Many people, myself included, are hopeful that President Obama, with his new outlook on diplomacy, will be successful in helping broker a peace in the Middle East.
But at least one Middle East expert fails to share in that positive outlook.
Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and Middle East expert Chris Hedges says he is "not terribly optimistic" because, he believes, Israel is not seeking peace with the Palestinians.
Hedges, my guest today on News Talk Online on Paltalk.com, says that Israel, "has no interest in a two state solution." Nor, he says, with a negotiated settlement with the Palestinians.
Hedges argues that Israel has blockaded the Gaza and therefore, despite its withdrawal, in essence, thereby occupies and is responsible for the territory. Yet, he says, fully half the Palestinians in the Gaza rely on Untied Nations relief in order to subsist.
It is, he argues, an "assault against Gaza" by the Israelis, one that many people view as ethnic cleansing. A strong charge that the Israelis consistently dispute.
"I don't think," Hedges says, "that Obama is willing to challenge Israel or punish Israel" for its actions towards Gaza.
He argues that the Israelis miscalculated with what he terms their "disproportionate" response to the Hamas rocket attacks and that has served to solidify Hamas politically in Gaza.