Tales from the Trail

Netanyahu on Obama ties: Under the bus? What bus?

September 25, 2011

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refused to take the bait on Sunday when asked if he agreed with Republican presidential candidates that President Barack Obama is not pro-Israel enough.

George Mitchell returns to law firm after 2 years as Mideast envoy

By Reuters Staff
June 13, 2011

George Mitchell says he doesn’t believe in retirement.

After two years focusing on Middle East peace for President Barack Obama, he returned Monday to the law firm DLA Piper as chairman emeritus.

Washington Extra – A glass half full, or half empty

September 2, 2010

hillary_middleastWell at least no-one walked out, as one Middle East veteran remarked to me after the meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas today. In fact, as our chief blogger Toby Zakaria observed, the public atmospherics between the two men were not too bad.

Mideast peace veterans and handshake diplomacy

September 2, 2010

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton repeatedly referred to them as “veterans” of the Middle East peace process.

Washington Extra -The audacity of hope?

September 1, 2010

If rescuing the U.S. economy from the Slough of Despond wasn’t enough, President Barack Obama took a stab at finding peace in the Middle East today. Obama is determined to forge a new relationship with the Muslim world, and presumably would like to unquestionably earn the Nobel Peace Prize he was awarded last year.obama_middleast But getting embroiled in the Middle East is a risk for the president, not least because failure to reach an accord could set back his efforts to win over Muslims and achieve solidarity over Iran. Ordinary Israelis and Palestinians are not optimistic about this latest peace effort, and experts say the one-year deadline to reach a deal does not appear very realistic. Nevertheless, it is hard to argue with Obama’s opening remarks today, and his hope that “extremists and rejectionists” should not be allowed to derail the peace process.

Of diplomacy and baseball…

August 20, 2010

Timing is everything in diplomacy and baseball.

After months of prickly talks aimed at coaxing Israelis and Palestinians into direct peace talks, U.S. envoy George Mitchell finally had news to share.
MIDEAST/
But when the U.S. mediator par excellence took the stage for questions Friday at the State Department, reporters tossed him one out of left field.

The First Draft: searching for peace

August 18, 2009

President Barack Obama meets with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak at the White House around 11 a.m. in the long-running quest for Middle East peace that has bedeviled American presidents for decades.