From the National Review Online (US), Wednesday, September 23, 2009, by Robert Costa:
Frequent NRO contributor Anne Bayefsky, a senior fellow with the Hudson Institute and executive director of Human Rights Voices, gave us a call from the United Nations to relay her take on President Obama’s speech....
...Bayefsky notes that the president received a big round of applause for suggesting that Israel should return to 1967 borders, “without the slightest concern that Israel cannot return to indefensible borders — at least if there is to be any hope of real peace.” Obama, she says, also made “a unilateral policy statement about what is supposed to be subject to bilateral negotiations, as if Israel were his vassal state. That made a terrific impression with the folks at the U.N., but it has nothing to do with a global agenda that advances international peace and security.”
“President Obama also engaged in another round of moral equivalency,” says Bayefsky, “which he made infamous in his Cairo speech. He compared those who live in terror in Israel with those who are still waiting for clean water and a state of their own in ’Palestine,’ a statement which ignores history and the facts on the ground. The Palestinian people in Gaza, who elected a government sworn to Israel’s destruction, do not have a country of their own because their elected representatives in Gaza have declared their permanent opposition to living side-by-side with any Jewish state. The President’s continuing failure to recognize the difference between the victims of terror and the perpetrators bodes ill for any prospect for peace in the Middle East.”
Bayefsky adds that one interesting feature of Obama’s speech was the number of times that he apologized for America. “He essentially said to the world that ‘I’m embarrassed at America's record’ and that their hostility toward America prior to his ascendance to the country's highest office was correct.” ...
...On a final note, Bayefsky says that on Iran, the president said that “if” the country chooses to ignore nuclear standards, then it would have a problem. “If? We already know exactly what Iran has been doing,” she says. “Using the word ‘if’ suggests that President Obama is simply refusing to come to terms with the reality of Iran’s nuclear program and that he has an extraordinary blind spot that isn’t going away any time soon.”
“This speech ought to send shockwaves through the United States and our European allies,” concludes Bayefsky. “We have the weakest president in modern times ensconced in Washington, a man who will run away from saying what has to be said, if it doesn’t appeal to an audience rife with demagogues.”