Obama is first and foremost a man of words. With the hands of an artist, he combines them together. They allow him to express a dream, they give him the grandiose ability to charm and excite. Yet in policy there are moments in which words have no more power. And this is Obama's great mistake: He brought a suitcase filled with words to his visit to the Middle East. The White House staff worked for hours on end to equip him with brilliant wordings. Later, he – with his own hands – embellished the speeches and wove the glitter into them.
There is only one thing the president did not bring along on his visit: A real peace plan, attached to a timetable. A plan comprised of all the things Obama has been saying for the past four years: Two states, with Jerusalem as their capital, land swaps, a secured border, security arrangements.
Obama chose to do nothing but talk. At the start of his first term in office, he promised the world: He appointed a special envoy to the Middle East, started a process and appeared as someone who was about to save both people from their leadership. The American president has the tools to design a reality: He doesn’t have to force peace on the two sides – he has to put a plan on the table, and from this point recruit the global public opinion in order to advance it. He has to present a plan also in order to make it clear which side is willing to go along with it and which is the refusing side.
Obama boarded Air Force One and made the long trip to Israel in order to listen, as if there is something left to say to him about the issue which he does not know.
When he started off, Obama said that one is not only allowed to dream – one must dream. During his visit, he will not be helping the sides to fulfill the dream he himself promised them. When the lights go off and the festival comes to an end, the president will go back to his home, leaving behind a Middle East with another missed opportunity. This time it will have his name all over it.