The Anti-Defamation League has termed United States President Barack Obama's Middle East policy “faulty” and “deeply distressing” in a recent statement. Obama is wrongly shifting responsibility from the Arab world to Israel, said director Abraham Foxman.
"The significant shift in U.S. policy toward Israel and the peace process, which has been evident in comments from various members of the Obama administration and has now been confirmed by the president himself in his press conference at the Nuclear Security Summit, is deeply distressing,” Foxman wrote.
At his press conference, Obama said, “I think that the need for peace between Israelis and Palestinians and the Arab states remains as critical as ever,” later adding, “It is a vital national security interest of the United States to reduce these conflicts because whether we like it or not, we remain a dominant military superpower, and when conflicts break out, one way or another we get pulled into them. And that ends up costing us significantly in terms of both blood and treasure.”
His statements followed rumors that US General David Petraeus had blamed Israel for US military deaths. Petraeus later denied those rumors, but they continue to be quoted.
“Saying that the absence of a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict undermines U.S. interests in the broader Middle East and the larger issue of resolving other conflicts is a faulty strategy,” the ADL statement said. “It is an incorrect approach on which to base America's foreign policy in the Middle East and its relationship with its longtime friend and ally, Israel."
"ADL has long expressed its concern from the very beginning of the Obama administration about advisers to the president who see the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a major impediment to achieving the administration's foreign policy and military goals in the wider region. The net effect of this dangerous thinking is to shift responsibility for success of American foreign policy away from Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Egypt and directly onto Israel. It is particularly disturbing in light of the blatantly disproportionate number and the nature of statements issued by this administration criticizing Israel as compared to what has been said about the Palestinians.”
In order to achieve peace, the Obama administration must force Arab nations to take responsibility, the statement continued. "The best way to move the peace process between the Israelis and Palestinians forward is for all parties to demand that the Palestinians abandon their tactic of 'just saying no' and insist that the rest of the Arab world move toward normalization of relations with Israel.”