Obama and the peace process

Will the newly reelected US president really push for Israeli-Palestinian peace in his second term?

By WASHINGTON
November 14, 2012 14:03
1 minute read.
US President Obama speaks with PM Netanyahu

US President Obama speaks with PM Netanyahu 370. (photo credit: White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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US President Barack Obama will be inaugurated for a second term on January 21, 2012 – and the following day in all probability Israelis will reelect Benjamin Netanyahu to a new term as prime minister.

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One of the big unanswered questions is whether Obama will mount a serious effort to revitalize the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians or whether he will conclude that it’s just too tough and content himself with going through the motions.

Obviously, Obama is facing huge challenges both at home and abroad, and will have to set priorities. One thing we’ve learned is that Israeli-Palestinian peace talks generally don’t get very far without the active and committed personal involvement of the president of the United States – and even that is no guarantee of success as President Bill Clinton discovered at Camp David in 2000. For Obama, there are only so many hours in the day and only so many issues he can personally attend to.

In foreign policy, he has already indicated that his No. 1 goal and election promise is to get US troops out of Afghanistan by the end of 2014. Iran’s nuclear weapons program, which the president is committed to prevent from coming to fruition, is also an urgent priority and the crisis surrounding Iran is likely to come to a head some time next spring.

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