Speaking at a press conference at Camp David, President Obama said that he'd "welcome an Iran that plays a responsible role in the region." Watch here:
"We welcome an Iran that plays a responsible role in the region," said Obama. "One that takes concrete practical steps to build trust and resolve its differences with its neighbors by peaceful means and abides by international rules and norms."
Obama has been meeting with Arab leaders at Camp David.Read more
Later today Hillary Clinton will be inducted in the Irish America Hall of Fame. The former first lady "is being honored for her work on behalf of the Irish peace process," according to Irish America magazine, the sponsor of the award.Read more
Secretary of State John Kerry has often spoken with some degree of optimism about the chance for peace between Israel and its neighbors in the Middle East. Wednesday, however, in remarks after a meeting with European Union representative Federica Mogherini in Belgium, Kerry acknowledged that the Mideast peace process "may at this particular moment be a misnomer.Read more
Over the weekend in Iowa, President Bill Clinton got caught on a hot mic at the Harkin Steak Fry agreeing that Israel prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu can't bring peace between the Israelis and Palestinians:
“If we don’t force him to make peace, we won’t have peace,” a spectator at the Steak Fry told Clinton.Read more
Today the Palestinian Authority announced a joint interim government uniting Fatah and Hamas. West Bankers and Gazans cheer the move because the division between the two most powerful Palestinian factions has been a black eye for the Palestinian nationalist movement. Their rival religious and political visions, dating back to the creation of Hamas in 1987, have divided the Palestinians ideologically. Moreover, the territorial divisions resulting from the 2007 civil war in Gaza had made the creation of a unified, viable Palestinian entity all but impossible, until now.Read more
The first question that national security types, including the president, supposedly ask in an international crisis is, “Where are the carriers?” Soon, that opening line will be rephrased to something like, “Where are the … oh, never mind.”Read more
In his Senate Foreign Relations Committee testimony last week, Secretary of State John Kerry blamed Israel for the breakdown in peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. He argued that an Israeli announcement of 700 new housing units for a neighborhood in Jerusalem were what did in the talks. “Poof, that was sort of the moment,” Kerry said. “We find ourselves where we are.”Read more
Former President Jimmy Carter does not think much about Hillary Clinton's effort to bring about peace in the Middle East. John Kerry's efforts, on the other hand, are "notable," according to Carter.
He made the remarks in an interview with Time magazine, in response to this question: "What’s your take on Secretary Kerry’s efforts so far in the Mideast?"Read more
So the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks are, predictably, collapsing. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry responded to the frustration of his manic peacemaking efforts by quoting an ancient complaint, "There’s an old saying, you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. Now it's time to drink and the leaders need to know that."
To which one might respond with the words of Psalms: "Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding."Read more
It is a cliché at this point to remark that John Kerry is operating in a fantasy world. But sometimes there is no other word to describe the enormous distance between his perception of what is happening and what is actually happening.Read more
To be outrageously iconoclastic among the Washington foreign-policy crowd is easy: Just suggest that the Israeli-Arab peace process is not merely pointless but actually damaging to America’s position in the Middle East and bad for both Israelis and Palestinians.Read more
David Horovitz, writing for the Times of Israel:
US Secretary of State John Kerry may feel heartfelt concern about the growing campaign to delegitimize Israel and to boycott it. One of the least smart and least constructive ways to tackle the danger, however, is by issuing an anguished public prediction that this is what awaits Israel if his peace effort fails.Read more
President Barack Obama talked briefly about the Iran nuclear deal and said "give peace a chance." Via the pool report:
Pres. Obama said the implementation agreement finalized over the weekend gives the parties "the time and space" to reach a comprehensive accord.
"It's going to be difficult, it's going to be challenging, but ultimately this is how diplomacy should work."
"If Iran is willing to walk through the door of opportunity that's presented to them" then the country and its people will benefit.Read more
Secretary of State John Kerry added to the already ample fanfare surrounding the launch of talks between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators by holding a press conference yesterday to introduce his new special envoy to the peace process, Martin Indyk.Read more
President Obama has released a statement calling for Israeli-Palestinians "Read more
Secretary of State John Kerry will host "an Iftar dinner for Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni," according to a copy of his schedule released by the State Department. The dinner will also be attended by "Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat."
The event will be closed to the press.
Kerry's schedule for today reads:Read more
John Kerry tried to get the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, to buck-up and smile. But he wasn't successful as he tries to broker peace between the Israelis and Palestinians.
Apparently, the Palestinians believe Kerry is giving too much favor to the Israelis. As the Los Angeles Times reports:Read more
This week the EU took a stance that it heralded as pro-peace, pro-"peace process," and anti-settlement. Henceforth, new guidelines require all 28 member nations to refuse any grants, scholarships, prizes, or funding to entities in Jewish settlements in the West Bank. Or any part of Jerusalem that was not part of Israel prior to the 1967 war. Or the Golan Heights.Read more
The effort to build a modern Palestinian state that will live in peace with Israel suffered a great setback last week when pressure from both Fatah and Hamas forced the resignation of the Palestinian Authority prime Minister, Salam Fayyad.Read more
President Obama spoke to the Israeli people today, at the Jerusalem Convention Center. His remarks moved his administration toward the pre-Obama consensus views of the Clinton and Bush administrations, indeed at several points echoing Bush’s 2008 speech to the Knesset. But he presented a view of the chances for peace with the Palestinians that was far rosier than reality permits—or than he may really believe.Read more
Two years after the self-immolation of a street vendor protesting police corruption in Tunisia, the promise of the Arab Spring remains unrealized. Instead of ushering in an era of stable self-determination, much of the Middle East remains in disarray. Syria is in flames, Egypt almost ungovernable. Libyan terrorists responsible for the Benghazi massacre are still at large, and Tunisia soon could have its second government in as many years.Read more
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