It is one thing for Obama to try and assuage black leaders with a White
House meeting and assurances that he will do more for the struggling black
community — and with 9.7 percent unemployment and debt as far as the eye can
see, just what is it he can do ? — and still another for him to try and
convince 40 world leaders gathering in Washington next week that they should
join him in his vision of a "world without nuclear weapons."
But in case you hadn't seen it, there is news today that Obama is "seriously considering" proposing a peace plan to resolve the Palestinian conflict. This morning's Washington Post includes a David Ignatius column reporting the outline of a plan that two senior officials in the Obama administration confirmed would link confrontation with Iran to Palestinian sovereignty.
The conclusion is that "incrementalism hasn't worked," according to one official, and the administration wants to depart from the failed strategy of requiring a settlement freeze in Israel. "We want to get the debate away from settlements and East Jerusalem and take it to a 30,000 level that can involve Jordan, Syria and other countries in the region," the official said.
Ignatius notes how ambitious the plan is, and how politicially charged the situation already is, with Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu announcing the construction of more than 1,000 new housing units in Jerusalem during last month's visit there by Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden: Democrats' spending plan is 'a bigger darn deal' than Obamacare Biden says he's open to altering, eliminating filibuster to advance voting rights Biden: Comment that DOJ should prosecute those who defy subpoenas 'not appropriate' MORE. "A political battle royale is likely to begin soon, with Israeli officials and their supporters in the United States protesting what they fear would be an American attempt to impose a new settlement and arguing to focus instead of Iran," Ignatius writes. But he says the White House won't separate the two, quoting one of the administration sources: "It's not either Iran or the Middle East peace process. You have to do both."
Support for the plan has reportedly been offered by former national security advisers Sandy Berger, Colin Powell, Zbigniew Brzezinski and Brent Scowcroft. The plan is expected sometime this fall. Stay tuned.
IS OBAMA THINKING TOO BIG? Ask A.B. returns Tuesday, April 13. Please join my weekly video Q&A by sending your questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.