President Obama's Promise to Israel Unfulfilled
President Obama Advised Peace, Not Solution
During the 2012 presidential election, President Barack Obama promised to do more for Israel in a second term. Two months after his inauguration, President Obama visited Israel. I watched him speak alongside Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during at a joint news conference in Ramallah on Thursday and I was saddened by his lack of real solutions to the conflict in the Middle East.
Israel and Palestine continue to fight over land that they both claim is theirs. President Obama said that United States did not support the construction of Jewish housing on land claimed by the Palestinians, but that will not stop Israel from continuing to settle on the land. Abbas wants Israel to stop the settlement so both countries can negotiate.
Obama said that if both countries begin negotiating again, there could be peace. Palestine wants to claim land that Israel gained in the 1967 war, which would include a state in the West West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem. However, since the war, Israel has built many settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem that is now occupied by 560,000 Israelis. This number has increased by 60,000 since President Obama's first term.
President Obama said that the continued occupation by Israel on the land was not constructive and he added that Palestine should have an independent and sovereign state, but he also said that the Palestinians were being treated unfairly. In short, President Obama merely said that if both countries begin negotiating, Israel and Palestine could both have land near each other and settle the land dispute.
However, Hamas, a Palestinian group refuses to accept Israel's statehood and said that Israel has no right to exist. In response, President Obama said, "People who reject Israel's right to exist might as well reject the Earth beneath them ... Israel is not going anywhere."
Previously, President Obama said that he had drawn a red line, but clearly when a red line is crossed, the upsetting action must be stopped. Even during President Obama's visit, rockets were fired in the Middle East. By visiting Israel, President Obama showed that his promise to do more for Israel was not kept and that both countries have to try to resolve this issue on their own.
During a March 21 state dinner hosted by Israeli President Shimon Peres in Jerusalem, Israeli President Peres gave President Obama the Israeli Medal of Distinction, the country's highest honor. Israeli President Peres said that President Obama has supported Israel. I believe President Obama's support was based on words: The United States will always back Israel.