U.S. President Obama’s new positions regarding Israel and the Palestinian Authority have earned the ire, and strong criticism, of some leading analysts and opinion-formulators. A selection:
From the Washington Post editorial board:
“[Obama and Netanyahu] have a powerful and urgent common interest. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has turned his back on both Israel and the United States; he is seeking accommodation with the extremist Hamas movement and has announced that he will seek a declaration of Palestinian statehood from the U.N. General Assembly in September… Now, of all times, the Israeli and U.S.governments ought to be working closely together… Instead, Friday found Mr. Obama and Mr. Netanyahu once again publicly and poisonously at odds with each other, thanks to a handful of lines added by Mr. Obama to his Middle East speech on Thursday…
"Mr. Obama’s decision to confront [Netanyahu] with a formal U.S.embrace of the [1967 borders] idea, with only a few hours’ warning, ensured a blowup. Israeli bad feeling was exacerbated by Mr. Obama’s failure to repeat past U.S.positions — in particular, an explicit stance against the return of Palestinian refugees to Israel.
"Mr. Obama should have learned from his past diplomatic failures — including his attempt to force a freeze on Jewish settlements in the West Bank— that initiating a conflict with Israel will thwart rather than advance peace negotiations… [Obama] appears to assume that Mr. Abbas is open to a peace deal despite growing evidence to the contrary. And while he acknowledges that it is “very difficult” to expect Israel “to negotiate in a serious way” with a party — Hamas — that rejects its existence, Mr. Obama has been vague about what the Palestinians must do to resolve this concern… This president likes to portray himself as a pragmatist in foreign policy. In this case, pragmatism would suggest that restoring trust with Israel, rather than courting a feckless Palestinian leader, would be the precondition to any diplomatic success."
By Caroline Glick, Jerusalem Post:
"Quite simply, Obama's speech represents the effective renunciation of the US's right to have and to pursue national interests. Consequently, his speech imperils the real interests that the US has in the region - first and foremost, the US's interest in securing its national security.
"…Obama mentioned a number of core US interests in the region. In his view these are: 'Countering terrorism and stopping the spread of nuclear weapons; securing the free flow of commerce, and safe-guarding the security of the region; standing up for Israel's security and pursuing Arab-Israeli peace.' … Obama went on to say that the Arabs have good reason to hate the US and that it is up to the US to put its national interests aside in the interest of making them like America. As he put it, 'a failure to change our approach threatens a deepening spiral of division between the United States and Muslim communities.'
"And you know what that means. If the US doesn't end the "spiral of division," … then the Muslims will come after America. So the US better straighten up and fly right. And how does it do that? Well, by courting the Muslim Brotherhood which spawned Al Qaeda, Hamas, Jamma Islamiya and a number of other terror groups...
"…All he had to say about Iran's openly genocidal nuclear program is, 'Our opposition to Iran's intolerance - as well as its illicit nuclear program, and its sponsorship of terror - is well known.' Well so is my opposition to all of that, and so is yours. But unlike us, Obama is supposed to do something about it. And by 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.
"…Hamas is a jihadist movement dedicated to the annihilation of the Jewish people, and the establishment of a global caliphate. It's in their charter. And all Obama said of the movement that has now taken over the Palestinian Authority was, 'Palestinian leaders will not achieve peace or prosperity if Hamas insists on a path of terror and rejection.' Irrelevant and untrue. It is irrelevant because obviously the Palestinians don't want peace. That's why they just formed a government dedicated to Israel's destruction. As for being untrue, Obama's speech makes clear that they have no reason to fear a loss of prosperity. After all, by 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."
by Moshe Feiglin, Manhigut Yehudit/Jewish Leadership:
"You [Mr. Obama] demand of the Nation of the Bible, of the nation chosen by G-d from amongst all the nations, the nation to which G-d gave the Land of Israel from which to proclaim liberty to the entire world – to retreat from the heartland of the Promised Land. You demand that we leave the proclamation that is supposed to emerge from Zion in the hands of those who invented the suicide bomber! In the hands of those who went out to celebrate in the streets when Bin Laden destroyed the Twin Towers! In the hands of a culture that sanctifies death!
"Do you honestly believe that this is what will bring peace to the world?
"Please note, Mr. Obama, that before we, the Israelis, succumbed to American pressure and recognized the Arab demands on the Land of Israel in the Oslo Accords, the world had never heard of a suicide bomber. From the moment that this culture of death got a foothold in Jerusalem – the genie was out of the bottle. There, on the White House lawn, the fate of the Twin Towers was sealed."