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Peace is possible.
It is possible.
I'm not saying it's guaranteeing.
I can't even say that it is more likely than not but it is possible.
Welcome to The Journal Editorial Report I'm -- -- that was President Obama in Jerusalem Thursday raising the prospect of peace.
In the middle -- urging Israelis and Palestinians to return to long stalled negotiations.
The trip mr.
Obama's first as president -- -- Of -- often frosty relationship with the Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
But did it mark a turning point.
In what has become the tide of war in the region let's -- Wall Street Journal deputy editorial page editor Dan anger and global view columnist.
Bret Stephens so.
Brett the big news out of this at least at the surface was the era of good feeling -- good feeling between prime minister Netanyahu and President Obama.
Real and as a make a difference.
Well may -- real and it might make a difference and definitely as good in terms of the optics I mean look.
President Obama spent his first four years trying to put as much distance between himself.
And the Israelis or at least the Israeli government as he caught.
And it didn't serve American foreign policy of dissidents or anyone's interest so now he's there he's talking about my friend BB.
Maybe maybe this is not sincere but at least it's creating a perception of greater closeness.
That's a good thing Israelis respond.
Better when they're being held and then when there when they're being scolded.
But no question speech went over well.
Questioned the real question is whether the president has a realistic vision for four well you -- raised the prospects of this this peace agreement with the Palestinian.
Those he's clearly John Kerry the new secretary of state has made this a priority you want to.
What are the realistic prospects when he saw the bit in Ramallah when the president spoke in Palestine you know it's the capital of the west Saturday you will.
When he was having a press conference with Palestinian president Mahmoud.
Abbas and the president.
The American president -- -- Let's not have negotiations with preconditions let's not insist that the power that the Israelis and settlement activity right and and he was.
We scolded by the Palestinian president says.
Did the real nub of the problem here isn't so much.
The settlements or this or that Israeli activity it's a refusal by the Palestinians to make any kind of compromises with the Israelis.
Stan well let's talk a little bit about -- Barack Obama he is asking fundamentally the Israelis to take.
A risk on behalf of peace and that's why I wanted to reassure them about the American security commitment.
Well that's right but think about what Obama's.
Attitude has been towards the Middle East in the first -- presidency.
The Libyan intervention.
He brought up the rear after the Europeans went in first we now have Syria completely falling apart.
And the president has kept the Syrian rebels at arm's length now for nearly two years.
So then he shows up in Israel and tells the Israelis that they should take -- risk for peace in the Middle East when he's been holding it the president of the United States holding the entire region -- -- like.
That's not -- -- saying that this very essentially a credibility problem yes he absolutely Israelis and at this stage.
They've seen for years they're not really going to buy -- but on the other hand he had tried to appeal -- to the Israeli self interest and said look your future demographically.
Is such that with the Arab populations growing faster you have to come to some kind of agreement if you want to survive in the region.
Right and in theory that's right and in twenty years when he five years Israel will fat face demographic problems.
But the question is -- here now Paula and in the here and now Egypt is under the control of the Muslim Brotherhood.
You don't know what's gonna happen in Syria war in Lebanon the future of Jordan where the president also visited is very clouded.
Very unclear in Israel you have to take -- problems in the orchard which they arrive and the real problems are Iran.
The chaos in the rest of the Arab world the initial -- -- the demographic future.
Is real but it's longer term so realistically.
Peace in the next four years between Israel and palace the Palestinians -- -- and there's no chance but no problem can be managed it can be managed so that there's not an outbreak of of of conflict.
The other area the president really I thought his rhetoric on Iran was at least as forceful as -- ever heard it.
Basically it seems to me saying look we aren't going to let them get on and -- it isn't containable Iran is not if it doesn't get one.
And that really puts him on the hook it seems to me in the next year to do something if -- doesn't cooperate diplomatically.
Well one would like to think so Paul but again it seems to me it raises the issue of the president's credibility.
I mean his.
Let's put it this week.
Did that US standing around the world has probably risen under Barack Obama but its clout has fallen.
For the reasons I stated earlier because of his reluctance to get involved over there and if you're the Iranians and he says something like this.
Do you really take it seriously at this point or is it simply Barack Obama saying things because he believes them himself.
I would bet.
Brett takes issue with the point about the standing question of the you have -- we are where we are less popular in the Arab world and we were in much of the Arab world and we were in the last year George W.
Is Jordan you mentioned -- The is is could King Abdullah.
Beat them next Arab -- to fall in that region.
What will be the consequences not just for Israel but for our own interest should -- it -- it'd be a disaster we'd lose one of last few real moderates in the Arab world.
Israel -- lose a secure border along its longest supporter you would have a vacuum and a contest for power.
How much trouble is is is The King and I know -- been some reports of more.
Food to protests -- the price of energy and so -- How much gets a call it gets a financial crisis he's being locally opposed by the Muslim Brotherhood and -- no longer has the backing.
Of the tribes that -- the traditional base for the Hashemite rule he's being flooded with refugees from Syria as -- Lebanon whole areas being stabilized because of the Syrian situation good good illustration of how our own stepping back an abdication has created problems for every one there all right --
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