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Political Analysis and Commentary
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"For Zion's sake I shall not hold my peace, And for Jerusalem's sake I shall not rest."

Security Analysts: Rough Ride on Obama\'s Roadmap
Cheshvan 7, 5769; 05 November 08 11:56
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

Obama plans full-speed ahead for PA state

( United States President-elect Barack Obama will pressure Israel into more concessions to the Palestinian Authority and will reduce the probability of an attack on Iran, according to expert security analysts.

The next president stated during his campaign that he favors direct negotiations with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a move that would pull the rug from under any plans to use force to prevent Tehran from obtaining a nuclear weapon through its uranium enrichment program.

His pledge to pull American troops out of Iraq is welcomed by Arab nations and the Palestinian Authority, which is anxiously awaiting the appointment of a special Middle East envoy who President-elect Obama has said he will appoint.

Candidates include former Democratic President Bill Clinton, who arranged the famous handshake between Yasser Arafat and Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin during the Oslo Accord negotiations. Other possibilities are his wife Sen. Hillary Clinton, Oslo Accords architect Dennis Ross, former American envoy to Israel Dan Kurtzer and Governor Bill Richardson.

Regardless of who takes the job, the new administration will try to push full-speed ahead to reach the agreement that President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice were not able to forge.

Eitan Haber, who was a negotiator for Rabin during the Oslo talks, wrote last month in Yediot Acharonot, "To be honest, Obama doesn\'t make us sleep well at night. We are about to see a president who has nothing to do with Judaism, Jews, and the State of Israel."

The new government in Washington also would prefer Tzipi Livni instead of Binyamin Netanyahu as Prime Minister, according to Roni Bart, a research fellow at the Tel Aviv-based Institute for National Security Studies.

"There is a good chance that relations between Obama and Bibi will not be healthy,\'\' he told Bloomberg News.

Israel already has conceded basic changes in the Bush Roadmap, which called for temporary borders of a new Arab state after a halt to PA incitement and terror. Outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert agreed to abandon that conditional step and strive for a final agreement on borders of an Arab state while incitement and terror continues.

The only red lines remaining are the unity of the capital of Jerusalem and the PA demand that Israel allow the immigration of millions of Arabs living in foreign countries and claiming to be descendants of former Israeli Arab residents.

"The problem is going to be everything is going to come at them from day one," said Stephen Stedman, a Stanford University professor and a director of a national strategic project known as Managing Global Insecurity. "The temptation will be to put off decisions on international institutions and deal with the crises," he told the London Guardian.

Ephraim Inbar, director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar-Ilan University near Tel Aviv, told Bloomberg News, "There could be more pressure on Israel to take more risks, like removing security checkpoints" in Judea and Samaria.