By Anne Bayefsky .foxnews.com, There is some logic in the fact that President Obama has fled the country while Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu addresses Congress. With Obama’s comments this past week on Israel, the president now appears to many as the most hostile sitting president in the history of the Jewish state.
A key casualty of the assault Obama launched this past week on Israel and its Prime Minister, is the prospect of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. When Palestinians move to declare statehood unilaterally in the fall with U.N. support, it will be President Obama himself who will have laid the groundwork.
Two years ago President Obama prompted Palestinians to withdraw from negotiations after he attempted to dictate to Israel the terms of a deal on the settlements issue. Now that the president has similarly projected what the territorial outcome “should be,” Palestinians will abjure negotiations into the foreseeable future.
The mere lip service that the president paid to negotiations was heard around the world, especially in Palestinian circles. “While the core issues of the conflict must be negotiated…” Obama began, followed by a series of “should be” pronouncements.
The president’s Sunday speech to the pro-Israel group AIPAC did not fundamentally change his earlier effort on Thursday as territorial fiat.
According to the president, the baseline of a final settlement “should be” the 1967 lines and any different outcome would be subject to “mutually agreed swaps.” But “mutually agreed” entails a Palestinian veto, and the potential for their insisting on the indefensible 1967 lines within the Obama formula.
President Obama’s 1967 baseline comment was no accident; it was a deliberate provocation. As he unabashedly told the AIPAC audience: “I know that stating these principles — on the issues of territory and security — generated some controversy…I wasn’t surprised.”
Mr. Obama has also sabotaged negotiations by refusing to assign responsibility for the current absence of negotiations where it belongs. As far as Obama is concerned, the fact that Hamas“is unwilling to recognize Israel’s right to exist” simply “raises questions.”
The President even professed ignorance about the path of Hamas, despite the group’s Charter which calls for “Jihad” until Israel is “obliterated.” In the president’s words: “Palestinian leaders will not achieve peace or prosperity if Hamas insists on a path of terror and rejection.” If!
Those pushing a U.N.-backed unilateral declaration of statehood or independence (UDI), in lieu of negotiations, will also have taken sustenance from the President’s remarks. He suggested such sentiments are eminently understandable:
“There’s a reason why the Palestinians are pursuing their interests at the United Nations. They recognize that there is an impatience with the peace process, or the absence of one…And that impatience is growing.”
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