Of course there is no mistake in trying to solve the Israeli-Palestinian problem. This would take care of a good part of Middle East problems. But the Obama mistake is that he did not start by pushing Israel into peace with Syria, that is, pushing Israel to give up the Golan. Peace with Syria can be settled within less than a year since all the issues have been discussed and the solutions are known. Even Netanyahu, during his first PM term, agreed to give back the Golan in return for peace. And the older Assad agreed to peace on this basis. (Barak became fearful, but Clinton did not pressure him.) Likud, and the other Greater Israel idealists, know that the Golan is not part of historical Eretz Israel (where the 12 tribes dwelled), so pressure can persuade them. Peace between Israel and Syria will choke off weapons to Hizballah (and even Hamas), and reduce Iran's standing in the region. It will also weaken the Palestinians, making them more amenable to compromise. After that relatively easy step, the US should have turned to peace with the Palestinians. But Obama was inexperienced, and has a weak Foreign Policy team. Obama also believes in his power of persuasion and may not understand illogical people. But I think he learned much by now, and can still correct his path.
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France, U.S. target Islamic State with two strikes in Iraq (Reuters)
from the article: On eve of Obama-Netanyahu meeting, Abbas offers Jerusalem compromise