Daily Israel Report

Wall Street Journal Op-Ed Editor: Obama’s Peace ‘a War Formula’

Obama’s Palestinian Authority-Israel peace plan is a ”formula for war,” says Bret Stephens, deputy editorial page editor of the Wall St. Journal.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 5/25/2011, 2:49 PM / Last Update: 5/25/2011, 3:00 PM

White House

U.S. President Barack Obama’s Palestinian Authority-Israel peace plan is a ”formula for war,” writes Bret Stephens, foreign affairs editor and deputy editorial page editor of The Wall St. Journal.

In an op-ed article in the Journal, Stephens charged that the president’s approach to Israel and his relationship to American Jews has showed that he “has mastered the concept of chutzpah.” 

“What Mr. Obama offered is a formula for war, one that he will pursue in a second term. Assuming, of course, that he gets one,” Stephens wrote. 

He noted that President Obama’s “sandbagging” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu “with an adversarial policy speech” the day before his visit is not the first time the American leader has treated foreign visitors with disdain.

“Remember when the Dalai Lama visited Mr. Obama last year?” Stephens wrote. ”As a courtesy to Beijing, the president made sure to have the Tibetan spiritual leader exit by the door where the White House trash was piled up. And that was 11 months before Hu Jintao's state visit to the U.S.”

Stephens accused President Obama, who said in his speech “It’s time to tell the truth,” of composing language that served as a “thin tissue of falsehoods, rhetorical legerdemain, telling omissions and self-contradictions….

“For starters, it would be nice if the president could come clean about whether his line about the 1967 line – "mutually agreed swaps" and all – was pathbreaking and controversial, or no big deal. On Sunday, Mr. Obama congratulated himself for choosing the hard road to Mideast peace as he prepares for re-election, only to offer a few minutes later that "there was nothing particularly original in my proposal."

“Yet assuming Mr. Obama knows what he's talking about, he knows that's untrue: No U.S. president has explicitly endorsed the '67 lines as the basis for negotiating a final border.”

Stephens articulated what virtually no other newspaper or news website, except for Israel National News, has stated: “Mr. Obama would also know that in 2009 Hillary Clinton had described this formula as ‘the Palestinian goal.’ Now it's Mr. Obama's goal as well, even as he insists that ‘no peace can be imposed.’

The article also chastised President Obama for maintaining that the United States “will hold the Palestinians accountable for their actions and their rhetoric.” Stephens challenged the president, “Can Mr. Obama offer a single example of having done that as president, except perhaps at the level of a State Department press release?"

If President Obama were really pro-Israel, “He would tell Palestinians that there is no right of return,” wrote Stephens and “would outline hard and specific consequences should Hamas join the government.”

President Obama glaringly dismissed the issues of the status of Jerusalem and that of “refugees’ by suggesting the inherent contradiction that the Palestinian Authority and Israel should discuss them – after agreement on a PA state.