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Thursday, March 12, 2009

US Mideast policy based on wishful thinking

From VOA, about how the Obama administration is overhauling Mideast policy:
Senator Kerry says there has been a tectonic shift in the geopolitics of the Middle East. Kerry says the rise of Iran following the war in Iraq has created an unprecedented willingness among moderate Arab nations to work with Israel.

"So there is a new reality - moderate Arab countries and Israel alike are actually more worried together about Iran than they are about each other. As a result, they are now cooperating in ways that were unimaginable just a couple of years ago. The truth is that an international initiative to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon is an essential building block of stability in the Middle East. If we succeed, Arab moderates will be stronger and Israel will be much more likely to take the risks for peace," he said.
There is no doubt that Arab nations are concerned about Iran. But they seem to consider something else to be their top priority. From the Saudi Gazette:
A summit here Wednesday by the leaders of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria and Kuwait saw the emergence of a new “Arab Quartet” that pledged the beginning of “a unified approach in Arab politics.”

[Their] statement reported by SPA said “the leaders consider their meeting the beginning of a new phase of relationships in which the four countries will serve Arab causes through cooperation and serious, continuous work for the welfare of Arab countries, and through a unified approach in Arab politics on essential causes, topped by the Palestinian issue.”
In fact, that was the only issue mentioned in the press release.

So on what does Senator Kerry base his thinking that the Arab nations consider Iran to be more pressing than the sixty-year old "Palestinian issue" that they themselves work assiduously to prolong?