Palestinian statehood: why Arabs have turned on Obama

President Obama, who made Israeli-Palestinian peace a priority from the outset of his administration, is now the US leader with incongruously bad relations with the Arab world. Here are three key causes of the deterioration in ties – and three steps that the can be taken to mend US relations with Arabs and Muslims.

By , Staff writer

Arab solidarity on Palestinian issue

For decades, some regional scholars said the notion of Arab solidarity with the Palestinians was a myth. But the controversy over their statehood has demonstrated, some argue, that the Palestinian struggle is a matter of pride and fairness among Arabs – especially as the international community champions other younger pro-independence conflicts.

"There's a whole body of work out there built around the notion that the Palestinian issue doesn't matter [to the Arabs], but it resonates and it does matter," says Mr. Levy, a former Israeli peace negotiator.

Repairing US-Arab relations won't be easy. Some say that Obama's options are limited by, among other things, a Congress (and not just conservative Republicans) that is increasingly pro-Israel and dismissive of America's traditional role as an honest broker in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Obama’s reelection campaign could also factor in.

Nevertheless, in the next pages are three key steps that would help.

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