Obama on Mideast: Envoy for Israel-PA Talks, No Mention of Iran


obama2President Barack Obama, in an hour-long address to Congress last night promised a “new era of engagement” in the Middle East and emphasized the Israel-Palestinian Authority conflict while omitting any reference to Iran.
His first major address at the joint session of the House of Representatives and Senate focused on economics and was thin on foreign policy. His only reference to countries outside of Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan was Israel. Washington Post columnist William Kristol chided the president for skipping over specifics on the issue of Iran threatening the world with nuclear terror. “The Israeli-Arab dispute and its envoy merit a mention. Yet Iran and its nuclear program does not?” he wrote.President Obama vowed not to “allow terrorists to plot against the American people from safe havens halfway around the world” but except for a brief reference to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, he singled out Israel. “To seek progress toward a secure and lasting peace between Israel and her neighbors, we have appointed an envoy to sustain our effort,” he told Congress.

Kristol commented, “This was not the speech of a man who even contemplates the possibility of using force within the next year to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.”

President Obama has loaded the problems of the Middle East on to his new regional envoy, George C. Mitchell and on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, both of whom are en route to Israel via European countries.

The successor to George W. Bush repeated to Congress his theme that the U.S. and the international community are dependent on each other to meet threats to peace but he did not mention Iran by name.

{WashPost/INN/Yair Alpert-Matzav.com Israel}