Friday, January 2nd, 2009
James Besser in Washington
During the presidential campaign, a persistent subtheme in the Jewish community was the role of former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft in the Obama foreign policy team.
Seeking to calm the nerves of pro-Israel hawks, the campaign’s Jewish outreach team portrayed Scowcroft – who served the first President Bush and who some believe was a primary architect of that administration’s confrontations with the Shamir government in Israel – as a fringe player. (It should be noted that many also believe the Bush-Baker-Scowcroft team deserves credit for starting the first real, sustained peace process with the 1991 Madrid talks)
But Joe Klein has an interesting blog in Time suggesting that Scowcroft’s role could be a significant factor in how the new administration treats the Israeli-Pal conflict. Klein doesn’t predict a dramatic policy upheaval, but the possibility of a “subtle but significant change from the Bush 43 policies of talking a nice game about a two-state solution but never doing much about it–and of actively supporting disproportionate Israeli responses to Arab outrages. There would be a constant process of negotiation, in the hope of preventing the sort of explosions we’re seeing now in Gaza. There would be an attempt to nudge both sides back to the peace plan proposed by Bill Clinton.”
Read it here.