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  • Palestinian Statehood Bid Shows Results of Obama's Peacemaking

    As President Mahmoud Abbas presented his bid for a Palestinian state after his address to the U.N. General Assembly last Friday, members of the Palestinian Authority warned that “US President Barack Obama will be held responsible for the failure of the Middle East peace process.” Of the 15 member states of the Security Council, Abbas would need to garner nine. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported September 20 that Abbas had secured six to seven votes.

    The repercussions of a U.S. veto would negatively affect the Obama Administration—not only in the view of the Palestinians, but also in overall perception of Obama’s peacemaking efforts. Heritage’s James Carafano and Kim Holmes have laid out four important points of the Obama Doctrine,  and two stand out when dealing with the Middle East:

    “America will adopt a more humble attitude in state-to-state relations.” In Obama’s address in Cairo in 2009, he said, “I’ve come here to Cairo to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world, one based on mutual interest and mutual respect.” In perhaps a more controversial moment, Obama bowed to Saudi King Abdullah at the G20 summit in 2009. However, is this deferential “leadership from behind” really the right strategy in dealing with the Middle East?

    “America will play a more restrained role on the international stage.” President Obama attempts to actively soften the perception held by many abroad that America is overly eager to dirty its hands in other state’s affairs. Instead, Obama wants America to be perceived as “accommodat[ing] and ambivalen[t].” Carafano and Holmes go on to say that when American Presidents exude this kind of behavior, “they get taken advantage of.”

    The results of this ambivalence were evident on the world stage at the United Nations. Despite all of Obama’s reaching out to Arab and Muslim countries with accommodating talk and efforts to distance his Administration from Israel, the “blame America first” reflex remains, as members of the Palestinian Authority made clear. Meanwhile, effigies of Obama were already burning in the West Bank, and Abbas has called for a “Palestinian Spring.” Instead of strengthening ties with the only democratic state in the Middle East—Israel—while seeking to broker a genuine and lasting peace, Obama has effectively weakened American influence on both sides, and weakness invites provocation.

    Val Jensen II is currently a member of the Young Leaders Program at The Heritage Foundation. For more information on interning at Heritage, please visit: http://www.heritage.org/about/departments/ylp.cfm

    Posted in International [slideshow_deploy]

    3 Responses to Palestinian Statehood Bid Shows Results of Obama's Peacemaking

    1. DavidTaylorinc says:

      I am anti Obama in almost every way, but I cannot agree to your concluding statements here. Kindness is not weakness. We are not an empire that we should be dividing the world the way we see fit. What possible provocation could palastine administer to us. Why not respect the sovereignty of these other countries? We are too involved in the rest of the world. Do other countries have military bases on American soil? No, but we have 700 in 130 countries. We show blatent disrespect to the rest of the world and Obama is trying to change that.

    2. Bobbie says:

      Not sure what to think anymore…
      If Mr. Netanyahu (Israel) is oppressing people in Palestine, he is not one of God's chosen, but in name only. God's chosen wouldn't be arrogant or pompous to ANY other, but promoters of God's will in peace only. Please, for the sake of peace, do what is right in God's eyes, not man's. Please!

    3. VJJ says:

      The argument is that weakness invites provocation. The blog tries to show that since Obama's policies of catering to the Arabs and Palestinians more and weaking U.S. relations with Israel, it has backfired. The Palestinians are going behind America's back with seeking and, therefore, hurting the US in the process diplomatically a vote in the UN because even Obama knows that he will have to veto it. They are not playing by the rules and to giving them a inch they will take a mile. Kindness is a virtue of course but so is renouncing violence and recognizing a people and the PA has not done this. They are trying to find a way to cheat.

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