Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas listens to President Obama addressing the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday.
One year ago, President Obama stood before the U.N. General Assembly and called for international recognition of a Palestinian state. On Wednesday, to the exasperation of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and millions struggling for democracy in the Arab world, he declared his opposition to that idea.
Rather than making a direct bid for statehood, Palestinians should return to the Israeli peace negotiations that started in 1979, Obama said.
His remarks reveal the contradictions in his stance toward the Arab world. After making peace between Israel and Palestine a priority from the beginning of his term, he has been unable to help reboot negotiations; after pushing for Palestinian membership in the U.N last year, he now threatens to veto it; after praising the struggles and achievements of Arab populists, he appears to many to oppose their cause. —ARK
The New York Times:
“Peace will not come through statements and resolutions at the U.N.,” Mr. Obama said, in an address before world leaders at the General Assembly. “If it were that easy, it would have been accomplished by now.”
Instead, Mr. Obama said, the international community should continue to push Israelis and Palestinians toward talks on the four intractable “final status” issues that have vexed peace negotiations since 1979: the borders of a Palestinian state, security for Israel, the status of Palestinian refugees who left or were forced to leave their homes in Israel, and the fate of Jerusalem, which both sides claim for their capital.