Stephen Walt in a recent blog post says that Middle East peace envoy George Mitchell should resign. Walt says that if he doesn’t resign now he will be:
“remembered as one of a long series of U.S. “mediators” who ended up complicit in Israel’s self-destructive land grab on the West Bank”
Walt continues, saying that it was as much Obama’s fault for raising expectations in the soaring rhetoric of his Cairo speech as Netanyahu having “he most hard-line government in Israeli history”.
Walt ‘s view that “the point is not that Obama’s initial peace effort in the Middle East has failed; the real lesson is that he didn’t really try. The objective was admirably clear from the start — “two states for two peoples” — what was missing was a clear strategy for getting there and the political will to push it through” is true, but the reality is slightly more complex than Dr Walt paints it. President Obama still has to steer through the health care bill without his Senate supermajority, thank you Scott Brown, or should the blame lay at James Madison’s feet for having such a ridiculous system of government where anything that happens, occurs at a glacial pace.
In any event, President Obama has other things on his mind than Israel at this particular moment in time (except perhaps his own re-election and the upcoming mid terms, thanks again James) so perhaps Walt should cut Obama some slack.
It was Walt who not so long ago suggested that the Americans disengage from the whole thing altogether, though whether he meant the peace process and the trade between the two countries I’m afraid I don’t remember!
Although Walt is right when he says that “push Israel as hard as it is pushing the Palestinians (and probably harder), peace will simply not happen. Pressure on Israel is also the best way to defang Hamas, because genuine progress towards a Palestinian state in the one thing that could strengthen Abbas and other Palestinian moderates and force Hamas to move beyond its talk about a long-term hudna (truce) and accept the idea of permanent peace.”
I only hope that for the sake of all of us that Walt is wrong when he says “the two-state solution looking less and less likely”