By Jonathan Tobin
The idea that the president's eloquence can be used to convince Israelis to change their tune is astoundingly arrogant, and wrong
After running into a dead end in its efforts to jump-start
They say that in the next few weeks the White House will begin a public relations program in
The idea here seems to be that if the Israeli people are sufficiently exposed to the charms of the American president, they will force Netanyahu to do as he has been told by
The reason many Israelis think they have been singled out for rough treatment by Obama is not because they don't understand that his intentions are good and that his motives are pure; it's because he has unfairly singled them out. The dispute about settlements between the two governments was a calculated decision on the part of
But that's not what happened and the administration appears to be baffled by the reaction inside
Why? It is true that part of the problem has to do with perceptions. Obama's
Obama's policy seems to be based on the notion that
In the clear absence of a credible peace partner, what point is there, they are entitled to ask, in bullying
President Obama has not turned out to be a conventional liberal Democrat who is also willing to be a faithful friend of
Obama's eloquence is a formidable diplomatic tool, but the idea that it can be used to convince Israelis to "reflect" on their policies and change their tune is not only astoundingly arrogant, it's frankly wrong. Israelis already want peace, and have shown time and again they are ready to make sacrifices to achieve it. What is lacking is a similar commitment from the Palestinians. No amount of presidential eloquence or American PR ought to convince Israelis that further concessions will bring peace until Palestinian leaders match Obama's words with deeds.
Jonathan S. Tobin is executive editor of Commentary magazine.
Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.