“My concern about Obama is that he never asks anything about the Palestinians. He gives them a complete pass,” says Ambassador Dennis Ross, a former Obama official whose new book Doomed to Succeed tells the story of the beleaguered U.S.-Israel alliance. “It makes it worse for the Palestinians. For the Palestinians, you have a political culture that is driven so much by this profound sense of victimhood and grievance—the idea that they should do anything towards the Israelis, they should make any accommodation towards the Israelis, is completely illegitimate.”
Why the pass? Jeffrey Goldberg says it’s because the Palestinians “have less power.” That’s no excuse. Another possibility: The president is occupied with Cuba, ISIS, Syria, Ukraine, and Iran. He doesn’t have the bandwidth to hold Mahmoud Abbas to the same standard as Benjamin Netanyahu.
But we know that’s not the case, either. The president has been more than happy to castigate Netanyahu all along. Can’t he say a few tough things about Abbas?
Obama won’t hold the Palestinians accountable because that might jeopardize his policy of daylight between America and Israel. A policy that was intended to improve U.S. credibility in the Muslim world and thereby denuclearize Iran, disarm and remove Bashar al-Assad, and establish a peaceful Palestinian state. A policy that has instead destabilized the region, formalized the Russian-Iranian-Syrian axis, enriched and empowered the Shiite theocracy, rattled our allies, and done nothing to curtail Palestinian intransigence.