Condi plays lame duck (again) in the Middle East

Condoleezza Rice held talks in Israel and Iraq today, as part of her regional tour of the Middle East. She was expected to put pressure on Israel to ease its border restrictions on Gaza, amid growing concerns that border closures are causing “intolerable” human rights conditions there. And she met with Mahmoud Abbas yesterday to ...

606787_condi_israel5.jpg
606787_condi_israel5.jpg

Condoleezza Rice held talks in Israel and Iraq today, as part of her regional tour of the Middle East. She was expected to put pressure on Israel to ease its border restrictions on Gaza, amid growing concerns that border closures are causing "intolerable" human rights conditions there. And she met with Mahmoud Abbas yesterday to discuss how to break the stalemate on a unity government with Hamas. Recent outbreaks of violence between Hamas and Fatah militants only prolong the Western boycott and leave the pseudo-autonomous government crippled by near bankruptcy.

But Rice's attempts at reigniting peace talks in the Middle East are again disappointing. She brings no new ideas to the complex situation between Israel and the Palestinians – urging a halt to the violence in the territories, but not budging on the conditions of the U.S. boycott, or even imaginatively addressing the financial crisis of the Palestinian Authority. And with no clear plan, she seems to default to the usual tricks – like playing lip service to the two-state solution. Perhaps she should have stayed in Washington.

Condoleezza Rice held talks in Israel and Iraq today, as part of her regional tour of the Middle East. She was expected to put pressure on Israel to ease its border restrictions on Gaza, amid growing concerns that border closures are causing “intolerable” human rights conditions there. And she met with Mahmoud Abbas yesterday to discuss how to break the stalemate on a unity government with Hamas. Recent outbreaks of violence between Hamas and Fatah militants only prolong the Western boycott and leave the pseudo-autonomous government crippled by near bankruptcy.

But Rice’s attempts at reigniting peace talks in the Middle East are again disappointing. She brings no new ideas to the complex situation between Israel and the Palestinians – urging a halt to the violence in the territories, but not budging on the conditions of the U.S. boycott, or even imaginatively addressing the financial crisis of the Palestinian Authority. And with no clear plan, she seems to default to the usual tricks – like playing lip service to the two-state solution. Perhaps she should have stayed in Washington.

More from Foreign Policy

A Panzerhaubitze 2000 tank howitzer fires during a mission in Ukraine’s Donetsk region.
A Panzerhaubitze 2000 tank howitzer fires during a mission in Ukraine’s Donetsk region.

Lessons for the Next War

Twelve experts weigh in on how to prevent, deter, and—if necessary—fight the next conflict.

An illustration showing a torn Russian flag and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
An illustration showing a torn Russian flag and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

It’s High Time to Prepare for Russia’s Collapse

Not planning for the possibility of disintegration betrays a dangerous lack of imagination.

An unexploded tail section of a cluster bomb is seen in Ukraine.
An unexploded tail section of a cluster bomb is seen in Ukraine.

Turkey Is Sending Cold War-Era Cluster Bombs to Ukraine

The artillery-fired cluster munitions could be lethal to Russian troops—and Ukrainian civilians.

A joint session of Congress meets to count the Electoral College vote from the 2008 presidential election the House Chamber in the U.S. Capitol  January 8, 2009 in Washington.
A joint session of Congress meets to count the Electoral College vote from the 2008 presidential election the House Chamber in the U.S. Capitol January 8, 2009 in Washington.

Congrats, You’re a Member of Congress. Now Listen Up.

Some brief foreign-policy advice for the newest members of the U.S. legislature.