Traditionally, the first hundred days in office of a new US president are followed closely by major segments of the US establishment, including the Congress, the analysts and the media. President Barack Hussein Obama has been pronounced a success in his handling of the US centred economic downturn as well as the heavy foreign policy agenda that constitute his main challenges. His Washington meeting with Presidents Asif Zardari of Pakistan and Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan that came at the conclusion of this probationary period was of great significance, as it covered what he had described as the "most dangerous place in the world." However, as the time approaches for his meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prim Minister of Israel, on May 18, statesmen and commentators everywhere are taking cognisance of the continuing importance of the Palestine issue. Even in Pakistan and Afghanistan the popularity and credibility of the US is crucially related to its readiness to facilitate a just solution of the Arab-Israeli dispute, that along with the problem of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, is the oldest unresolved issue on the agenda of the UN, both dating back to 1948. King Abdullah of Jordan who recently met President Obama after a visit to London to meet Prime Minister Gordon Brown, insisted that keeping in view the commitments he had made during his election campaign, the President had to deliver on his peace initiative for the Middle East . He took the occasion to emphasize that considering the involvement of the entire Muslim world represented in the 57 member OIC, he had to think in terms of not a two state solution but a "57 state solution". The Jordanian monarch, who is probably the kneenest among Arab state leaders to promote a peace deal with Israel has put pressure on President Obama to use the meeting with Netanyahu to prepare the hard-line Israeli regime for substantial progress. It may be recalled that so powerful is the Israeli bobby in the US, as represented by AIPAC (American Israeli Public Affairs Committee) that every administration in Washington since 1948 has let the Arab and Islamic world down on the Palestine issue. The emergence of the US as the unique super power following its victory in the Cold War in 1989 produced two contradictory demands on its leadership. President Bush senior led a global coalition in 1990 to wage successful war against Saddam Hussain, who occupied Kuwait in August 1990 on the basis of Iraq's historical claim to the territory of the Sultanate. Saddam had claimed to be the champion of the Arab cause in Palestine and even lobbed a few missiles on Israel during the conflict. Yasser Arafat made the error of taking Saddam's role seriously, and after th latter's humiliating defeat after a four day land war in early 1991, the PLO had to adapt to the new realities by accepting Israel's right to exist. US Secretary of State James Baker initiated a peace process, by calling for an Arab-Israeli Peace Conference in Madrid in 1991. The Oslo Accords laying down the parameters of a peace settlement were also facilitated by achieving compromise between Yasser Arafat and Shimon Peres, then Israeli leader. These envisaged some concession by Israel in territory to the Palestinians on the basis of the concept of "land for peace" While the US administrations since 1989 have supposedly shown leadership to promote a peaceful world order, they have also been guided by totally new perceptions following the defeat of communism. These are that the successor threat to communism to the West comes from radical Islam. Samuel Huntngton's concept of "Clash of Civilizations" has been taken seriously. Consequently powers standing up to Islamic Liberation movements such as Israel in the Middle East, that faces the Palestinian struggle, and India in South Asia, confronting the Kashmiri freedom struggle, have come closer to the US. Israel has been a benefiary in that its policy of building Jewish settlements on the occupied West Bank has proceeded at an accelerating rate and the security barrier created supposedly to prevent Palestinian terrorist attacks has encroached into 16% of the West Bank. Orthodox jews call the West Bank by the biblical names of Judea and Samaria. Five years after the 1967 War, when Israel occupied the entire territory of Arab Palestine, only 1500 Jews lived there. By now they number more than 289,000. The increase in the number and size of Jewish settlements virtually rules out the possibility of creating an independent and viable Palestinian state. Israel had promised to halt expansion on the West Bank. when it accepted the 2003 roadmap proposed by President George Bush and endorsed by the European Union, the UN and Russia. Bush had called another meeting of Israel and Arab countries in 2006 at Annapolis, but according to the Guardian, the number of settlers continued to grow annually by 5%. Barack Obama had promised special efforts to improve US relations with the Islamic world during his election campaign. Since his election, he has announced his support for the two state solution in Palestine that is backed also by his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, as well as by the European Union and Russia. The Arab League also offered acceptance by endorsing the Saudi peace initiative of 2002. However, Israel never ceased its colonization of the West Bank. Furthermore, East Jerusalem, which the Arabs seek as the capital of the Palestinian state, has been rapidly colonised by the Jews, who already occupy 35% of its area inhabited by 190,000 people. The orthodox elements among the Jews claim that God gave Judea and Samaria to the Jews who have the right and duty to keep it. No Jewish government has seriously challenged them. All this raises serious doubts if President Obama can really settle the Palestinian issue. The OIC came into being in 1969 when an Australian Jew tried to burn down the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam's third holiest place that was the first qibla of Islam. If Obama is to retain any credibility in the Islamic world, he will have to do some plain speaking to Benjamin Netanyahu, a Jewish hardliner heading the newly established Jewish cabinet. The results of the meeting between the two will be closely watched all over the world, and specially in Arab and Islamic countries. The writer is a former ambassador