by John Bolton
Passover is an unfortunate time to be asking what has gone wrong between
Partly because of the extraordinary secrecy surrounding Prime Minister Netanyahu's recent White House meeting with President Obama, much remains hidden from public view. Nonetheless, after 14 months in office, Obama has made clear he sees the U.S.-Israeli relationship very differently than any of his predecessors.
Consider, for example, Obama's September 2009 U.N. General Assembly speech, profoundly anti-Israeli, and to a body where
That, of course, is the Palestinian position. No wonder they are "outraged" at every subsequent Israeli construction project outside the 1967 borders. No wonder Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas told an Arab League summit on Saturday he would not negotiate with
More fundamentally, Obama assumes, as do many Europeans, that solving or at least making substantial progress on Arab-Israeli issues is key to many other
For Obama, therefore, every bump in the Arab-Israeli "peace process," caused repeatedly in his estimation by Israeli intransigence, has consequences far beyond its actual dimensions.
In fact, the idea that
There are many unresolved Middle Eastern problems, but if Obama could only focus on one,
The president could far more usefully pressure
The president's weakness on
The misplaced emphasis on pressuring
Thus, Obama's signature foreign policy -- pressure your friends and beseech your adversaries -- will, here again, produce results precisely contrary to American national interests. We can only hope that the Netanyahu government, pursing
John R. Bolton is the former
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