This week, for the first time in Barack Obama's presidency, Air Force One touched down at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel. As the president greeted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres, he assured his Israeli audience, as many American leaders have before him:
"Just as we have for these past 65 years," President Obama said, "the United States is proud to stand with you as your strongest ally, and your greatest friend."
The president will continue his visit to the region with a stop in Ramallah today to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.
In President Obama’s first term, amidst the Arab Spring and nuclear threats from Iran, the Arab-Israeli peace process seemed to get lost in the shuffle. Rashid Khalidi, professor of Middle East history at Columbia University and author of, most recently, "Brokers of Deceit: How the U.S. has Undermined Peace in the Middle East," examines the prospects for Middle East peace in Obama's second term.