22 January 2009

22 January 2009 - Obama's first call: Mahmoud Abbas

It should go without saying that support for the Palestinians and support for Israel are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Indeed, if you really believe in the two-state solution, you have to believe that the right thing to do is support both as they move towards peace.

At the same time, it's clear that the Obama administration wants to send a signal--not just about its commitment to the peace process and the two-state solution, but to a shift in U.S. policy away from firm support for Israel and towards closer ties with the Palestinian Authority:

President Obama placed the Middle East at the forefront of his first hours in office yesterday as he sought to make good on his promise of “ushering in a new era of peace”.

In a flurry of telephone calls from the Oval Office, he reached out to leaders in the region and vowed to engage immediately in pursuit of a permanent Arab-Israeli settlement.

The spokesman for President Abbas revealed that Mr Obama had told the Palestinian leader that their conversation was his first with a foreign statesman since taking office. Mr Obama also spoke to President Mubarak of Egypt, Ehud Olmert, the Israeli Prime Minister, and King Abdullah of Jordan.


At 6:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Face it Joel, calling Abu Mazen first was not such a bad move especially if the Obama administration is serious about creating the two state solution. The only Palestinian state that will emerge is one under the P.A.'s authority. Today a poll of 55% of Israelis supported such an approach and it is clear that the current troika of Israeli leaders supports this wholeheartedly because they made sure to complete the withdrawal before the inauguration. Try as some may we Jews are pretty predictable. Civilized semi-nomads attracted to learning all about the world as a premise of our civilization, we gathered eventually in our promised land to create a kingdom of priests ie. a civilizational elite of the ancient world. Aside from David the King, we have seldom if ever developed a real national thirst for conquest. We just want to be left alone. As for those who trumpet all the contributions of Jewish civilization on the internet they are mostly American Jews and some South African Jews. But in truth most of us Jews do not want to be in the face of anyone else. We are studious and productive and want to be left alone and are happier to join the Obama bandwagon of believing he will be coming to the rescue than really taking charge of the situation, which is not the situation of being left alone that we desire. Clearly the right wing are the purer Zionists, just like Jabo intended, but what we Jews remain at our core will trump that. And the shidduch between Jewry and the USA will continue.


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