Monday, January 28, 2013
Ex-US envoy confirms ‘bad chemistry’ between Obama, Netanyahu.(TOI).former US ambassador to Israel on Monday confirmed reports that US President Barack Obama is deeply dismayed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s policies on the Palestinians, and that there is “bad chemistry” between the two leaders.
Martin Indyk, vice president at Washington DC’s Brookings Institution think tank and president Bill Clinton’s ambassador to Israel from 1995-97 and 2000-01, urged Netanyahu to “reach out” to the president “and try and turn a new page.” He said he was sure that Obama would be “receptive” to such an effort.
Indyk, interviewed on Army Radio, said the source of what he called the president’s “frustration” with Netanyahu and what he acknowledged was the “bad chemistry” was the prime minister’s approach to peacemaking with the Palestinians.
“It’s not [merely the issue of] settlements,” Indyk said, but rather the Netanyahu approach to the Palestinians in general and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in particular. Netanyahu, in Obama’s assessment, is plain “wrong” to argue that Abbas is not partner, Indyk said. Abbas is a partner, who opposes and works to prevent violence and seeks peace. “He’s just up the road in Ramallah… He’s committed to the two-state solution.”
If the message of the recent Israeli elections was that Israelis seek a normal life, Indyk said, then it’s vital you “resolve the Palestinian question,” he said. Israel “holds all the cards… It’s not enough to put your head in the sand.”
Indyk said he thought Obama had made a mistake in not coming to Jerusalem on his first presidential trip to the region four years ago. “Of course it was a mistake,” Indyk said, and it was a mistake that he hadn’t come since.
While Obama is “deeply committed to Israel,” that was a missed opportunity and Israelis don’t feel the commitment. Indyk said he hoped Obama would visit in his second term. Overall, though, “President Obama is feeling quite frustrated because he rightly feels that he has done the right thing by Israel but that Israel is not responsive.”
Indyk was speaking amid reports that Obama is conditioning a presidential visit to Israel on significant progress on the Israeli-Palestinian front, and ahead of a reported planned visit here shortly by his incoming secretary of state John Kerry.Hmmmm......“President Obama is feeling quite frustrated because he rightly feels that he has done the right thing by Israel but that Israel is not responsive.”...Perhaps that's why the first person he called when in office was PA leader Abbas?Read the full story here.