Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Philadelphia Bulletin: Academic Study? Growing Divergence between Jerusalem and Washington?

by David Bedein

A stinging academic report denouncing the Obama administration’s Middle East policies has been released with less than a week remaining before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s first meeting with President Barack Obama.

The report, authored by Prof. Efraim Inbar, director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies (BESA) at Bar-Ilan University, near Tel Aviv, particularly criticizes Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Prof. Inbar called Mrs. Clinton’s reported statement that gaining Arab support to prevent Iran from going nuclear “requires Israeli flexibility on the Palestinian issue” worrisome.

He said the U.S. State Department fails to understand the Arab states will cooperate with efforts to stop Iran’s nuclear program regardless of progress on the Palestinian issue.

“We also learned that the White House is trying to make kosher the transfer of funds to a Palestinian government that includes the radical Islamist Hamas,” Prof. Inbar said.

He characterized this as a “strategic folly,” since Hamas is a “a recognized terrorist organization, is an Iranian proxy, with a clear Jihadist agenda.”

He also views this Obama/Clinton approach as a threat to Egypt, since Hamas maintains “strong ties to the Islamic opposition in Egypt that wants to replace the pro-Western Mubarak regime.”

Prof. Inbar concluded his report stating “the chances for progress toward a two-state solution in the Israeli-Palestinian arena, which the U.S. favors, are dismal, since the Jewish and Arab national movements cannot reach a compromise.”

This is particularly true considering the Palestinian refusal to accept the Jewish right to self-determination.

“Misguided American policies, particularly regarding Iran, may have disastrous consequences such as the fall of Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Turkey into Islamist hands,” Prof. Inbar wrote.

Under such a scenario, Israel would remain the only country where an American airplane could land safely in the Middle East.

See this story in the Philadelphia Bulletin
See this story at Israel Behind the News

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