Aaron David Miller
America stay out of it
America's capacity to fix the Arab-Israeli issue has always been overrated. It's certainly no coincidence that every breakthrough from the Egypt-Israel treaty to the Oslo accords to the Israel-Jordan peace agreement came initially as a consequence of secret meetings about which the U.S. was the last to know. The writer, an advisor on the Middle East to Republican and Democratic secretaries of state, is a public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center. (Foreign Policy)U.S. Middle East Policy Mistakes - David Pryce-Jones\
President Obama is reported as saying that American policy towards Israel is "costing us significantly in blood and treasure." First mistake. It's the other way round, Israel is holding the front line against Iran whose power is spreading through the region via Syria, Hizbullah and Hamas. If Israel was not holding the line, then the U.S. would face a most uncomfortable choice: either to tackle Iran head-on or concede that Pax Americana didn't work and it is time to withdraw from the Middle East with as little ignominy as possible.
Obama goes on to conclude that Israeli-Palestinian peace holds the key to Middle East stability. Second mistake. If there was genuine peace tomorrow and a state of Palestine, it would make no difference to the Sunni-Shia divide, to the ambitions of Osama bin Laden or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to the civil war in Yemen, to the sectarian conflict in Lebanon, to the hard-wired despots in Egypt and Syria, and so on and on.
Obama also thinks that this projected state of Palestine is a practical proposition. Third mistake. The Palestinians are irremediably divided between Fatah and Hamas, and a state would trigger civil war to determine which faction would own it.
Obama finally is weighing using his presidency to impose some solution on Israel. Fourth mistake. No such solution exists. Any attempt at imposition would oblige Israel to see its existence now an urgent issue of self-defense and survival. (National Review)