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Cagle Post: Pivotal Week For Israel and President Obama

Last Friday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that he will seek Palestinian statehood from the United Nations this month. This dangerous pronouncement puts into stark relief the damage the Obama Administration has done because of its standoffish posture towards Israel. Back in the spring, President Obama threw Israel under the proverbial bus when he suggested the country go back to its 1967 borders. The idea was met with fierce opposition from supporters of Israel, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu calling the 1967 borders “indefensible.”

Actions have consequences and the Obama Administration’s hostility towards Israel has led directly to this unprecedented request by Palestinian leaders. Maen Areikat, the Palestinians’ top envoy to the United States, said the Obama “administration itself did not implicitly or explicitly, directly or indirectly; threaten to take any punitive actions” when it came to advancing Palestinian statehood. This, along with a 2010 speech Obama gave to the General Assembly, has been interpreted by the Palestinians as implicit permission to continue with their bid for statehood.

President Obama has promised to use the United States’ power as a permanent member of the United Nation’s Security Council to veto Palestinian statehood, but the situation should never have escalated this high in the first place. The impotence of the Obama Administration’s diplomatic power was on full display when it failed in negotiations to persuade the Palestians to drop their bid.

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