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World Opinion: On President Obama and Israel

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An excerpt from recent editorials in newspapers in the world:

By The Associated Press

On President Barack Obama and Israel:

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... During his six months in office, (President Barack) Obama has asked Prime Minister Ben-jamin Netanyahu to accept the idea of a Palestinian state and to freeze construction in the settlements. In exchange, he promised to ask the Arab states to take steps toward a normalization of relations with Israel, such as opening diplomatic representations and flight routes. Netanyahu adopted the two-state solution, albeit while specifying certain conditions, but he continues to refuse to stop development in the settlements.

In "closed" talks with associates and foreign visitors, Netanyahu has blasted Obama, asserting that the president's pressure on Israel is aimed at placating the Arabs at Israel's expense. ...

Netanyahu is erring twice: by entering into an unnecessary and harmful conflict with the U.S. administration, and by rejecting Obama's fundamental desire to break through the stalemate in the peace process and complete the process of Israel's acceptance into the Middle East. The election of Obama and his popularity in the Arab world create a unique opportunity for a breakthrough in the peace process, and it would be a shame to miss it.

Now the U.S. administration must convince the Israeli public that it has a friend in the White House. ... After talking to the Arabs, the Muslims and the Iranians, in speeches and on televi-sion, it is only right that Obama address the Israeli public and persuade the people to support reviving the peace process with the Palestinians and Syrians and halting the destructive set-tlement enterprise in the West Bank.

-- Ha'aretz, Tel-Aviv, Israel

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