Obama Still Wants Peace

Obama Still Wants Peace

By Orly Azoulay, Ynet

 
5.11.2010
 
In the past two years, Israelis liked to hate the American president, “Hussein Obama” as rightists make sure to refer to him, after he moved closer to the Muslim world and forced Netanyahu to freeze settlement construction. However, as it turned out Wednesday, American Jews think otherwise.
 
An exit poll among 1,600 Jewish voters published by pollster Jim Gerstein showed that 66% of American Jews voted for Democratic candidates for Congress. Most respondents told pollsters that they support Barack Obama’s leadership and endorse his efforts to resolve the Middle East conflict.
 
Despite the painful blow sustained in the midterm elections, Obama does not intend to let go of the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians, for the time being at least. The president intends to reiterate this in the coming days, during his trip to Indonesia.
 
The most terrible moment for Israel would be the one where Obama reaches the conclusion that there is no chance to secure a peace deal and that another opportunity had been missed. This has not yet happened, but it may certainly happen.
 
Obama’s proposal to Netanyahu to freeze settlement construction for another 60 days in exchange for unprecedented defense aid is still on the table. The prime minister is expected to hear this commitment directly from Vice President Joe Biden when he meets him next week at the Jewish Federations convention in New Orleans. Obama, according to his aides, still believes that securing an agreement is possible. He feels this can be achieved within a year from the moment direct talks resume on a continuous basis.