Now how many Jews will vote for him or help the Democrats in the 2012 elections?
And, the question is, whose soul should be searched?
Obama tells Jewish Leaders that Israel bears responsibility for advancing peace!
The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has expressed concern over some of President Barack Obama’s remarks to American Jewish leaders at the White House this week, including his statement urging Jewish communal leaders to speak to their friends and colleagues in Israel and to search your souls’ over Israel’s seriousness about making peace. This strongly suggests that President Obama holds Israel, not Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian Authority (PA), responsible for the lack of peace, as was indeed the reported impression of many attendees who said that the President stated ‘that Israel bears primary responsibility for advancing the peace process.’
We were pleased that President Obama affirmed his deep commitment to Israel’s security but troubled by his stating that Jerusalem would be divided when he reportedly said that the Jewish sections of eastern Jerusalem would remain in Israeli hands as part of any peace deal, strongly implying that the Arab sections would not.
It was also troubling that President Obama also reportedly said that the Palestinians don’t feel confident that the Netanyahu government is serious about territorial concessions. Some participants interpreted the president’s comments either as hostile, naive or unsurprising. One participant also said that many people felt that their worst fears about Obama were confirmed with respect to Israel. They felt an enormous hostility towards Israel.
President Obama also said that Israel has not sufficiently tried to make an acceptable offer to Mahmoud Abbas, a remarkable statement in view of the peace offers of former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert, who offered statehood to the PA on 93% and more of the territory of Judea, Samaria and Gaza, only to be rejected by Yasser Arafat and Abbas. This meeting thus suggests that President Obama’s view have changed little since the July 2009 meeting he had with selected Jewish leaders when he also said that he wants to help Israel, but that in order to do so, Israel would need to engage in serious self-reflection. Obama and his Administration repeatedly condemn, criticize and pressure Israel to make unilateral concessions and almost never condemn, criticize or pressure the PA to make concessions. The President has not even criticized the PA over its refusal to negotiate with Israel.
In a detailed interview in TIME Magazine in January 2010, President Obama also indicated that he holds Israel responsible for the failure of his peace efforts when he ignored Israel’s unprecedented concessions – a 10-month unilateral freeze on Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria and qualified endorsement of the idea of creating a Palestinian state – and said that the Israelis still found it very hard to move with any bold gestures.
This week’s meeting between President Obama and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, which was attended by ZOA National President Morton A. Klein, was respectful, outwardly cordial and without any public display of tension, although some attendees strongly disagreed with some of what they heard and in fact privately acknowledged feeling strong, internal tension that was not visible to the group.
Leaders of the group thanked the President for his veto of the recent vicious anti-Israel resolution in U.N. Security Council. This occurred despite the fact that the Administration stated in casting its veto that we reject in the strongest terms the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity which has corroded hopes for peace and stability in the region¦ We therefore regrettably have opposed this draft resolution, as well as the fact that the Administration sought to obtain the agreement of the Arab states to a different resolution, which it would have supported, condemning these Jewish communities as illegitimate
Also worrying was President Obama’s belief that the present time presents a great opportunity for peace – a remarkable view in light of the fact that, across the region, long-established autocrats are falling, even relatively stable states like Jordan are experiencing rumbling, and within the PA, there are calls for Salaam Fayyad to step down, while Mahmoud Abbas is threatening resignation.
In such circumstances of great uncertainty, turmoil and instability, in which Arab signatories to existing agreements might be swept away from one moment to the next, the ZOA wonders whether seeing to achieve signed agreements with such leaders is appropriate.
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