This was an interesting session that got a lot of reaction at the Aspen Ideas Festival.
US News & World Report publisher Mort Zuckerman and I had a polite dust-up over US-Israel policy and about President Obama. Katty Kay, Charlayne Hunter-Gault, James Fallows and Elisabeth Bumiller were on the panel with Andrea Mitchell moderating.
One of the points that Zuckerman referred to was a statement made by UAE Ambassador to the US Yousef al-Otaiba in an interview with The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg that the UAE would advocate use of force against Iran if it remained undeterred from a nuclear weapons course. Otaiba’s statement was reported widely.
Another part of Otaiba’s statement was that the US compel Israel to settle a deal with the Arab League and Palestine — and in result find its relations normalized with 57 other nations.
Andrea Mitchell commented that that part of Otaiba’s statement was ‘nothing new.’ But that part of the statement is the crucial piece, and it would be a mistake to think that it is less important today than previously, or less important than the bravado about armed force against Iran. They are linked.
— Steve Clemons