President Barrack Obama used his London press conference today to rewrite his politically damaging speeches on the Arab-Israeli stand-off by raising his emphasis on the need for Arabs to recognize the legitimacy of Israel’s existence.Off the table was the issue of the Arab "right of return":
“Hamas… has not renounced violence and has not recognized the state of Israel,” he told reporters this morning at a joint-press conference with the U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron. ”Until they do, it is very difficult to expect the Israelis to have a serious conversation, because ultimately they have to have confidence that the Palestinian state is going to stick to whatever bargain is struck,” he said.
Israelis and the Arabs can “have a difficult conversation about refugees … [but] that is not something any party on the outside is going to be able to impose.When Obama spoke at AIPAC, there was no mention of the words "recognition" and "refugee"--
Obama’s short London statement, however, cited the issue of recognition four times. “My goal, as I said in the speech I gave last week, is a Jewish state of Israel that is safe and secure and recognized by its neighbors… Hamas is an organization that has thus far rejected the recognition of Israel as a legitimate state… [it] has not renounced violence and has not recognized the state of Israel… [and] it will be very difficult to get Israel a Palestinian partner on the other side of the table if [Hamas] is not observing the basic principles that we believe in — the need to renounce violence, to recognize the state of Israel, to abide by previous agreements,” he said.Considering the unity government between Hamas and Fatah, it is hard to imagine then how Obama plans to restart the peace process.
Could it be that in order to get out of the hole he dug for himself, Obama is going to blame someone else for the failure of the peace talks--and this time it is not going to be Israel, but Hamas?
Obama even had something to say to those who picked up on his statements about the 1967 lines and used them as a precondition for Israel prior to peace talks:
So, as much as it’s important for the United States, as Israel’s closest friend and partner, to remind them of the urgency of achieving peace, I don’t want the Palestinians to forget that they have obligations as well…That is, I think, going to be a critical aspect of us being able to jump-start this process once again.Imagine that: Obama clearly stating that the Palestinian Arabs also have obligations.
If this keeps up, we may someday see Obama threatening to cut off funds to the West Bank unless Abbas stops naming stadiums after terrorists.
Hey, it could happen.
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