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Obama works to own Middle East timetable

Mark Urban | 15:02 UK time, Tuesday, 19 May 2009

WASHINGTON - Much of the US media on Tuesday morning flagged up President Barack Obama's statement in talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he would make a judgement by the end of 2009 as to whether Iran was negotiating in good faith about its nuclear programme.

Some have flagged this up as the kind of "deadline" that his Israeli visitor, Mr Netanyahu, would have liked.

However Monday's statement from the president seems designed more to address those in this country and others who have suggested that his policy of dialogue with Iran is interpreted in that country as a sign of irresolution, something that buys them additional time to work flat out on their military nuclear capability.

Mr Obama indeed bridled when one of the Israeli journalists marched into the Oval Office yesterday and accused him explicitly of weakness in this regard.

The best way to read the president's remarks on Iran is not so much that he is giving Iran a deadline of the "or else" variety.

He has refrained from statements of the "military option remains on the table" kind, speaking instead only vaguely of a "range of steps" open to the US if Iran does not respond favourably by the end of the year. Instead he is saying that his patience is limited.

When it came to timetables it became obvious in Monday's public remarks by president and prime minister that Mr Obama sees 2009 unfolding quite differently to his Israeli visitor.

Whereas Mr Netanyahu wants Iran dealt with before meaningful peace talks with the Palestinians, Mr Obama told him, in front of the cameras, that he wants things the other way around.

The president's Middle East plan for 2009 might therefore go something like this: early June, outreach to the Arab world during visit to Cairo; then await the result of the Iranian presidential elections to calibrate a new diplomatic overture to Tehran; convene a Middle East peace conference some time in late summer or autumn; finally, having gained agreement between Israel and various Sunni Arab regimes to pursue regional peace efforts, increase the pressure on Iran to place their nuclear programme under tight international supervision.

In Monday's meeting it became quite clear that Mr Obama has little patience for Mr Netanyahu's stalling tactics. The president's call for a halt to Jewish settlement activity in the Occupied Territories was pointed, as was his reminder to his Israeli visitor that a Palestinian state must emerge from any peace process.

Since previous Israeli governments signed up to these principles (for example, at the Aqaba Summit of 2003), Mr Netanyahu's attempts to step back on those pledges violates the long standing principle that Israeli governments will honour their predecessors' agreements.

So while Monday's meeting was not quite a train wreck, it certainly marked a public dressing down for the Israeli prime minister. It also showed us quite clearly that Mr Obama's patience will be limited - not just with Iran, but with countries that obstruct his geo-political vision for the Middle East, including Israel.


  • Comment number 1.

    It's rather refreshing to hear the President is not immediately kowtowing to Israel. Let's hope his spine remains stiff and he holds his ground against the certain backlash he will face from the Israel lobby.

  • Comment number 2.

    It is the right step in the right direction. I believe that if this approach had long been adopted by past administrations and other stake holders to the middle east crisis, the fanatic christians and lunatic muslims who believes in what their religious books said could have been proved wrong. This area of the world could have known peace and so the world could have been a bit different.Iran must know that Israel has the right to exist just as Israel must know that Palestine has the right to exist as a State too. The Obama administration's openess and sincererity on the Middle East crisis minimises the chances for the type of hypocricy in mdiation we have seen in the past. I believe that most Israelis want a peaceful life with their neighbours and so Mr. Nyatanyahu should be considerate and minful of that too. If only the stake holders could listen and give Obama chance, the Middle East crisis would become something of the past regardless of the challenges that lies ahead.

  • Comment number 3.

    What great news. Decades overdue.

  • Comment number 4.

    isn't it ironic that the most hardline of Israeli leaders should be in office as Obama is the leader of the USA. A leader without compromise Bibi will have his work cut out putting one across Obama as he will be signing all the cheques for arms and missiles etc., so a two state solution is back on the road...bigtime

  • Comment number 5.


    The same Obama who made no mention of the heroically slaughtered (slaughtered by heroes)indigenes of North America, in his inauguration speech, is now tacitly acknowledging the right of Jews to the land they occupied a couple of millennia back; only rumbling about the need for a bit of tinkering round the edges. Might the scales fall from his eyes in that Holy Place? Will he return in sackcloth and ashes to the USA and hand back the land and its governance to the indigene rump? I suppose if the Native Americans got some nukes he might care a bit more? Well, he is said to be a caring guy.

  • Comment number 6.

    given the settler terrorists have no hesitation destroying their own politicians who talk for peace and human rights for all would they have any qualms about foreign ones who look they might 'get in the way'?

  • Comment number 7.


    (Joseph Bar Bin David (J.C.) Jesus Christ)

    So, what does Joseph Bar Bin David (J.C.) Jesus Christ have to do with the Israeli Jew and the Non-Israeli Jews, and the answer is pretty much everything. Now, over time and having at times nothing better to do, we have talked to various religious individuals Rabbis, Priest, Latter-Day Saints and one that switched from being a Jew to the Latter-Day-Saints, and a few others just to get a feel for what made individuals of faith tick. The one thing that came up all the time was just how much of Buddhism filtered into each one. We are now getting to (J.C.) we could make a pretty good argument that in fact (J.C.) was a Buddhist if not the re-incarnation of the Buddha, and he was in fact trying to teach the Jews of (2K) Two-Thousand years ago, that the STATE AND RELIGION were not FAITH, that a building made of stone upon dirt, in the STATE and was not the TEMPLE OF FAITH, but simply a structure built to enforce the POWER OF THE STATE THRU RELIGION,with others.

    (The Israeli Jew)

    The Israeli Jew has not changed over (2K) Two-Thousand years, and theirs is a faith based upon the concept that a Deity was first in a Box, and then the box was placed into a building a Temple, behind a curtain and to this day, the ones that have returned to the now STATE OF ISRAEL, once again believe that their Deity and the Box will once again come together, once the Dome of The Rock is removed, a new Temple is built, and then the Box, containing the Deity will appear, and back behind a new curtain, taking the STATE OF ISRAEL, to the apex of power within the New World Order.

    (The New Non-Israeli Jew)

    The New Non-Israeli Jew, is seeing the effects of not assimilating into the communities in which they live and have lived over the last (2K) Two-Thousand years, and admit there have been benefits in not having assimilated, but now are once again seeing that the cost of non-assimilation far out weight those of remaining a community apart. In the Western part of the (AIE) American Israeli Empire many (JAPs) Jewish American Princesss and their Queen Bee mother are no longer interested in this time next year in Jerusalem, but this summer in the Hampton, and this winter in Miami, You can hear the (JAPs) now, Mom dad wants to move to Israel why do we have to move to Israel, all my friends are here, MOM! Dont worry dear if your Father really wants to move to Israel, we will let him, we keep the Condo, Half of everything he owns, and if that does not maintain us to the standard of living we have been accustomed to (More), and a trust fund for your college education. So, do not worry your little head, Daddy may think twice once we get a Gat, and he reads the divorce agreement settlement cost.

    The New Non-Israeli Jew is more pragmatic, and sees that after (2K) Two-Thousand years of not having a Box, Curtain, or Temple, the Jewish FAITH have survived without a STATE BASED RELIGION, based upon a Box, Curtain and Temple. It does not make them Christians, it simply means they figured the difference between FAITH AND RELIGION, and just were a deity would in fact exist A BOX, BEHIND A CURTAIN, IN A TEMPLE IN THE STATE OF ISRAEL, or in each one of them with or without a beanie, and funny looking clothes and strange customs.

    THE JEWS OF ISRAEL ARE RUNNING OUT OF TIME ON MORE THAN ONE FRONT! They are facing a revolt from within, as many Non-Israeli-Jews, along with many forced to return to Israeli have rejected the BOX, CURTAIN, TEMPLE, JEWISH REGION for a simple PERSONAL TEMPLE FAITH BASED JUDAISM.The Clock it ticking Iran has to be dealt with, the Box, Curtain, and Temple have to be brought together, and the STATE has to be put back in order, yesterday. Tick-Tock-Tick-Tock.

  • Comment number 8.

    Nice words from Obama, especially regarding illegal settlements.
    Unfortunately on the ground, we see:
    - Gaza siege lifted - No
    - recognition of a two state solution - No
    - House demolitions in East Jerusalem or the West Bank halted - No
    - Barrier construction - Halted suddenly.

  • Comment number 9.



    In the work The Art of War, written in the fifth-century (B.C.) Before Christ, by Sun Tzu of China, Sun Tzu wrote under Maneuvering, We cannot enter into alliances until we are acquainted with the designs of our neighbors, and there is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare. You add these two concepts together and you come to the conclusion that the longer and more protracted a war is things change, and what the designs of our neighbors were at the start may change do to circumstances, putting the State at risk. And, now the Special Relationship that the Media Messiah Imperial President, the Magic Negro has given to the STATE OF ISRAEL, means The Shi-ite Persian Iranian Republic will be preemptively Nuclear Attacked in the near future either by a combined alliance of both the Eastern and Western (AIE) American Israeli Empire, or by the Eastern Half with Political and Military Protection provided by the Western Half. Taking Hundreds of Thousands of human lives over a God in a box in Ethiopia, which is to be brought back to Jerusalem Israel, and placed behind a curtain that is yet to be hung, in a Temple that has yet to be built in a location were the Dome of The Rock Mosque, now stands, so a group of Israeli Jews dressed in funny clothing, with odd customs. In an effort to gain the last piece of the Grand Game II Puzzle, the Islamic Crescent, The Caspian Sea Basin, the two pipelines, Nabucco, and the Central Asian, allowing the establishment of a Hierarchical Structure a New World Order with the (AIE), American Israeli Empire with Israel at the apex.


    The bulwark of the STATE is not complete at all points; the State is weakening causing the bulwark to be defective, making the State weak. So, what does that mean, it means cracks in entire (AIE) American Israeli Empire are evident, micro-structure cracks which in the end will cause catastrophic failure beyond a (2009) deadline. Which means the attack upon Shi-ite Persian Iran MUST occur in the fall. The (AIE) Easter Empire (Israel) is beginning to fracture from within, and is under pressure from without. From within a new generation of young Jewish-Israeli kids is standing up to the government - they call 'em "Shministim." The Shministim- all about ages 17, 18, 19 and in the 12th grade - are taking a stand. They believe in a better, more peaceful future for themselves and for Israelis and Palestinians, and they are refusing to join the Israeli army. They're in jail, holding strong against immense pressure from family, friends and the Israeli government, and are being supported from without by (AIE) Western Empire (Non-Israeli-Jews), The Jewish Voice for Peace in the (AIE) Western Empire, group heading things up for them. The economy of the STATE is weak from the protracted campaign, and is no longer equal to the strain, the Western Empire is broke and cant afford much more of the War on Islam, The soldier of the Empire have not been treated with humanity, but driven to the point of suicide, from (PTSD) Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, with lack of treatment, or care, with Orange Vest to mark them, caused once again by a protracted and continuing war.


    Sun Tzu wrote; The Moral Law causes the people to be in complete accord with their ruler, so that they will follow him regardless of their lives, undismayed by danger. What that mean now a days is a Media Blitz, by individuals such as Bill Bradley of (NWN) NewWestNotes.Com, Television Producer Jerry Bruckheimer, the (AIPAC/AZC) American Israel Public Affairs Committee/American Zionist Council, a (100K) One-hundred membership neo-conservative Jewish lobbyists group, connected to various caucus members of influential members of the Empires pro-Israel lawmakers the (544) Imperial Court. and other Non-Israeli-Jews, who support the God in a Box, Hierarchical Structure New World Order. Over the next few Patriotic Months, May (25th) Memorial Day, June (6th) on the Beaches of Normandy, The (4th) of July, but ending with an attack prior to the seasons of harvest and peace on earth good will toward men, the selling of the killing of hundreds of thousands of human lives, will be made into a Moral cause, justified for the greater good of STATE, without regards to the consequences, geo-politically, economically, militarily, or ecological effects upon the global community. So, to the question will the (AIE) Preemptively Nuclear Attack the Shi-ite Persian Republic of Iran by years end, one would conclude with (99.9%) ninety-nine point nine percent certainty, that a joint attack or an Eastern Empire, militarily and politically supported preemptive attack will occur.

  • Comment number 10.


    Well, this is Armistice (Memorial) Day and we talk about how terrible nations are and how they are about to fight all the time. But do you know, they have done pretty well, I think, sixteen years is along time for all these hundreds of breeds of cats to live together and not have a fight. ---Notes..

    This day, Armistice / Memorial Day, is no doubt the greatest day in all the worlds history. When you think that a half-dozen men could sit down and casually sign a pact to stop millions of men from killing each other. But if they didnt stop these guys making speeches on Armistice Day, why, we are liable to have the same war over again, only worse. November 11, 1929

    If Armistice (Memorial) Day had stopped speeches, it would have done more than to have stopped the war, for speeches is what starts the next war. Its not armament; its oratory. ---November 11, 1929

    COMMENT: Well Will you just cant disagree with a fella when hes right!


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