In a particularly authoritative analysis, Charles Krauthammer identifies the extent of the threat posed by Obama to Israel’s interests in his ‘1967 lines’ speech and subsequent remarks:
Note how Obama has undermined Israel’s negotiating position. He is demanding that Israel go into peace talks having already forfeited its claim to the territory won in the ’67 war — its only bargaining chip. Remember: That ’67 line runs right through Jerusalem. Thus the starting point of negotiations would be that the Western Wall and even Jerusalem’s Jewish Quarter are Palestinian — alien territory for which Israel must now bargain.
The very idea that Judaism’s holiest shrine is alien or that Jerusalem’s Jewish Quarter is rightfully or historically or demographically Arab is an absurdity. And the idea that, in order to retain them, Israel has to give up parts of itself is a travesty.
Meanwhile, the equally authoritative Khaled Abu Toameh reports:
The Palestinians are furious with U.S. President Barack Obama. Abbas, for his part, has rejected Obama’s opposition to his plan to ask the U.N. to recognize a Palestinian state in September, and says that he will proceed with his efforts.
… Both Fatah and Hamas have condemned Obama for ‘succumbing’ to pressure from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the pro-Israel ‘Jewish lobby’ in the U.S… Obama, who until recently was seen as a ‘friend’ of the Palestinians, is now being dubbed, in private, by Fatah representatives, a ‘Zionist agent’ and ‘pawn’ in the hands of Israel and the ‘Jewish lobby.’
It surely takes a particular kind of political genius to upset both sides by an entirely unnecessary intervention in their dispute.
Abbas and co are upset because Obama won’t play along with their UN recognition gambit. I have read two rival explanations for this: a) that Obama can see that this unilateral gambit is such a dangerous cul-de-sac for the Palestinians that he wants to warn them off going that route because he is on their side; and b) that Obama is horrified by the UN gambit because he thinks it will be dangerous for Israel, and he is on their side.
This second explanation has been attributed to one Tony Blair. Even given Blair’s penchant for self-delusion it is hard to credit anyone believing this. For a start, if Obama gives the thumbs down at the UN, that’s the end of the unilateral declaration. More significantly, the idea that Obama is benignly disposed towards Israel is totally absurd. Even Krauthammer asks
whether this perverse and ultimately self-defeating policy is born of genuine antipathy toward Israel or of the arrogance of a blundering amateur…
But as I have written over and over again since the moment Obama burst upon the political stage, the evidence from his background, his friends and his mentors showed he shared the profound antipathy to Israel that is the boilerplate prejudice of the hard-left. Since taking office, he has trimmed this hostility for political necessity alone. As Stanley Kurtz puts it in a piece this week which reprises this evidence for those who have either forgotten it or were never aware of it in the first place:
Taken in context, and followed through the years, the evidence strongly suggests that Obama’s long-held pro-Palestinian sentiments were sincere, while his post-2004 pro-Israel stance has been dictated by political necessity.
The fact is that Obama’s refusal to play along with the UN gambit is merely – and for whatever reason — a tactical decision. The important thing is that in his recent speeches, Obama has shown that he is not only still refusing to hold Abbas and co to account for their unbroken hostility to the existence of Israel and acts of aggression towards it, but is still intent on rewarding them – while proposing to cut off their prospective victim, Israel, at the knees.
Thanks to Netanyahu, the American people have now been made aware of this. Thank heavens for Congress.
You didn’t mention the actual reason Obama backed off siding with the UN in forcing a ‘palastina’ state…he misjudged the reaction of the American people to his throwing Israel out with the bathwater…he is saving his political arse before a 2012 election cycle…