08/02/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Diminishing Hope: A Leading Palestinian Responds to Barack Obama

Mustafa Barghouti is one of Palestine's real gems -- a former doctor turned political leader who previously ran for the presidency of Palestine. He now heads the Palestinian National Initiative and is an advocate of non-violent resistance against Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories.

I interviewed Barghouti in my office yesterday, July 24, and found that while he was and remains an enthusiast for Barack Obama -- his hope is being replaced by 'disappointment.'

This for me was an incredible five minute exchange -- but particularly disturbing was his comment that road blocks and barriers to movement before the Annapolis process started number 521. Today, there are 607. Settlements are growing at a faster pace after Annapolis than before. This is wrong.

These trends are destroying the possibilities of peace in the Middle East -- and they are undermining America's national interests as well as Israel's own security situation.

For those interested, this morning I shared some of my own reactions to Barack Obama's hugely attended Berlin speech and fascinating and important trip to Europe and the Middle East with Democracy Now's Amy Goodman.

-- Steve Clemons publishes the popular political blog, The Washington Note