Monday, January 30, 2012

Don't Wait For November, Mr. Abbas

Will Oremus on the relentlessly pro-Israel Sheldon Adelson, whose $10 million for Newt Gingrich's super-PAC is among the largest individual gifts in history in support of a single candidate:
When [Gingrich] talks tough on Palestine, it’s fair to question whether he’s espousing his true beliefs or parroting a line from his benefactor. There’s no question that Gingrich has been paid for by Sheldon Adelson. It’s up to voters to decide whether he’s been bought.
In fairness to Gingrich, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum are taking virtually the same line on the Middle East. Near-fanaticism about Israel is an oblation that is freely offered in the GOP.

Electing any one of them would probably invigorate the peace process. World opinion against Israel, the Islamist breeze from the Arab spring, and Obama's carefully tempered support for the Jewish state are encouraging the Palestinians to think Israel's halcyon days are past. So they've dragged their feet in the Obama administration, torpedoing the 2010 talks with preconditions on West Bank settlements and then focusing on trying to get UN recognition for not-yet-Palestine. A GOP ascendency would encourage progress in negotiations by providing renewed clarity to those who may be uncertain about Israel's right to exist or intention to do so indefinitely.

The longer Palestinians wait for their country, the more settlements Israel builds and the smaller their country gets. Don't wait for November, President Abbas. If you would prefer Obama, then give him a feather for his cap: A Rose Garden ceremony with you and Bibi following a breakthrough agreement in principle on Palestine. Just say yes.

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