Lauri Regan expounds:
From the outset of his presidency, Obama foolishly made Israeli settlements the focal point of his administration’s admonishments of Israeli policy. Beginning with his refusal to confront Iran on its nuclear weapons program, Obama barked orders at the Israeli government, requiring the full cessation of construction in the settlements without regard to the realities of the situation.
In his thuggish Chicago style, Obama felt confident that he could successfully bully Netanyahu into halting construction in disputed territories and then go down in history as the president who brokered peace between Israelis and Palestinians. In doing so, Obama not only underestimated the resolve of the Israeli people, but he empowered the Palestinians by handing them an excuse to discontinue all negotiations for peace for the foreseeable future.
What has since resulted from Obama’s ill-informed, grandiose pronouncements is Abbas threatening to quit due to Obama’s failure to achieve a settlement freeze, Palestinians contemplating a unilateral declaration of an independent state with U.N. backing, and the likely hardening of positions on both sides of the conflict.
It looked like the administration had awoken to reality when, for a brief period of time, it began to ease up on previous statements. However, this week, Obama made it perfectly clear where he stands on this completely misguided position. In an interview with Fox News, Obama condemned the construction of nine hundred new apartment units in Jerusalem, stating:
I think additional settlement building does not contribute to Israel’s security. I think it makes it harder for them to make peace with their neighbors. I think it embitters the Palestinians in a way that could end up being very dangerous.
I have come to expect the rest of the world, including European leaders, U.N. diplomats, and Mideast despots to play the blame-game and ridicule Israel as the sole impediment to peace in the Mideast. I am getting sick and tired of listening to my country’s president do the same thing.
I am getting sick and tired of listening to my country’s president.