Obama's Road Map for Peace

With a tanking economy and two wars on his hands, President-elect Obama will probably not much have attention to spare for Israel and Palestine. But Philip Stephens writes in today’s Financial Times that “the early years of his presidency will be his best, and quite possibly the last, chance to broker a two-state solution.” With his worldwide support and unique heritage, Obama currently has “as much authority among Israelis, Palestinians and in the wider Arab world as any US president can ever expect.” Obama has paid proper lip service to a two-state solution and there has been talk of appointing a special US envoy to the region, but it is in this area that “Mr. Obama has promised least.” Obama’s best hope of fulfilling a “transformational presidency” may be to “redraw the strategic map of the Middle East and thereby set a new direction for America’s role in the world.”