Why is Obama hugging Israel today? by Toby Greene

For many on the British Left it may seem counter-intuitive. Now safely though re-election and freed of electoral constraints, isn’t this when a liberal US President can get tough with the Israelis on settlements and get the peace process moving?

But rather than simply ratcheting up pressure on Israel, Obama’s visit has been presented as a love in with the Israeli government.

This reflects lessons from Obama’s first term, when clashing publicly with Netanyahu did not produce the results he wanted. In assessing the reasoning for Obama’s new approach, there may be some lessons for British policy makers also.

Many of us who want to see a two-state solution will have, at one time or other, entertained some version of a fantasy, in which the President swoops in on Air Force One, bashes everyone over the head with his Nobel Peace Prize and orders the secret service to block the exits to Jerusalem until he gets an agreement. But such hopes are misplaced, and Obama and his administration know it.

Read this article in full at Left Foot Forward.

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