Obama’s gigantic task

There isn’t any escape from politics. US President Barack Obama’s whirling tour of Asia in search of more jobs and business for the embattled American economy time and again came under the spectrum of politics, as his leadership was questioned on the irritating and unresolved issues from Afghanistan to Palestine and from Pyongyang to Kashmir.

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Published: Sun 14 Nov 2010, 12:01 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 1:47 PM

Moreover, Obama’s obsession to see a new world of comfort pop up on the horizon served as the flashback memory for all and sundry as he addressed the Indian parliament and gathering of Muslim notables in Jakarta. Obama, irrespective of his best oratory skills and humble gestures, cannot hide the reality that there is something amiss when it comes to foreign policy in his tenure. Perhaps, this is what that compelled Obama to castigate Israel without taking any qualms, and blamed it for the prevailing deadlock in the region. This spontaneous realisation can, however, be the first realistic step in addressing the Middle East conundrum. How efficiently and tactfully such a goal is achieved is, however, anybody’s guess.

Yet once again, Obama has criticised Israeli plans to build some 1,300 settler homes in East Jerusalem, and termed it as an impediment on the path of reconciliation in one of the world’s most volatile regions. In Jakarta, he rightly observed that neither the Palestinians nor the Israelis are making efforts needed for a breakthrough in stalled peace talks. So much so for his opinion is concerned. But what comes as a surprise is the fact that since day one Washington has not been able to prevail over Tel Aviv, and its emissaries sent out in the region had off and on ended up at Waterloo. The adamant attitude of the Jewish state has, one way or the other, marginalised American diplomacy in the region, whereby other stakeholders had also found it irrelevant to look up to the Capitol Hill for a serene future. This is a serious moment of realisation for the United States. The mid-term debacle at the hands of Republicans, coupled with soaring socio-economic grievances at home hint at a difficult task for Obama to see his dream of two-state solution realise in the heart of the Middle East. It’s high time the US president put his foot down for a reason and cause beyond politics of exigency.

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