Babylon & Beyond

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ISRAEL: Obama as president, peacemaker, singer and dancer

January 22, 2010 | 10:23 am

This week, Israeli lawmaker Danny Danon gave the U.S. president  an F in Middle East policy, saying he'd flunk the president for his "serious lack of knowledge and understanding on topics related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict." 

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas recently said Obama is "doing nothing for the Middle East peace process," and expressed hope the U.S. would lean on Israel to abide by international law so that the road map may be implemented.

Amid the argument over   who is to blame for the failure of the Middle East peace process and whether Obama is doing too much, as Danon charges, or too little, as Abbas contends, peace is ultimately up to the Israelis and Palestinians,  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says.  And Obama himself concedes that the U.S. underestimated the Israeli-Palestinian deadlock.

Actually, this might just be what Israelis have been waiting to hear. Most don't really want the U.S. to throw in the towel and let both sides fight.

But until  Obama succeeds in getting both sides to the table, he might have a new gig in Israel. Check out the latest in a series of conversation-piece ads for "Yes," the Israeli satellite TV company.

In it, an actress playing Michelle Obama zaps between TV channels which an actor playing Barack Obama stands nearby. 

She: "Mr. I'm-gonna-change-the-world, maybe you can start with this boring TV?" 

He: "You know what, dear? Yes, I can."

-- Batsheva Sobelman in Jerusalem

Video: TV commercial, produced by McCann Erickson in Israel. Credit: YouTube