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Saturday, March 21, 2015

President Obama's Huffington Post Interview With Sam Stein: Obama Doesn't Want "a Chaotic Situation in the Region"

In a powder puff interview with the Huffington Post, Sam Stein asked President Obama, among other things, about last week's Israeli elections:

HUFFPOST: Switching to foreign affairs. Given Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent comments on a two-state solution in the close of his campaign, can the U.S. continue to oppose Palestinian efforts to gain statehood at the United Nations?

OBAMA: Well, I had a chance to speak to Prime Minister Netanyahu yesterday, congratulated his party on his victory. I did indicate to him that we continue to believe that a two-state solution is the only way for the long-term security of Israel, if it wants to stay both a Jewish state and democratic. And I indicated to him that given his statements prior to the election, it is going to be hard to find a path where people are seriously believing that negotiations are possible.

. . . .

But we are going to continue to insist that, from our point of view, the status quo is unsustainable. And that while taking into complete account Israel's security, we can't just in perpetuity maintain the status quo, expand settlements. That's not a recipe for stability in the region.

HUFFPOST: Is there any reason at this point to believe that he's serious about a Palestinian state?

OBAMA: Well, we take him at his word when he said that it wouldn't happen during his prime ministership, and so that's why we've got to evaluate what other options are available to make sure that we don't see a chaotic situation in the region.

"Not a recipe for stability in the region"? Fascinating. Syria, Iraq and Yemen are in flames. Egypt and Lebanon teeter on the brink. Tunisia is being rocked by terrorism. Libya has become home to al-Qaeda. Or stated otherwise, something far worse than a "chaotic" situation exists throughout the region, and much of it is of Obama's own making, e.g., "leading from behind" in Libya, failing to enforce his "red line" involving Assad's use of chemical weapons against civilians in Syria, and tacitly acquiescing to Iran's military involvement in Iraq.

Nevertheless, Obama would point a finger at the West Bank, the one place where there is quiet. After all, the status quo cannot be maintained "in perpetuity."

Obama, however, ignores the fact that it is Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas who is interested in maintaining the status quo. Abbas declared to Jackson Diehl in 2009:

"'I will wait for Hamas to accept international commitments. I will wait for Israel to freeze settlements,' he said. 'Until then, in the West Bank we have a good reality . . . the people are living a normal life.'"

This statement was made after Abbas refused Israeli Prime Minister Olmert's 2008 peace offer, providing the Palestinians with an independent state along the 1967 lines together with agreed upon land swaps and Palestinian control of east Jerusalem. One year later, after Netanyahu declared a 10-month settlement freeze "to restart peace talks" at the request of Obama, Abbas delayed entering negotiations until the last moment and then walked away from the discussions.

Moreover, Abbas will never see better terms than those offered by Olmert.

So will there be two-state solution while Netanyahu is prime minister? Probably not, because Abbas, who is deathly afraid of Hamas (which rejects any negotiated peace with Israel), doesn't want it.

Yes, Obama, who is more responsible than anyone for the chaos that prevails in the region, continues to wear his naivete on his sleeve.

2 comments:

  1. It isn't, of course, naivete. It's bigotry, antisemitism and pure scoundrelism (I coined this word and I find it useful)
    And I didn't know since early 2007 (and most certainty since the Cairo speech) what would happen. Sure. And it wasn't obvious. Sure.

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  2. The world is melting, um, freezing, um, changing, um..but it is still the end of the world, right?

    It appears it is impossible for Obama to NOT believe in the palestinian linkage 'problem'.

    There should be a mass migrant exchange - all the displaced Christians from Iraq and Syria move to Judea and Samaria. All the palestinians who want a state can move to Mosul or Aleppo.

    Anyway, it is definitely NOT naivete. It is pure ideology.

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