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March 19, 2013 2:00 am

Obama and the Israeli People: A Love Affair That Never Existed

avatar by Ron Agam

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President Barack Obama speaks with Yonit Levy on Israeli Channel 2 News on Thursday. Photo: Ambassador Dan Shapiro Facebook page.

After four years of a presidency that has seen  American geopolitical  interests  in the Middle East crumbling disastrously, will Obama finally capitalize on the connection between the people of Israel and the American people?

In a region where the streets are constantly trumpeting their hate and passionate antagonism towards the United States, the Israeli people by an overwhelming majority see the American people as friends and brothers. Nowhere else in the world  do you find this feeling of incredible admiration and closeness; the emotional connection that Israelis feel towards the US.

His choice to avoid contact with the Israeli people, and the public positions he has taken on matters relating to Israel, have fostered a feeling of distrust between the US president and the Israeli public that has been prevalent for four consecutive  years. Obama, the rock star of international politics, now has a great public relations challenge before him. Is he  able to create a magical emotional moment with the Israeli people? The super star of world politics, the magnetic whiz of the media world  imperatively needs to connect and transmit  his sincerity and his love to them if he wants to conquer their hearts and imaginations. Obama can do it, he is capable and has the talent for it but the Israeli public is complex and very experienced.

For the highly logical, pragmatic Obama, this is what the success of his trip may hinge on. He will have to match his political intelligence with an improved emotional IQ that could possibly help the people of the region in healing their differences.

Obama would be well inspired by the late King Hussein of Jordan, who was the master of emotion and one of the most appreciated international leaders in Israel. He had charisma and emotional intelligence and knew how to connect to the Israeli people. The president can create this love affair between him and the thirsty Israeli public in need of love and affection from an American president who too many times has let them down on their emotional connection.

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