Analysis: A softer Obama tone on Israel?

In a telling indication of her priorities, the last question Al-Arabiya reporter Nadia Bilbassy-Charters asked US President Barack Obama in an interview over the weekend had to do with Israel and the Palestinians.

“You’re the second president I’m interviewing who is leaving office without realizing the vision of a Palestinian state,” she said. “You had serious efforts in the first and second administration. Yet we receive – we reached a dead-end. Why? Who is responsible for that?” Obama’s answer was telling both for what he said, as for what he didn’t.

Here he was, talking to a Saudi- owned pan-Arab network, and he could have won points by bashing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, by placing the blame for the stalemate – as some officials in his administration have done – on the settlements.


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