Many of you know that Chuck Freeby, our Harvest News source, is involved in Sportscasting. Well… lets try our hand at that approach as we examine our US Administration's big address to the people over here in the Middle East!
OK – One speech down – two to go.
Reminds me a little of a play-off series… but it is not. Middle East peace has been such a part of world history, particularly in the last seven decades, that it cannot be caricaturized as such.
But the reporting on all this activity probably could be compared to sports writers…
Peace accords don't happen when they are cast into an 'us vs. them' format. Peace happens for the prevailing of common sense, to end strife, and for the benefit of both parties.
Now President Obama's Middle East Policy speech was largely devoted to the American values paralleling what has been come to be called the Arab Spring. The other emphasis placed was the Israeli Palestinian situation.
On the field of play here in the Middle East, there has been a fury of writers calling 'foul' – both in Israel and the Arab world.
For our focus today we will stick to the final minuets of the fourth quarter and mention that for the Israeli's, they are upset that Mr. Obama wants a peace accord based on the 1967 cease fire lines. Alternatively for the Palestinians, they did not get any mention of Jerusalem or a construction freeze – (on the contrary, Mr. Netanyahu just hours before Obama's speech consented to opening a way forward for an additional 1550 housing units to be built in the West Bank).
In regards to the change taking place across many Arab States, America has to overcome the suspicion and mistrust that the Arab world has of it's decades of supporting rulers in the region that are now no longer players – rulers who have not scored well on their roles of playing for the people.
Middle East Peace is not a game. And the road to the championship victory of the 'Arab Spring' is a very very long and challenging one.
One can focus now on who they think the MVP of the series will be, Mr. Clutch or the blogger who sits on Facebook in his hideout out of fear – or getting further progress towards getting leadership to listen and implement change.
What is interesting to me in the day after chatter about the speech, is that one can see two distinct groups; shall we say, the Monday Morning Quarterbacks, and the Seasoned Analysts.
Essentially, one group is saying the refereeing was bad, the other is saying that this is a best of three speeches series in the game of professional world politics and diplomacy.
We'll have a wrap-up of all the action for you on Monday's Harvest Show – so join us then!
Middle East Correspondent