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Opinion: No Mideast peace? Blame the American media

Perhaps it's time to point out that the Emperor has no clothes.

The Palestinians have also followed a dead end road by turning down every compromise including the 1948 United Nations plan to partition Palestine between Jews and Arabs (which would have made the Jewish portion barely tenable). As Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban famously said, “The Palestinians never miss a chance to miss a chance.”

To make matters worse, both Jews and Arabs nurture a deeply felt sense of victimization that stokes anger and mistrust and blinds them to the needs of the other side.

It is hard to overestimate the difficulty of the task Obama has taken on. He has given himself a year to broker an Arab-Israeli agreement, before the approaching presidential election makes it impossible for the administration to put real pressure on Israel.

He already faces a deadline on Sept. 28, when Israel’s 10-month moratorium on building Jewish homes in the occupied Palestinian territories, expires. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu believes his governing coalition will collapse if he extends the moratorium. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says he will quit the talks if he doesn't.

The Obama administration is trying to find a way to fudge the issue, just to keep the talks from collapsing. It may succeed in finding a temporary compromise, but the ingrained bias in American politics and the American media that tends to be more pro-Israel than pro-Arab makes it highly unlikely that Washington will ever be seen as an even handed peace broker.

To make matters worse, the Obama peace effort totally ignores the 1.3 million Palestinians of the Gaza strip who chose an Islamist party, Hamas, to govern them in a 2006 election that Washington promoted and then rejected when it did not like the results. The continuing refusal to talk to a democratically elected Palestinian government makes the Obama peace effort look like a half-hearted effort to deal with half the problem.

Most of the world believes the emperor has no clothes.