Slouching Toward Jerusalem

The United States has been a surprisingly ineffectual Middle East peacemaker. Clinton’s overenthusiasm and Bush’s lack of interest caused us to lose our credibility with both Israel and Palestine.

Issue: May-June 2009

HAVING WORKED for the administrations of five former presidents, I want to offer some very unsolicited advice about the challenges the Obama administration faces in dealing with the Arab-Israeli situation. It's neither the most nor least important issue America faces abroad, nor even in the Middle East; yet experts and pundits will spill gallons of ink arguing over how important it really is to protecting American interests. But one thing about the conflict is painfully clear: unless the president tries to manage it, it will manage him.

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