David Remnick’s piece in The New Yorker on traveling with Obama has a number of Israel moments, including a fundraiser at Haim Saban’s spread in L.A. with “a Warhol diptych of Golda Meir and Albert Einstein over the fireplace.” And there’s this:
Obama told me that in all three of his main initiatives in the region—with Iran, with Israel and the Palestinians, with Syria—the odds of completing final treaties are less than fifty-fifty. “On the other hand,” he said, “in all three circumstances we may be able to push the boulder partway up the hill and maybe stabilize it so it doesn’t roll back on us. And all three are connected. I do believe that the region is going through rapid change and inexorable change. Some of it is demographics; some of it is technology; some of it is economics. And the old order, the old equilibrium, is no longer tenable. The question then becomes, What’s next?”
P.S. A couple smart folks have said of Obama’s Jerusalem speech last March, “Remarks … to the People of Israel,” that he was washing his hands of the mess. I’ve told you what you have to do, now do it. And if you can’t… tough luck.