published Monday, March 5th, 2012

Tough test for President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

If all goes as planned, President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, once diplomatic allies but now divided by a handful of substantive issues, will meet in Washington today. hat transpires at the meeting will directly and immediately impact both domestic and foreign policy in each nation. Consequently, there likely is far more at stake today than in any of the eight previous meetings between the men.

The main topic of conversation today is sure to be Iran's nuclear program and how to deal with it. Stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks will be a major agenda item as well. The on-going strife in Syria and the political situation in other Arab nations will get an airing, too. Underlying it all, will be each man's need to tailor what emerges from the meeting to his own political need. That will be difficult.

The on-going Republican presidential primary makes Obama's task especially difficult. The situation in Iran and the U.S.-Israeli relationship are staples of GOP stump speeches. The implication is that Obama is too soft and slow in promoting U.S. interests, and that a GOP nominee will be tougher. That may or may not be true, but the president can not afford at this juncture in an election year to give ground on either topic. That likely will make Netanyahu more intransigent.

The Israeli leader wants something done about Iran and its nuclear threat. Indeed, it's increasingly clear that Israel has not ruled out a military attack on Iran if it would promote the Jewish nation's security. Netanyahu would like assurances that the United States would support or even join such a mission. Obama, of course, is unlikely to make such a commitment.

The president, instead, wants Netanyahu to give sanctions and other efforts against Iran to work. The Israeli seems somewhat willing to do so, but in a much shorter time frame than Obama would like. That's understandable. Israel's proximity to Iran means it has less time to develop and implement a response to nuclear initiatives.

Palestinian peace talks, the near-civil war in Syria and unrest in other Arab countries are divisive topics for Obama and Netanyahu, as well. The former must find a way to placate the large and politically active pro-Israel community in the United States without compromising his Mideast peace efforts. Netanyahu, too, must balance the competing political desires of Israeli militants and moderates willing to make some territorial sacrifices in return for peace and security guarantees. Neither will find his highly politicized task easy.

It might be too much to expect that today's talks will end the evident rift between Obama and Netanyahu, but it is always possible that a candid conversation will begin the process of rebuilding the once strong bond between the men and the nations they lead.

Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
nucanuck said...

America's treasure and blood are scattered throughout the Middle East in our defense of Israel and persuit of oil. If Iran is seeking a nuclear capability, the primary reason is surely that Israel already has a large nuclear arsenal. As any NRA member will tell you, don't get drawn into a gun fight armed with a knife.

US sanctions on Iran are an act of war. The demonizing of Iran is an effort to convince the American public that Iran poses a threat to the world. That is no more true than might be said about many countries, including the US and Israel.

Obama may not have the courage to say NO to Israel in an election year. If not, the US will be the biggest loser in world respect for supporting another illegal war.

Will we battle phantom enemies all over the Middle East until our country can not feed its own?

March 5, 2012 at 1:29 a.m.
acerigger said...

nucanuck said..." Will we battle phantom enemies all over the Middle East until our country can not feed its own?"

I'm afraid we will, if our "Allies" have any say-so in it.

March 5, 2012 at 9:06 p.m.
FreedomJournal said...

PEACE AND TURMOIL (22 February 2012)

I come as humble as I know how although I seek to grow daily. Will there ever be peace? Just how can peace be defined? Meanwhile I find much comfort in knowing that although man acts as if peace does not exist I know it does.

I remember the many days along the creek and walking and talking in the Sun. There I soaked up the Creation. I had big fun and some said or believed happiness brought joy, but joy lingered. This peace through my eyes was fixed on Jesus. Is this the only way to see peace? One man found peace in money, he thought. But he was confused.

Turmoil To Peace

The world made a great sound as it reached out to all things foolish. Man insisted on being selfish and moved with a great disregard for,

Other human beings. Where was his fellowman? Wars, famines, lack of food and water impacted on a great part of the world.

Many people had no homes and countless moved displaced as refugees. Conflict regarding religions and ethnic strife were common place. However, no one really saw the real pagans,

As the heathens often held the power of the gun. They also controlled the state house. John paused in thought seeking solitude once more than once.

He knew the answer to the greatest dilemmas faced by man. The west clashed with the east as the middle east saw opposition from every corner of the earth. Meanwhile oil, gas, fuel went high in the sky.

There was no compromise and no room for diplomacy. No one told the truth. Nonviolence was seen as a social movement but not the answer to these economic woes.

Many people cried all night long and into the next day. There was no peace in turmoil. Turmoil tormented peace. Peace thus defined outside the root of Jesse gave much to be desired.

Meanwhile the definitive statements made little sense as one’s world view measured how peace was seen. The conquerors had their own concept of peace and turmoil was turmoil for the entire world to see.

March 10, 2012 at 4:32 p.m.
please login to post a comment

videos »         

photos »         

e-edition »


Find a Business

400 East 11th St., Chattanooga, TN 37403
General Information (423) 756-6900
Copyright, Permissions, Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, Ethics policy - Copyright ©2014, Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
This document may not be reprinted without the express written permission of Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc.