Shattered Hopes: The Failure Of Obama's Middle East Peace Process

Shattered Hopes: The Failure Of Obama's Middle East Peace Process

by Josh Ruebner


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Shattered Hopes: The Failure Of Obama's Middle East Peace Process by Josh Ruebner

President Barack Obama’s first trip abroad in his second term took him to Israel and the Palestinian West Bank, where he despondently admitted to those waiting for words of encouragement, “It is a hard slog to work through all of these issues.” Contrast this gloomy assessment with Obama’s optimism on the second day of his first term, when he appointed former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell as his special envoy for Middle East peace, boldly asserting that his administration would “actively and aggressively seek a lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians.” How is it that Obama’s active and aggressive search for progress has become mired in the status quo?

Writer and political analyst Josh Ruebner charts Obama’s journey from optimism to frustration in the first hard-hitting investigation into why the president failed to make any progress on this critical issue, and how his unwillingness to challenge the Israel lobby has shattered hopes for peace.

Written in a clear and accessible style by the advocacy director of a national peace organization and former Middle East analyst for the Congressional Research Service, Shattered Hopes offers an informed history of the Obama administration’s policies and maps out a true path forward for the United States to help achieve Israeli-Palestinian peace.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781781681206
Publisher: Verso Books
Publication date: 09/10/2013
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 9.28(h) x 1.25(d)

About the Author

Josh Ruebner is the National Advocacy Director of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation. He founded and directed Jews for Peace in Palestine and Israel, which merged with Jewish Voice for Peace. Ruebner was also a former Analyst in Middle East Affairs for the Congressional Research Service, a governmental agency providing members of Congress with policy analysis. He lives in Washington, DC.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Part I US Policy, 2009-2011 3

Part II Themes of US Policy 10

A Note on Terminology 21

Part I US POLICY, 2009-2011

Chapter 1 An Unbelievably Informed President 27

A President Emerges 27

Operation Cast Lead 40

Chapter 2 Settlements Have to Be Stopped 51

George Mitchell, Special Envoy for Middle East Peace 51

The Gaza Strip in the Aftermath of Operation Cast Lead 56

Freezing Israeli Settlements 63

Chapter 3 Negotiations Must Begin Soon 73

Settlement "Moratorium" 73

Biden's Visit 87

Chapter 4 Settlements Are Corrosive to Israel's Future 93

The Rise and Fall of Negotiations 93

Why Negotiations Failed 104

Chapter 5 More than 700 Days of Failure, No Successes 109

Trial Balloon 109

A Confluence of Events 115

Chapter 6 Time for My Courageous and Proud People to Live Free 127

UN Membership 127

Sanctions 144

Part II Themes of Us Policy

Chapter 7 Repeated and Unbalanced Criticisms of Israel 151

The Goldstone Report 151

Gaza Freedom Flotilla 168

Chapter 8 A Broader, Deeper, More Intense Military Relationship with Israel than Ever 177

US-Israel Military Ties 177

US Aid to Palestinians 188

Chapter 9 Anti-American Sentiment Fomented by US Favoritism for Israel 203

Israel's Strategic Value to the United States 203

Conflicting Interests 211

Chapter 10 We Don't Do Gandhi Very Well 223

Obama on Nonviolence 224

US Policy toward Palestinian Nonviolence 228

Chapter 11 An Ordinary Political Discourse 241

Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) 241

Media and Popular Culture 252

Chapter 12 Throwing Israel under the Bus 259

Growing Partisanship over Israel 259

Israel, Palestinians and the 2012 Election 266

Conclusion 275

Get Involved 293

Acknowledgments 295

Notes 299

Index 343

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