In Friday’s Washington Post, Brent Scowcroft and Zbigniew Brzezinski — two former U.S. national security advisers who are not exactly favorites of the pro-Israel lobby — called on President-elect Barack Obama to speak out "clearly and forcefully about the fundamental principles of the peace process."
This weakness can be overcome by the president speaking out clearly and forcefully about the fundamental principles of the peace process; he also must press the case with steady determination. That initiative should then be followed — not preceded — by the appointment of a high-level dignitary to pursue the process on the president’s behalf, a process based on the enunciated presidential guidelines. Such a presidential initiative should instantly galvanize support, both domestic and international, and provide great encouragement to the Israeli and Palestinian peoples.
To say that achieving a successful resolution of this critical issue is a simple task would be to scoff at history. But in many ways the current situation is such that the opportunity for success has never been greater, or the costs of failure more severe.
During the election season, plenty of Obama’s Jewish critics played up his small number of consultations with Brzezinski. But, if you believe what you read, he’s actually been spending more time talking with Scowcroft. CNN had this report on Thursday, and Josh Marshall of TalkingPointsMemo said as much last week.