Omaha Public Radio News
6:33 am
Mon November 30, 2009

Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel speaks in Omaha

Omaha, NE – A former U.S. Ambassador to Israel says a sense of urgency is needed to bring peace to the Middle East.

Martin Indyk served as Ambassador from 1995-97 and 2000-01. During a lecture last week at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, Indyk talked about the lessons the Obama administration can learn from the Clinton administration's handling of the Mideast peace process. He says the president needs to know how the U.S. can best use its influence in the region.

Indyk says President Obama has done well to put the focus on Iran. But he says tensions between the president and U.S. Envoy George Mitchell, as well as low approval ratings, have hurt U.S. efforts. Obama wanted a quick approach to peace, while Mitchell wanted it to happen slowly.

A key to bringing peace to the region, according to Indyk, is reducing Iran's influence in the region. Indyk says American leaders should work with Israel and Palestine to make that happen.