I guess I should convey my sympathies to the Saudis. Between health care scoring and the Chinese/Indian refusal to embrace climate control, we can’t make these tools cope with reality on our side either:
Saudi Arabia praised the Obama administration Friday for its “early and robust focus” on the Middle East while rebuffing its efforts to push Riyadh to take confidence-building steps toward Israel. “Incrementalism and the step-by-step approach has not, and we believe will not, achieve peace,” said the visiting Saudi foreign minister, Prince Saud al-Faisal, with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at his side. “Temporary security, confidence-building measures will also not bring peace.”…
U.S. officials insist they are making slow but steady progress behind the scenes. But the pressure on Israel to halt settlement expansion has generated a backlash there against the United States, while no Arab states have publicly revealed what they are prepared to do. Meanwhile, the Palestinians have hardened their position, refusing to talk to Jerusalem unless there is a settlement freeze.
The refusal to make even symbolic gestures toward Israel, of course, differentiates the Saudis in exactly zero ways from any other Middle Eastern states.
It’s amazing that standing next to Clinton last week while she obsessively focused on Israel during her presser didn’t incline Al-Faisal toward reasonability. Of the six substantive paragraphs in Clinton’s prepared statement, four dealt with Israel. Of those three dealt with Israel exclusively. Which is weird because I didn’t think Israel was technically next to Saudi Arabia, so you’d imagine there would be other things to talk about. Though when Obama met with Abdullah they also focused on Israel, so maybe this was just a followup.
On November 13th the NYT headline was “Saudis Cool to Israeli Overture.” Wasn’t Obama’s smart power supposed to fix this? Don’t tell me that he’s been groveling for nothing.
* China, India reject climate change restrictions [Hot Air]
* No Incremental Steps To Peace, Saudi Says [WaPo]
* Remarks With Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal – Hillary Rodham Clinton [State.gov]
* Obama discusses Gaza with Saudi ruler [Reuters]
* Saudis Cool to Israeli Overture [NYT]
* Obama Increases Aid To Arab And Muslim Regimes, Zeros Out Funding For Iranian And Egyptian Democracy Mvmts
* Arab States To Obama: No Seriously, We’re Not Going To Make Even Symbolic Concessions To Israel
* Obama’s Anti-Israel Diplomacy Spectacularly Fails To Win Even A Single Arab Or Muslim Concessions