CMEP Bulletin: Israel’s Absence From Debates, Emboldens Hardliners

CMEP Bulletin: Israel’s Absence From Debates, Emboldens Hardliners

Israel Has Disappeared From the Presidential Campaign. Should We Care? [Forward]
According to Forward writer Jane Eisner, “The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has largely escaped discussion by candidates or even their surrogates, has been ignored at the three main presidential debates and has been treated with nothing stronger than predictable bromides otherwise. Early in the primary season, most of the candidates paraded themselves before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, to varying effect, but since then there has been no full-throated conversation about the Middle East issues that used to dominate any discussion concerning foreign policy. No doubt some in what is known as the “pro-Israel” lobby are cheering. They shouldn’t be for long.”

Israel Increasingly Defiant as The World Loses Interest in Palestine [+972]
+972’s Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man writes that, “Israel’s leadership wants you to think it is worried about some bold move by President Barack Obama during his lame duck period between the November 8 U.S. elections and his successor’s inauguration on January 20. After all, there’s a compelling argument to be made that it would be bad for Israel if Washington threw its support behind a UN Security Council resolution reaffirming that Israeli settlements are illegal, or one that codifies a framework for an eventual peace deal. Yet the Israeli government doesn’t seem to be worried at all.”

Memo to The Next President: Avoid The ‘Vision Thing’ in The Mideast [Politico]
Middle East policy analysts Aaron David Miller and Richard Solosky write, “For decades now America has been trapped in a Middle East it cannot transform nor leave, and where bold ambitions and transformational visions more often than not go to die. That calls for a cruel and unforgiving assessment of U.S. interests and the smart application of American power and leadership, mixed with a healthy dose of prudence and caution, to protect them. And it mandates avoidance of discretionary enterprises that aren’t connected directly with vital U.S. interests.”

How Obama Can Still Advance Mideast Peace [The Jewish Week]
As President Obama’s second term draws to a close, there has been widespread speculation as to whether the United States will support a U.N. resolution on the Israel-Palestinian Authority impasse or make a “parameters” speech or statement laying out his vision of what a final status agreement would look like. In my judgment, the president should do neither.

Obama’s Israel Surprise? [Wall Street Journal]
Israeli diplomats gird for the possibility that President Obama may try to force a diplomatic resolution for Israel and the Palestinians at the United Nations. The White House has been unusually tight-lipped about what, if anything, it might have in mind. Wall Street Journal Sources, say the White House has asked the State Department to develop an options menu for the President’s final weeks.

Click here to read the current Churches for Middle East Peace bulletin, including links to these stories.