It may seem unfair to expect a man without a practical base of power — Obama is currently "between jobs" so to speak — to buck propriety and wrest the reigns of foreign policy from the current White House occupant. There are certainly Constitutional constraints that should be honored, so I don't suggest premature usurpation. But would it be too much to ask for him to stake out a rhetorical path toward resolving the crisis?
The Wall Street Journal is not alone among mainstream publications reporting how the current power vacuum, or "transition" has hampered the U.S.'s ability to address the Israeli siege and the Hamas provocations.
Some foreign diplomats in Europe and the Middle East said they have been frustrated by how strictly the Obama transition team has adhered to its mantra of there being "one U.S. president at a time," when it comes to the Israel-Hamas conflict.
Mr. Obama and his senior aides have declined briefings from the Israeli government on the current crisis, said two people familiar with the Israeli outreach. Some foreign diplomats said Mr. Obama's apparent reluctance to speak out on the Middle East is feeding uncertainty over how the international community should move forward on Gaza in the months ahead.
A spokesman for Mr. Obama's transition team said the president-elect has ruled out virtually all contact with foreign governments ahead of the inauguration so as not to give conflicting signals on U.S. policy.
Israel is looking for support, or "diplomatic cover" from the U.S. The Arab states are looking to see if Obama will reign in the aggressor client state and get the ball rolling on the "two state solution" that, to be honest, I really doubt Saudi Arabia and Syria support beyond rhetoric.
For me the real urgency is saving lives of innocent civilians caught between Israeli forces and Hamas militants. Palestinians have suffered the overwhelming share of the casualties, but Israeli citizens deserve peace and security, too. Two more weeks until the inauguration is, in war terms, much too long.