The recent Israel invasion of Gaza and continued rocket attacks have played into the hand of Benjamin Netanyahu, the ultra nationalist leader who may well become head of Israel and move that nation in the direction of no compromise. The election of Barack Obama indicates there might be a shift in American policy of supporting Israel regardless of what it does or says, and the possible entry of Khatami into the race for president of Iran raises hopes for more flexibility in the region. The end result could be the replacement of an ultra hard liner in Iran while an ultra hardliner takes power in Israel and a new American leadership seeks to attain flexibility. Obama would be more comfortable with Khatami but not as comfortable with Netanyahu.
The old mess could be replaced by a new mess only this time Israel might be the nation on the outside which will lose complete support from the United States. From the American self interest perspective, the Arab League proposal of recognizing Israel in exchange for return to the 1967 borders is an excellent solution even though it will anger right wing Israeli fundamentalists who do not wish to surrender their homes on the West Bank whose construction was an illegal act. Is it time for new fun and games in the Middle East?
Posted in Barack Obama, Human Rights, Islam, Israel, Judaism, Liberals, Military, Multicultural, Muslims, Peace, Politics, United States, US Foreign Policy, War, World News
Tagged Betanyahu, Iran, Israel, Khatami, Obama
Former Prime Minister Mohammad Khatami whose tenure in that office was marked by efforts to reduce the power of extremist religious figures, urged the world to stop trying to halt his nation from engaging in peaceful uses of atomic energy. He noted the IAEA reported “contained positive points and I believe that the Iranians and the International Atomic Energy Agency have developed cooperation in a logical manner and achieved the desired results. However,” he admitted, “the report also included some negative points and ambiguities which can provide a path for those who are seeking a pretext to prevent a diplomatic settlement of the nuclear issue.” Khatami insisted that Iran only wants to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes and raised the issue as to why Israel is allowed possession of nuclear weapons.
There is no doubt the world has reason to be suspicious of an Iranian government headed by a man like Ahmadinejad. But, men like Khatami who reached out to western nations, including the United States, in an effort to establish peaceful relations, were rejected. The United States now lives with the consequences of a Bush policy that focused on warlike rhetoric rather than supporting forces of moderation in Iran.