In the history of pro-Israel speeches it wasn’t that dramatic, in the history of Obama’s speeches it was downright monumental!
President Obama has heard you loud and clear. You sent him a clear message earlier this month by voting for Republican Bob Turner in the special congressional election- well, today at the UN Obama has said message received.
Obama started off his speech at the UN by stating his opposition to a unilateral Palestinian state. “Peace will not come through statements and resolutions at the United Nations — if it were that easy, it would have been accomplished by now. Ultimately, it is the Israelis and the Palestinians who must live side by side. Ultimately, it is the Israelis and the Palestinians — not us — who must reach agreement on the issues that divide them: on borders and on security, on refugees and Jerusalem,” he said.
Then he affirmed America’s commitment to Israel’s security, “America’s commitment to Israel’s security is unshakable,” he said. “Our friendship with Israel is deep and enduring. And so we believe that any lasting peace must acknowledge the very real security concerns that Israel faces every single day.” That was pretty much where the old Obama ended and the new Obama took over.
“Let us be honest with ourselves: Israel is surrounded by neighbors that have waged repeated wars against it,” Obama said. “Israel’s citizens have been killed by rockets fired at their houses and suicide bombs on their buses. Israel’s children come of age knowing that throughout the region, other children are taught to hate them. Israel, a small country of less than eight million people, looks out at a world where leaders of much larger nations threaten to wipe it off of the map. The Jewish people carry the burden of centuries of exile and persecution, and fresh memories of knowing that six million people were killed simply because of who they are.”
Israeli officials were extremely happy with the Presidents speech, and they all made sure to go out of there way and express it. Netanyahu called Obama’s position a “badge of honor” and thanked him for “wearing that badge of honor.” Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman gushed about the speech saying, “I laud this speech and sign off on it with both hands. The president made two important points in his speech: first, that it is impossible to resolve the conflict in any international forum and second, he did not mention the issue of the 1967 borders. This was the speech of a friend and ally.” Defense Minister Ehud Barak continued the Obama praise parade, “It has once again been proven to all the doubters that President Obama is an ally and friend of Israel. The Obama administration has lent its support to Israeli security in a broad, comprehensive and unprecedented manner.”
The Palestinians on the other hand were fuming. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas could be seen shaking his head in disapproval during the speech, and afterwords his henchmen competed for ways to express their anger. “All that’s left is for Obama to join the Zionist Congress,” said a senior member of the Palestinian delegation. Another senior official said, “Americans massacred the Indians and now they identify with the massacre perpetrated against us by the Israeli occupation.”
It seems like the true colors of the Palestinian Authority are starting to finally seep out of their carefully crafted suits and ties.
But before you start popping champagne or begin campaigning for Obama to win re-election, remind yourself that once Obama wins his second term, there’s nothing stopping him from turning back into the original pro-Palestinian peace lover.
Yechezkel Gordon is an independent political columnist. He can be contacted at [email protected]
NOTE: The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of YWN.