“If there is an Obama doctrine emerging, it is one much more realpolitik than his predecessor’s, focused on relations with traditional great powers and relegating issues like human rights and democracy to second-tier concerns. He has generated much more good will around the world after years of tension with Mr. Bush, and yet he does not seem to have strong personal friendships with many world leaders…
“[Emanuel] added, ‘He knows that personal relationships are important, but you’ve got to be cold-blooded about the self-interests of your nation.'”
“When Mr. Obama declared that resolving the long-running Middle East dispute was a ‘vital national security interest of the United States,’ he was highlighting a change that has resulted from a lengthy debate among his top officials over how best to balance support for Israel against other American interests.
“This shift, described by administration officials who did not want to be quoted by name when discussing internal discussions, is driving the White House’s urgency to help broker a Middle East peace deal. It increases the likelihood that Mr. Obama, frustrated by the inability of the Israelis and the Palestinians to come to terms, will propose his own parameters for an eventual Palestinian state…
“In an open letter to Mr. Obama from the World Jewish Congress, the organization’s president, Ronald S. Lauder, asked, ‘Why does the thrust of this administration’s Middle East rhetoric seem to blame Israel for the lack of movement on peace talks?'”
“A huge majority of Israelis would oppose an attempt by US President Barack Obama to impose a final-status agreement with the Palestinians, a poll sponsored by the Independent Media Review and Analysis (IMRA) organization found this week…
“Asked whether they would support Obama imposing a plan dividing Jerusalem and removing the Jordan Valley from Israeli control, 91 percent of Israelis who expressed an opinion said no and 9% said yes, according to the poll of 503 Israelis, which was taken by Ma’agar Mohot on Sunday and Monday and had a 4.5% margin of error.
“Eighty-one percent said it was improper for Obama to try to force such a plan on the two sides, while 19% of those who expressed an opinion said it was proper.”