Can Israel Leaders Learn From Obama?

Aluf Benn, writing in the Israeli Haaretz, argues that Israel leaders could learn from President Obama how to conduct foreign policy. “In Israel, war is declared after a two-hour debate and daring peace plans are concocted without deliberations or consultations. In America months are devoted to preparing every diplomatic or military move.” He notes many Israelis feared or hoped that Obama would reveal his peace plan and force it on Palestinians and Israelis but nothing like that has happened. Benn believes Americans work at a slower and more deliberate pace than Israel leaders.

He points out that Obama appointed George Mitchell as his envoy and that has resulted in numerous discussions as Mitchell attempts to develop relations with each party. He suggest Obama/Mitchell are working to secure agreement on minor issues as they build for larger agreements. On the other hand, Netanyahu worries about what someone in his coalition will do if he makes the slightest attempt at compromise. The result is stalemate for Netanyahu and an inability to offer dramatic new choices.

Can coalition governments ever achieve lasting peace?

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