Thursday, November 13, 2008

Center for American Progress Formulates Obama Administration Middle East Policy--and it is Ominous for Israel

John Podesta (pictured standing with President-elect Barack Obama in the photo above) wields great influence with the President-elect. Mr. Podesta heads up the Obama transition team. Mr. Podesta is also the founder, President and Chief Executive of the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank that is systematically formulating the public policy positions that the Obama brain trust is feeding to the President-elect. For that reason, writes David Goder at One Jerusalem, an excellent place to search for the possible new direction that American Middle East policy may take under an Obama Administration is Change for America: A Blueprint for the 44th President, a book published by the Center For American Progress and the New Democracy Project as a guide for the Presidential transition team, 10 chapters of which are available for downloading here.

According the David Goder, the chapter on American policy in the Middle East does not bode well for Israel. There is no recognition, he writes, of the special relationship between the United States of America and Israel, born of their shared democratic values. Instead, the discussion treats the Palestinians and the Israelis as equals. The underlying assumption regarding Israeli-Palestinian negotiations is that Israel has a rational, peaceful party on the Palestininan side with whom to negotiate, a proposition that is demonstrably fales.

Finally, and most disburbingly, writes Goder:
" the support for ignoring Israel's sovereignty as a free state, the willingness to invite the international community, i.e. Israel's enemies, into the decision making process.

"Anyone familiar with Israel's treatment at the United Nations knows that Israel has had only one friend to count on in the international arena: The United States. These proposals support the ending of that special relationship."

I sure hope that Mr. Goder is mistaken, but I suspect that he is not.

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