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Friday, December 17, 2010

Middle East Peace Process 2010 Recap: Is the US actually doing anything?

Cartoons for the Week of Sept. 20-26, 2009 Copyright © 2009 Universal Press Syndicate

First the US was madly against Israeli West Bank settlement construction and Biden, Clinton and Obama were pushing hard for a settlement freeze. I think we all remember that big to-do with VP Joe Biden when he came to visit.  How can we forget how offended he was when he came to promote the freeze last year and Netanyahu stupidly took his visit as an opportunity to tell the whole world that he isn't interested in listening to the US and instead, planned on starting up the settlement building once more.

And so the peace process turned into a debate about West Bank settlement construction.  For several months, Hillary and the PA argued with Netanyahu to extend the settlement freeze, which Netanyahu really didn't want to do. No one could get past this issue.  It became THE issue. The White House seemed ready to give Israel military equipment in exchange for an extension on the settlement freeze.  But it wasn't going anywhere.

And then the US dropped it.

Suddenly the White House had enough and decided that the settlements would no longer be the main issue. They wouldn't be important at all.   And this happened right as the House approved a bill that put loads of cash toward an Israeli military security missiles base.

I know, it sounds strange to me too, but whatever. I'm going with it.

So, now we're here.  Where is that, exactly? Well, the settlements are underway making Palestinians pretty upset.  They are getting fed up with this whole Peace Process thing. The United States is fed up too, but since Obama doesn't have all that much going for him right now, he seems to have taken this on as a new project and he isn't a quitter.  But it's gotten so bad that now, the Palestinans, who everyone seems to want to free fro Israeli tyrrany, proclaimed their intention to unilaterally declare a Palestinian state.

"No!"  (says the US!) "You can talk to us and to the Israelis and we can pretend we are trying to make peace, but don't do something rash like declaring a STATE!"  That would just be madness.  Madness,yes, although Brazil and Venezuela are already backing it...and the EU might support it if it ever becomes "appropriate".  Not like anyone is supposed to know what that means.

Anyway, I'm not going to take a side right now. I just want to point out how the US looks kinda/really/unbelievably lost here.What have Hillary and Obama gotten themselves into this time?

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