↑ Grab this Headline Animator

Monday, June 08, 2009

Haroon Siddiqui - At last, blunt talk on the Middle East

While the world is focused on his speech to the Muslim world, Obama has been blunt about where he's headed. He's trying to break the "Kabuki dance" of Arab and Israeli leaders "saying one thing behind closed doors and something else publicly." Setting an example, he himself is doing the seemingly undoable and saying the unsayable.

Start with his May 18 meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu, who opposes both a two-state solution and a total freeze on Jewish settlements.

The hour-long meeting stretched to two. It was reported that Obama was so relentless on the two points that the prime minister told him:

"Nobody can say that you are not focused and determined to get what you want.

Before leaving for Cairo, Obama gave a series of interviews.

"Part of being a good friend is being honest with Israel," he told NPR radio. "I think there have been times where we are not as honest as we should be about the fact that the current direction in the region is profoundly negative, not only for Israeli interests but also U.S. interests" (emphasis mine).

"The U.S. has to follow through on what it says."


Post a Comment

<< Home