Obama's latest reckless and ignorant intervention against Israel shows how mindful we should be of the damage he could yet cause before we see the back of him in January 2017
Whether it's from ignorance or from ideology or from both is now beside the point. Barack Obama is fundamentally hostile to Israel. He doesn't understand the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. And he plainly doesn't want to.
That's the only conclusion that can be drawn from his ludicrous and provocative intervention on Israel's Channel 2 on Tuesday.
The Guardian quoted him as saying the following in the context of remarks by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu before the Israeli elections that he did not envisage a Palestinian state during his next term, and then after the elections saying that he welcomed peace negotiations.
"... The danger here is that Israel as a whole loses credibility," President Obama said. "...Already, the international community does not believe that Israel is serious about a two-state solution.”Obama also issued a thinly veiled threat to stop vetoing anti-Israeli resolutions at the United Nations if, "there's no prospect of an actual peace process."
"And I think that it is difficult to simply accept at face value the statement made after an election that would appear to look as if this is simply an effort to return to the previous status quo in which we talk about peace in the abstract, but it’s always tomorrow, it’s always later.”
...The fact is that Netanyahu's comments before the election were merely a statement of the obvious. There isn't going to be a Palestinian state in the near future. And there isn't going to be a Palestinian state in the near future because the Palestinians don't want a two-state solution, and never have.
If the two sides can talk about keeping the situation under a degree of control, and avoiding bloodshed, then all well and good. But until there is a fundamental shift in popular and elite attitudes among the Palestinians this will not result in the much vaunted two-state solution.
We've known this at least since 1947, when the Jewish/Israeli side accepted the two-state partition plan agreed upon by the United Nations, while the Arab/Palestinian side rejected it.
We've known this since the infamous "Three Nos", issued in the Khartoum Resolution of September 1, 1967: "no peace with Israel; no recognition of Israel; no negotiations with [Israel]".
The Oslo Accords of the 1990s held out the prospect of possible Palestinian compliance, but were then fatally undermined by the words and actions of Yasser Arafat.
Under Bill Clinton's auspices in 2000 and 2001, the Israeli side again offered a two-state solution only for it to be flatly rejected. In 2007, Ehud Olmert offered Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas more or less the same deal, only for it to be turned down.
The Palestinian side makes rejection of the very existence of Israel a fact of daily life in its (Arab-language) pronouncements, its glorification of terrorism, and its media and education policies.
Opinion polls, such as those conducted by the Israel Project, consistently show that the Palestinian people would only accept a two-state solution as a stepping stone towards a one-state solution involving the destruction of the State of Israel.
The fact that these realities are never reported in the mainstream Western media does not, of course, mean that they aren't available to anyone who wants to know about them, especially if your job title says you are president of the United States.
Obama is nothing more than a default Israel-hater, a characteristic he shares with most in the international community. He has been one all along, but he has so far been held in check by the wider American political establishment.
But if his reckless and ignorant intervention yesterday is anything to go by, we should all be mindful of the damage he could yet do until the world finally sees the back of him in January, 2017.