The president has done a smart and a good thing by bringing the leaders of the Palestinians and the Israelis together at the White House. It’s good both for the “peace process” and for himself politically.
History shows that one of the best ways to get close to peace in the Middle East is to have direct involvement of the U.S. president. Jimmy Carter achieved a peace deal between Israel and Egypt in 1978 at Camp David while Bill Clinton nearly got one between Yassir Arafat and former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak in 2000.
For Obama, it’s a no-lose situation. He increases his stature with voters by presenting himself as a leader on the world stage. If the talks fail, no one blames him anymore than you would blame a four year old for failing to solve Rubik’s Cube.
The concern here is that this doesn’t become a forum for pressuring the Israelis, especially given Obama’s history of petulance toward Netanyahu and sympathy for the Palestinians.
But he’s doing the right thing.