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Barracking Obama, Part I
Moderates in the Arab world are growing increasingly vocal with their criticism of the US president’s Middle East policy, reports Trends. Part I.
December 30, 2009 11:11 by Ben Lynfield
There is also concern in Jordan and Egypt of heightened tensions at home and in the region if as now seems likely there will be no fair American peace broker to decisively enact change.
It all started rather loftily, with a call on Israel to halt settlement activity, and American administration officials urging Israel to refrain from evictions and home demolitions that would foreclose the outcome of future negotiations on Jerusalem.
In May the president spoke in Cairo in an apparent bid to open a new chapter of the United States’ relationship with the Muslim and Arab world. This after the Bush administration gave an unprecedented endorsement to some of the Jewish state¹s settlement activity in the West Bank.
Obama used language that his audience was not used to hearing from an American president. He gave the impression he was staking out a new, more even-handed policy. Now it would be different, Obama promised. The situation for the Palestinian people was “intolerable,” he declared.
“The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements. This construction violates previous signed agreements and undermines efforts to achieve peace. It is time for these settlements to stop,” he said to thunderous applause from his audience in the Egyptian capital.