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Rosner’s Domain: Not a Carter – a Baker

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Posted on March 14 2010 5:00 pm
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by SHMUEL ROSNER

Netanyahu might think that there’s no need for panic – and that the current rapture between the Obama administration and the Israeli government isn’t a real crisis. But critics of Israel smell an opportunity, and want to cease the moment. This is the time for Obama to be like – no, not like Jimmy Carter. When it comes to dealing with Israel they want the reincarnation of James Baker (and we already have Rahm as the domestic reincarnation of Baker’s).

Mr Obama has himself to blame. He staked his foreign policy on improving relations in the Middle East. Early in his presidency, Israeli leaders worried that US policy towards them may turn less forgiving. But when Mr Netanyahu flouted US demands on settlements last year, secretary of state Hillary Clinton blinked. Whereas Mr Biden says there is “no space” between the two countries on security, the rather wider space between the White House and Congress weakens both Mr Mitchell’s and Mrs Clinto’s hands.

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