Friday, April 15, 2011

Obama seeks to bring peace to the Middle East

President Barack Obama will strive to bring the Israelis and the Palestinians together.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the push is on.

Here's how the topic was handled at Wednesday's State Department briefing with Mark Toner, a State Department acting deputy spokesman:

QUESTION: Back to the Mideast – well, not that; we’re still there – but the Secretary made a reference last night in her speech about a renewed pursuit of an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement, a two-state solution. Does this signal that there will be some sort of new proposal, new parameters, new element coming forward from the United States? Or is it simply the same old process but maybe with new energy or –

MR. TONER: Well, I would say that there’s not – it’s not necessarily a new push or specifically a new push, but rather a redoubling of our efforts. And obviously, we’re aware that at this moment, there’s – some wonder whether there’s any hope for progress. There’s a lot going on in the region, and it was just a moment for the Secretary to reinforce the message that we are committed to this process and that we’re going to make sure we commit the energy necessary to see it fulfilled.

QUESTION: Just a quick follow-up --

MR. TONER: Yeah, sure.

QUESTION: -- to this. Earlier in the day, Senator Kerry, again in the same forum, expressed confidence that the resolution of this conflict, based on the two-state solution, can be attained by September, in accordance with the declaration made by the Secretary of State at that podium and the speech made by President Obama to the General Assembly. Is that – so, is there anything new, I mean, just to follow up on that? Or something is going on?

MR. TONER: Well, we continue to meet with both parties. I believe Hale was in the – David Hale was in the region just last week. And our goal is to get them back to the negotiating table. And we do recognize that September is inexorably approaching here and that it’s important for us to keep the momentum – or rejuvenate this process, rather – and to get both parties back to the negotiating table because, as we’ve said many times here, that’s ultimately the only way that we’re going to resolve these issues.

Yeah. Go ahead, Jill.

QUESTION: On that, didn’t the Secretary, if I’m not mistaken, indicate that the President would be speaking about this sometime soon?

MR. TONER: I think she did. I don’t have her speech in front of me, but –

QUESTION: Do you know any –

MR. TONER: -- I don’t know any more details. I’ll just have to refer you to the White House on that.

Yes. The same president who presides over a country at a level of division not seen since the Civil War (Jerry Brown's observation, not mine) is going to bring the Palestinians and the Israelis together...

Meanwhile, the UN is endorsing something for Gaza that many Americans believe Mr. Obama lacks.

A birth certificate!

An excerpt from the EUObserver:

 The Palestinian Authority has welcomed endorsement of a UN report on institution building as a "birth certificate" for statehood amid Israeli concern over a potential unilateral declaration of independence...  The endorsement comes ahead of a UN meeting in September in which Israel fears the Palestinian side will unilaterally declare independence in territories under its control before the 1967 Arab-Israeli war due to a stalemate in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks... 

Can't wait to see how the UN and its willing soldier Obama carry this one out.

Will the UN provide military cover for a newly independent Palestine? Are no-fly zones in store for Israel?

Should these things come to pass, is it much of a stretch to envision Israel surrounded and alone, facing the nations of the world? Will Palestinian sympathizers in the White House be itching to practice more "Responsibility to Protect" as they did in Libya?

This could really take shape like something ripped from the pages of a Hal Lindsey book.

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