Jordan on Monday and Tuesday, another “outreach” speech by President Obama glorifying the Arab Spring on Thursday, and the arrival of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for a White House visit on Friday. Netanyahu will address the AIPAC conference on Monday night and follow that up with an address to a Joint Session of Congress next Tuesday.

Overshadowing all of these events is the uncertainty brought about by the marriage of Hamas and Fatah, the continuing rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and the surprise announcement that the president’s Middle East envoy, George Mitchell, has resigned.

But what seems like an opportunity to begin repairing relations with Israel, denouncing the alliance between Hamas and Fatah, warning the Arab world about the influence of Islamists in their nascent democracy movements, and speaking some hard truths about despotic regimes like Syria and Yemen, will not be seized upon by the Obama administration. Instead, we are likely to hear some blindly optimistic twaddle that acknowledges nothing and proves that the president and his advisors are foolishly placing their hopes on a series of foreign mirages that bear little resemblance to what is really occurring in the Middle East.

One need look no further than the Palestinian unity agreement that has ended years of conflict between Hamas and Fatah to see the myopic outlook of this administration. Incredibly, as Caroline Glick reports in her Jerusalem Post column, the administration actually believes that the agreement will “moderate” Hamas, forcing them to agree to the three principles of legitimacy set by the Quartet (US, Russia, EU, and the UN) in 2007. Those principles are extremely mild, and require Hamas to recognize Israel’s right to exist, agree to respect existing agreements with Israel, and renounce terrorism.

But Hamas has flatly refused to abide by those requirements. So what did the Obama administration do about that? They lowered the bar by pointing out that Hamas, by signing the unity agreement, had made “major concessions” in agreeing to form a government of “technocrats” instead of terrorists, and that they had accepted a 2009 agreement with Fatah brokered by Egyptian President Mubarak, which they had rejected two years ago. That agreement demanded that Hamas not join the army in Judea and Samaria — a stipulation they never agreed to in this most recent treaty.

Glick calls this notion of Hamas meeting any conditions “ridiculous” and rightly asks, “[W]ho does the Obama administration think will control these ‘technocrats?’”

There is no doubt that the unity agreement has killed off any possibility of direct talks with the Palestinians. Recognizing this, and treating it as the last straw, George Mitchell shocked the White House by handing in his resignation as Middle East envoy. In fact, some observers believe that Mitchell’s tenure ended months ago, as he became frustrated with what he perceived as both sides “moving the goal posts” every time he offered concessions.

I am surprised that the resignation of Mitchell did not get more attention. This is a huge embarrassment for the Obama administration, coming as it did on the eve of this pivotal week. Of course, the Hamas-Fatah unity agreement probably was the last straw for Mitchell because there is absolutely no way that the Israelis will deal as long as Hamas is part of the bargain.

That means, for all intents and purposes, the peace “process” is in hibernation - at least until Obama wins a second term or a GOP president takes office in 2012.

A titanic failure for Obama that will not be reported as such. What new?

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