Panelists at the Heritage Foundation called upon the Obama administration to put aside preconceived notions about what will solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “What has been pursued over the past sixteen years … has not produced security at all. It has not worked,” said Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) on June 3, 2009.
Brownback bases his criteria for a successful Middle East policy on three basic elements: “First, does it produce security for Israel? Second does it improve the lives of the Palestinians? And third, does it advance the national security interest of the United States?” This approach, according to Brownback, “confers flexibility in the development of the peace process” and “allows [the Israelis and the Palestinians] to pursue creative solutions to achieve a comprehensive peace.”
Brownback asserted that “the grand experiment of pursuing statehood above all else has failed.” Instead, he advocated ways “to craft solutions that serve the humanitarian interests of the Palestinians and reflec[t] the facts on the ground[.]”
Daniel Pipes, syndicated columnist and author of Militant Islam Reaches America, argued that there is a “new Cold War” in the Middle East. “However venomous the relations may be between Fatah and Hamas[,] … they will always join together against Israel,” Pipes said. “This is another reason to be doubtful of a two-state solution.”
Pipes also doubts that “the United States government will find significant support in Saudi Arabia or any of the other members of that block” with regards to Iran. “The notion that one muslim state will help a non-muslim state against another muslim state is too difficult to entertain,” he said.