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The Wisdom of Crowds

1:02 PM, Aug 28, 2009 • By MICHAEL GOLDFARB
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I didn't think it was possible to go lower than 6 percent, but Barack Obama's done it. Just 4 percent of Israelis believe Barack Obama is pro-Israel according to the latest poll from the Jerusalem Post. A majority of Israelis think that Barack Obama is pro-Palestinian (51 percent). Could 96 percent of Israelis being wrong? I doubt it, but the impact will be the same regardless of whether it's true or not. As Ben Smith says, "This is a substantive obstacle to peace, as it means that Israeli leaders - already disinclined to deal - could pay a price at home for working too closely with the American president."

Obama's treatment of Israel has considerably undermined his ability to push the peace process forward. Rather than focus on achieving results, the left wanted, and Obama delivered, a process that would make a big show of creating "daylight" between Washington and Jerusalem. They got daylight, but they only made a bad situation worse. Bibi still can't thumb his nose at the president, but Obama's made it much easier for him to stall, delay, and even defy American demands.

Update: A reader emails:

Perhaps President Obama should have heeded the advice Tom Daschle gave President Bush in 2002 when he noted in a speech to AIPAC that "engagement for the sake of engagement will not work."