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The Peace PuzzleAmerica's Quest for Arab-Israeli Peace, 1989-2011$
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Daniel C. Kurtzer, Scott B. Lasensky, William B. Quandt, Steven L. Spiegel, and Shibley Z. Telhami

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780801451478

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801451478.001.0001

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An Early Assessment

(p.241) Chapter six Obama
The Peace Puzzle

Daniel C. Kurtzer

Scott B. Lasensky

William B. Quandt

Steven L. Spiegel

Shibley Z. Telhami

Cornell University Press

This chapter provides initial observations of the Obama administration's approach to peace process. Barack Obama entered office with a strong desire to differentiate himself from what he viewed as the failed Middle East policies of George W. Bush. He was also very aware of the failures of earlier administrations, such as the Clinton experience in 2000. Yet he proved unable to generate significant movement in Arab–Israeli peacemaking during his first three years in office. Indeed, his administration fell into some of the same troubling patterns that beset U.S. policy in the past. Despite the president's early devotion, the pursuit of Middle East peace eventually decreased in priority because of the pressing domestic political agenda of the administration. Lingering economic difficulties at home, the war in Afghanistan, and the explosion of the political transformations that swept across the Arab world in 2011 combined to push this issue to second-tier status.

Keywords:   Obama administration, peace process, Middle East policies, Arab–Israeli peacemaking

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