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How Much Real Progress Did Obama Make in Israel?

The positive impression US President Barack Obama left in Israel will not last long in a Middle East where goodwill is never enough, warns Nadav Perry.
U.S. President Barack Obama (front L) participates in a farewell ceremony with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (front R) at Tel Aviv International Airport March 22, 2013.   REUTERS/Jason Reed   (ISRAEL - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR3FBWN
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It’s impossible to mistake the feeling of optimism that US President Barack Obama left behind as he boarded Air Force One. By the end of his fifty-hour visit to Israel and the Palestinian Authority, it was quite tangible. All anyone had to do was to watch his lengthy handshake with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, just seconds before he left.

While it is certainly true that there were other, more dramatic physical gestures made during the course of his visit (the countless times Obama hugged President Shimon Peres and his unforgettable stroll with Netanyahu when they both removed their jackets and slung them over their shoulders are two examples that immediately come to mind).

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