Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Betrayal of Israel: Obama Endorses Key Palestinian Demand

Quick video analysis of Obama's MidEast Speech
[Fox News]
Text of Obama's speech
Video [50 minutes] of Obama's speech

Obama Tells Israel: Go Back to 1967 Lines -Ben Feller

President Barack Obama endorsed a key Palestinian demand for the borders of its future state. Obama's urging that a Palestinian state be based on the 1967 lines was a significant shift in the U.S. approach.

The news in Obama's speech -Charles Krauthammer

[N]o president had ever before publicly and explicitly endorsed the [pre-Six Day War] 1967 lines.
[Jewish World Review]

Obama's abandonment -Caroline Glick

I hope the US Navy's 5th Fleet has found alternate digs because Obama just opened the door for Iran to take over Bahrain. He also invited al Qaeda - which he falsely claimed is a spent force - to take over Yemen.

As for Iran, in his speech, Obama effectively abandoned the pursuit of the US's core interest of preventing nuclear proliferation. [A]bout Iran's openly genocidal nuclear program he said, "Our opposition to Iran's intolerance - as well as its illicit nuclear program, and its sponsorship of terror - is well known." [B]y putting the gravest threat the US presently faces from the Middle East in the passive voice, he made clear that actually, the US isn't going to do anything about it.

Obama sided with Hamas against Israel by acting as though its partnership with Fatah is just a little problem that has to be sorted out to reassure the paranoid Jews. Or as he put it, "the recent announcement of an agreement between Fatah and Hamas raises profound and legitimate questions for Israel."

[B]y failing to mention that US law bars the US government from funding an entity which includes Hamas, he made clear that the US will continue to bankroll the Hamas-controlled Palestinian Authority.

He said Israel has to concede its right to defensible borders as a precondition for negotiations; he didn't say he opposes the Palestinian demand for open immigration of millions of foreign Arabs into Israel; he said he was leaving Jerusalem out but actually brought it in by calling for an Israeli retreat to the 1949 lines...

Conceptually and substantively, Obama abandoned the US alliance with Israel. The rest of his words - security arrangements, demilitarized Palestinian state and the rest of it - were nothing more than filler to please liberal Jews in America so they can feel comfortable signing checks for him again.

Obama's Mideast Peace Gaffe  -Jackson Diehl

By saying that a division of territory between Israel and Palestine should be "based on" the "1967 lines," Obama gave a boost to Palestinian President Abbas, who has tried to make Israeli acceptance of this a condition for peace talks, and a slap to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, who has resisted it. That Obama would do this on the eve of Netanyahu's arrival in Washington for a White House meeting - and apparently without warning the Israeli leader - is a gaffe that has understandably angered Netanyahu and many of his U.S. supporters.

This looks like another instance in which Obama's insistence on pushing his own approach to the peace process will backfire. Apparently at the last minute, Obama chose to include the 1967-lines idea in his speech. The result has been the draining of attention from the speech's central discussion of Arab democracy - and yet another pointless quarrel with Netanyahu.
(Washington Post)

A Substantial Shift toward the Palestinian Position -Robert Satloff

The most surprising aspect of the president's statement was that it moved substantially toward the Palestinian position just days after the Palestinian Authority decided to seek unity and reconciliation with Hamas, a group the U.S. views as a terrorist organization.

[T]he likely next step is for Palestinians to take up the president's call, ask for renewal of negotiations on precisely the terms the president outlined -- borders that are "based on the 1967 lines with mutual swaps," with no reference to refugees or other issues on which the Palestinians would make major compromises -- and wait for Israel to say no.
(Washington Institute for Near East Policy)

A Fine Obama Speech with a Fatal Flaw -John Podhoretz

At the end of a very long and powerful speech on the meaning of the Arab Spring, Obama said he supported the concept of a final peace between Israel and the Palestinians based on the composition of Israel's borders before the Six-Day War in 1967. Obama deserves to be criticized, and harshly, for advancing this policy, now especially. There's no reason for the U.S. to be offering its own predetermined view of the final disposition of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, especially now that the terrorist group Hamas is taking a leading role in the Palestinian government.
(New York Post)

Obama's Speech Falls Short -Jennifer Rubin

Obama still clings to the formulation that Israel's Netanyahu must make a "bold move." Why? Has Israel not offered again and again a Palestinian state?
(Washington Post)


LHwrites said...

It is hard to disagree. I know I haven't been around much but I think I'm going to be back in the blogosphere now. Interestingly,I am preparing my own post about Obama's position. There are a lot of things going on in the world that have made me want to write but there have been a lot of things going on that have delayed me as well. Lately there's just been too much that needs to be addressed. Knowing the way Obama works I believe a lot of consideration had to go into this so I am trying to go through what ever info the government puts out. But I cannot go along that this seems like even a remotely reasonable position to take. More on this soon I am the way though I don't get the comment, I get the e-mails, and I have always been impressed at the level of quality and regularity that has been maintained here at Mideast Soundbites. as usual, well done!

Bruce said...

Thank you LHwrites...and welcome back. I suspect that President Obama will not follow up on his knife jab at Israel...notice that he did not promote anyone to fill George Mitchell's shoes or suggest a new round of talks. He seems to have just wanted to promote the Palestinian position, possibly for his own [ideological?] reasons. Furthermore, his ending with the Arab Israel conflict took the wind out of his somewhat eloquent words about the Arab uprisings.

LHwrites said...

I agree that in every sense this was a poor choice for Obama. It not only was a ridiculous time to bring this up, when he could easily have just praised all the independent uprising in the Arab world, but that is giving it too much credibility also. I agree this wasn't the time. However, I don't think there would have ever been a time when this was the appropriate thing to say. Not only do I not think this is not an acceptable proposition, but you don't do this to an ally unless you've already worked out an acceptance and details ahead of time with that ally. Obama seems to have forgotten he is dealing with Israel and not Iran here; an ally and not a hostile aggressor. A democracy and not a theocratic dictatorship. Needless to say, since I have supported several of Obama's aggressive initiatives, even when I made it clear I didn't fully agree, I am gravely disappointed now. There is nothing positive to latch onto here. Nothing acceptable here unless it somehow first convinced Israel that this was the way to go Or they brought it to him first. And this is clearly not the case. Unfortunately, these remarks by Pres. Obama did nothing to aid peace or to forward the discourse. All he did was provide some ammunition and rhetoric to groups that have no interest in coexisting with Israel at all. Perhaps Obama is looking to curry favor with the large numbers of Muslims in the world. Perhaps weather here at home or on the world stage is not that concerned with the small number of Jews in the world. But there is nothing about these ideas that makes the world safer, and in fact I do believe that these comments may lead at least short-term to more instability and violence.

Bruce said...

I agree with everything you said. I'm glad we're on the same page.