Barack Obama

So Obama, change isn’t easy

By Tim Marshall, November 5, 2009

Fifty-two weeks is a long time in politics, but not long enough to turn around the supertankers of American foreign policy. That is especially true when, after taking power, you realise that changing policy can lead you into a course strewn with mines, waiting to blow your tankers out of the water.

Fifty-two weeks ago President Obama’s election victory speech promised that: “Change has come to America”. That is a moot point. What is harder to argue is that America has brought change to the world.

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Guardian omits Rabin, Peres, Begin from Nobel list

By Jessica Elgot, October 9, 2009

Complaints to The Guardian newspaper over an incomplete list of Nobel peace prize winners have led to a hasty amendment on the paper's website.

The incomplete list was up for four hours, despite comments below the list which pointed out the omissions of Yitzak Rabin, Menachem Begin and Shimon Peres.

Immediately following the announcement of President Barack Obama's win of the 2009 Nobel peace prize, Guardian news editor Simon Rogers posted what he claimed was "every peace prize winner ever", stating that the information came from the website Nobelprize.org

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Obama's Nobel: new peace hopes for Middle East?

By Jessica Elgot, October 9, 2009

Israeli politicians have responded the US president Barack Obama’s Nobel peace prize win, asking him to stand firm on his commitments to achieve a lasting peace in the Middle East.

The announcement of the prize was made while Israeli president Binyamin Netanyahu was in Washington for more talks with Mr Obama’s special envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell.

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Obama rises above blind Jewish bias

By Richard Wolffe, October 1, 2009

We were together in a synagogue hall in Boca Raton, Florida — a presidential candidate on a bar stool, a semi-polite audience seated in rows in front of him, and the world’s media straining to hear every word.

It took less than 10 minutes before Barack Obama faced the inevitable attack, phrased as a question: could he name any “close personal friends” who were “solemnly pro-Israel and anti-terrorist”?

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Analysis: The president blames everyone but himself

By Shmuel Rosner, September 24, 2009

So now we know that both the Israelis and Palestinians are to blame.

“It’s time to show the flexibility, common sense and compromise which is necessary to achieve our goals,” President Obama preached to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas this week.

His great achievement of the evening: the handshake. More than a decade-and-a-half after Yitzhak Rabin, reluctantly, shook the hands of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat at the White House, Mr Netanyahu and Mr Abbas were also shaking hands for the first time.

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Analysis: Obama could not make peace alone

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 24, 2009

Binyamin Netanyahu has accomplished a remarkable feat. He travelled to the US, met the president at a highly publicised summit, upset the leader of the free world, returned home empty-handed — and is still not facing a public outcry.

A similar dispute with the Americans ultimately brought down the Shamir government in 1992. Later premiers never dared openly confront the US.

Barack Obama’s displeasure was barely disguised and no amount of spin can gloss over the failure of the three-way summit. But Mr Netanyahu, at least for now, is getting away with it.

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Analysis: Come to think of it, the new system might benefit Israel

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 24, 2009

Barack Obama’s decision to scrap the plan to position a missile-defence system in Poland and the Czech Republic could ultimately prove a boost to Israel’s defences.

The change in American plans was motivated by President Obama’s desire to placate the Russian leadership but there also remains a need to mount a defence against nuclear missiles that may be launched in future from Iran and other rogue nations in the east.

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Analysis: Obama snubs allies over missile shield

By Emanuele Ottolenghi, September 24, 2009

President Obama’s decision to scrap plans to deploy a radar station in the Czech Republic and 10 missile interceptors in Poland, as part of a long range ballistic missile defence network, may come down to budget cuts alone — the Administration does not have the funds to support a costly military programme at this difficult economic juncture.

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Obama meets Netanyahu and Abbas

By Jessica Elgot, September 23, 2009

President Barack Obama has told Israeli and Palestinian leaders that they must show the will to “break the deadlock that has trapped generations”.

Mr Obama met Israeli Prime Minster Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas separately in New York, before chairing a trilateral meeting.

The meeting was denounced by many politicians and commentators as nothing more than a photo opportunity, given that talks between US Special Envoy George Mitchell with Mr Netanyahu and Mr Abbas last week in Jerusalem and Ramallah failed to bring agreement.

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Obama to meet Abbas and Netanyahu

By Jessica Elgot, September 21, 2009

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas are set to meet US President Barack Obama separately in New York this week, with a trilateral meeting likely.

Mr Obama is expected to meet Mr Netanyahu and Mr Abbas individually before chairing a joint session.

If the meeting goes ahead, the three leaders are likely to meet at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York, where Mr Obama is staying for the meeting of the UN general assembly.

Israeli commentators denounced the meeting as a "photo opportunity" and said it would be wholly symbolic.

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