U.S. policy in the Middle East

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Hour 1

Palestinian protesters marking the anniversary of Israel's establishment in 1948, in the Golan Heights, Syria, Sunday, May 15, 2011(AP Photo/Bassem Tellawi)

With visits this week from Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu, the Obama administration is focusing its attention on the Middle East. On Thursday, the President will deliver a major speech on U.S. policy in the Arab world. All this comes in the throes of uprisings throughout the region from Tunisia and Bahrain to Syria where the U.S. and the EU vowed to take “additional steps” in to pressure the Assad government over its deadly crackdown on protesters. And this past weekend thousands of Palestinians living in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan tried to cross the military borders of Israel to mark the anniversary of its  founding, or as Arabs call it, “the Day of the Catastrophe.” Critics of U.S. foreign policy in the region say the Administration has dropped the ball on the peace process and has been inconsistent in its response to Arab authoritarian regimes. In this hour of Radio Times, we’ll discuss the challenges the U.S faces in its relationships with the Middle East and look ahead to the issues the President is likely to address. Our guests are KHALED  ELGINDY, visiting fellow at Brookings Institution and DAVID SCHENKER of the Washington Institute for Near East Studies.

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[audio: 051911_100630.mp3]

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