The president committed so many blunders with his new Mideast approach that it is almost unfair to single out one. Yet with Usama bin Laden dead, terror groups on the run and democracy rising in Arab lands, the largest missed opportunity is his refusal to denounce the Palestinian agreement to include Hamas in its government. This was the perfect moment to speak truth to delusion by emphasizing that Palestinians will not receive American aid or support if an unchanged Hamas is part of the government.
Obama didn't do that, and instead squeezed Israel by adopting the Palestinian narrative of grievance. By saying only that a Hamas role raised "legitimate questions" for Israel about negotiating with "a party that has shown itself unwilling to recognize your right to exist," Obama acted as though America is agnostic on the outcome.
In truth, Hamas is a proxy for Iran, a sworn enemy of America and Israel, and Obama should have said so directly. Asking Israel to deal with it is like asking the Jewish state to write a suicide note. Because Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu didn't just say no (he wisely said "Hell No"), Obama's mistake dooms any chance of progress.
As usual, Obama also got tangled in moral equivalencies, saying, "Israeli settlement activity continues. Palestinians have walked away from talks."
Both are true, but they are hardly equal. Obama foolishly made stopping all Israeli construction a precondition for talks, and the Palestinians signed on. As a result, there have been few direct talks during Obama's presidency, with even Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas blaming him for the breakdown.
Not to worry, though. Somehow, in this White House, it will all be Israel's fault.
Michael Goodwin is a Fox News contributor and New York Post columnist. To continue reading his column on other topics, including ObamaCare, click here.
Michael Goodwin is a Fox News contributor and New York Post columnist.