Daily Israel Report

Obama Names Middle East Peace as Failure

Asked to point at something he has failed to accomplish, U.S. president chooses the task for which he received the Nobel Prize.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 7/16/2012, 11:37 AM

Clinton and Lieberman
Clinton and Lieberman
Israel news photo: Flash 90

When asked to point out something he has failed to accomplish, U.S. President Barack Obama chose the task for which he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize near the start of his term – achieving Middle East peace.

ABC/WJLA's Scott Thuman had asked the president to talk about his "first few years" in office. "Is there anything you believe you failed at," Thuman wanted to know, "not because Congress wouldn't play ball, but that rests squarely on your shoulders that has you desperate to get that second term to atone for?"

Obama's initial response referred to the failure to achieve comprehensive immigration reform, but Thuman noted that this was a "Congressional" matter.

"What about you?", he asked. "Is there something on your list?"

Obama answered: "Well, you know... the truth is that the things I can do, um, without Congress tend to be in the foreign policy area. And, you know, in that area I have not been able to move the peace process forward in the Middle East the way I wanted. It's something we focused on very early. But the truth of the matter is, that the parties, they've got to want it as well."

Obama's Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in Israel for a brief visit Sunday. She met with Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and was also set to meet Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.