Mideast Expert: Egypt Would Make Better Mediator Than Obama

Friday, 11 Jul 2014 03:29 PM

By Courtney Coren

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President Barack Obama has offered to help negotiate a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, but Middle East expert Joshua Muravchik says that the Egyptian government would make a better mediator than the president. 

"There is in place a better mediator than President Obama or the United States government and that is the Egyptian government, which actually both sides trust more," Muravchik told J.D. Hayworth and John Bachman on "America's Forum" on Newsmax TV on Friday.

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According to the author and fellow from Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies, Israel has sought help from Egypt "and Hamas turned that down."

Such negotiations have taken place previously through "the Egyptian military and intelligence," adding that "this goes back well before the overthrow of Mubarak, who have maintained very strong lines of communication with Israel and also had strong lines of communication with the Palestinians, including with Hamas."

Muravchik contends that if Obama did play the role of mediator, it "would simply amount to a backdoor way to give recognition to Hamas, which the United States has refused to do until this time."

The Middle East expert explained that the Israelis have more trust in the their "contacts in Egypt . . . than they would have in Obama."

So far, "Obama's actions on this whole conflict have been absurd," he says.

"Earlier this week he wrote an op-ed – this is a very strange way for the president of the United States to carry out policy – in the leading leftist Israeli newspaper calling on both sides to show reasonableness and restraint," Muravchik explained.

The problem with Obama's admonitions is that it's not clear what he means by "restraint," he said.

"Meaning instead of murdering three teenagers [Hamas] should have only murdered two? Or instead of firing 1,000 rockets into Israel, as they've done the last few days, they should only fire 500?" Murvchik asked.

"The concept is absurd."

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