Mr. Obama’s Peace Process and the Duality of Language
By Stephen M. Astrachan
President Obama has made the completion of an Israeli/Palestinian peace agreement a central goal of his foreign policy. Unfortunately, rather than making peace he has pushed the two sides even further apart. Tragically he may have squandered a remarkable opportunity to advance the cause of peace in this deeply rooted conflict.
Mr. Obama inherited a policy frame-work for resolution of the conflict dating back to President Clinton’s efforts at Camp David in Summer 2000. The essential outlines of the policy were Israel’s retention of some portion of the West Bank to include areas with substantial Jewish residents and land swaps to compensate the Palestinians. President Bush formalized these principles in 2004 with agreements that Israel would begin the process of removing Jewish settlements and military posts from Gaza, limit the growth of Jewish settlements in the West Bank, and support our efforts to reform the institutions of Palestinian government including the security forces. Mr. Bush also agreed that final borders should differ from the 1949 Armistice lines. 1 The freer movement of people and goods which resulted from these agreements has been a major factor in the substantial economic growth that the West Bank has been enjoying.
On assuming the Presidency Mr. Obama wisely appointed retired U.S. Marine Corps General James Jones, who had negotiated the new security arrangement, as his first National Security Advisor. However, he rejected the remainder of the previous framework and adopted a policy on final borders approaching the pre-1967 boundaries. He implied this new policy with subtle language to a foreign audience in his June 2009 speech in Cairo: “The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements. This construction violates previous agreements and undermines efforts to achieve peace. It is time for these settlements to stop.” 2 The ambiguous wording carried parallel messages. Superficially it seemed to reiterate our long-standing objection to new settlement construction. However, the language “continued Israeli settlements” rather than something like “continued settlement activity” implied that Jewish residence outside the pre- June 67 lines was unacceptable. The sequential use of “settlements”, “construction”, and “settlements” tended to obscure the true meaning of the statement. In all likelihood the Moslem audience, to whom these remarks were addressed, understood the underlying meaning.
When Mr. Netanyahu, a right of center politician, became Israel’s Prime Minister, he moved towards Mr. Obama and tried to renew direct negotiations with the Palestinian Authority. Symbolically, he appointed Michael Oren as Ambassador to the United States and made Defense Minister Ehud Barak, rather than the hard-line Foreign Minister Avigor Lieberman, point man for the peace process. Both were long associated with the desire for a negotiated settlement with the Palestinian Authority. Substantively, in December 2009 Mr. Netanyahu declared a comprehensive ten month construction ban in the Jewish areas of the West Bank, a dramatic and unprecedented step for a right leaning Israeli leader.
A ten month construction ban in the West Bank by a Likud led Israeli ruling coalition should have provided the opportunity to bring Israel and the Palestinian Authority back to direct comprehensive negotiations. Mr. Obama, who had pushed for the ban, could have used the enormous prestige he enjoyed early in his presidency to seize this potential Nixon in China, DeGaulle in Algeria moment and work with both sides to try to find common ground and negotiate the end of the conflict. But this was not to be.
Instead Mr. Obama opened another dramatic area for Israel to concede. In March 2010 during a visit to Israel by Vice President Biden, the Jerusalem municipal authority announced the construction of new homes in a Jewish neighborhood in Jerusalem. The announcement was an intentional embarrassment to both Mr. Biden and Mr. Netanyahu who made repeated public apologies. Mr. Obama, rather than simply accepting the apology and moving on, initiated a public confrontation with Israel. His anger was legitimate. The proximity talks, with Senator Mitchell moving between the two parties sitting 30 miles apart, had just begun and such an announcement could have compromised that effort. On the other hand Mr. Netanyahu’s apology was genuine and should have been accepted. Furthermore, the proximity talks themselves represented a substantial Israeli concession given her desire for direct negotiations. Somehow neither the ten month West Bank construction freeze nor the concession of indirect negotiations seemed to matter when Secretary of State Clinton in a harsh telephone conversation told Mr. Netanyahu that the United States wanted Israel to take “specific actions” indicating that “they are committed to this relationship and to the peace process.” 3The subsequent televised public rebuke by David Axelrod was a further escalation in a diplomatic confrontation over a relatively minor incident. 4 The alternative of containing the fall out and focusing on the indirect negotiations was nowhere to be found.
Later that month Mr. Netanyahu traveled to Washington D.C. to heal the rift between himself and Mr. Obama. They met on March 23, 2010. By all accounts the meeting reflected Mr. Obama’s continued hostility. There were no pictures or public statements that would normally be part of a Presidential meeting with the leader of a friendly nation. By some accounts Mr. Obama went even further towards public humiliation by immediately giving Mr. Netanyahu a list of 13 demands and later leaving saying, "I'm going to the residential wing to have dinner with Michelle and the girls...I’m still around…Let me know if there is anything new." 5
This stance from the President of the United States gave permission for even greater hostility from others. It was at that time that that Turkey took the provocative step of supporting the extremely dubious Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH) 6 in trying to run Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza.
More central to the peace process was the change in policy by the Palestinian Authority which took Mr. Obama’s public policies as their own and went further by making the cessation of new construction in the West Bank and in Jerusalem preconditions to further negotiations. Likely implicit here was the belief that the new American President would deliver Israeli compliance and thus preclude the necessity of serious negotiations. Mr. Abbas had negotiated with many previous Israeli governments and had never raised these issues as preconditions for negotiations. While many have commented on Mr. Obama’s role in this change, none have done so with greater authority than has Mr. Abbas himself.
In November 2010 Mr. Abbas posted a policy statement “I Reached Understandings with Omert on Borders, Security.” The piece was generally a defense of his positions on various issues in contention with the Netanyahu government. However, it was quite clear on the origin of the construction halt policy, “Obama said in his (June 2009) Cairo (speech) that Israel must stop all (construction) activity in the settlements. Could we have (settled for) less than that? So we said Israel must stop all construction in the settlements…” 7 In April 2011 he continued this theme in his conversation with Newsweek reporter Paolo Verzone,”It was Obama who suggested a full settlement freeze…I said OK, I accept. We both went up the tree. After that, he came down with a ladder and he removed the ladder and said to me, jump. Three times he did it.” 8
Eventually Mr. Obama started to receive criticism for his seemingly disproportionate hostility towards Israel while Mr. Netanyahu was calling for direct negotiations and Mr. Abbas was establishing pre-conditions. Finally, in July 2010 President Obama forcefully called for the Palestinian Authority to return to direct negotiations in a strongly worded letter. 9 Later on September 24, 2010 in a United Nations address Mr. Obama spoke eloquently, “Those of us who are friends of Israel must understand that true security for the Jewish state requires an independent Palestine -- one that allows the Palestinian people to live with dignity and opportunity. And those of us who are friends of the Palestinians must understand that the rights of the Palestinian people will be won only through peaceful means -- including genuine reconciliation with a secure Israel.” “Those who long to see an independent Palestine must also stop trying to tear down Israel. After thousands of years, Jews and Arabs are not strangers in a strange land. After 60 years in the community of nations, Israel's existence must not be a subject for debate.” 10
Unfortunately beneath the soaring rhetoric lay the stark reality of an incoherent policy, “Israel's settlement moratorium has made a difference on the ground and improved the atmosphere for talks. And our position on this issue is well known. We believe that the moratorium should be extended.” “Now is the time for this opportunity to be seized, so that it does not slip away.” The settlement freeze had begun nearly a year earlier but Mr. Obama was only then acknowledging the opportunity that it created and urging that it be seized. He had run down the clock on the construction freeze having spent much of that time escalating a public confrontation with Israel that all but drove the Palestinian Authority to a set of preconditions that made the chance of real progress increasingly remote.
Mr. Obama’s approach to the conflict has been marked an almost obsessively critical view of Israel and Mr. Netanyahu and an almost complete inability to attribute fault to the Palestinian Authority. In April 2010 the Wall Street Journal in commenting on our efforts to encourage Mr. Abbas to resume negotiations quoted a U.S. official as saying, “The Palestinians have assurances that there would be consequences if the Israelis don’t live up to their side of the bargain.” 11 This statement, however striking, can be attributed to our diplomatic efforts to resume the indirect negotiations. But eleven months later the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported on a one hour meeting between Mr. Obama and members of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. While no one spoke on the record, a number of the off the record statements reflected the continued one sidedness of Mr. Obama’s comments. “President Obama reportedly urged Jewish communal leaders to speak to their friends and colleagues in Israel and to ‘search your souls’ over Israel’s seriousness about making peace.” “Obama said Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is eager to secure his legacy by establishing a Palestinian state and would accept a decent offer if one were on the table.” 12 If this dichotomy had been clearly based on fact, this language would have been extreme. However the facts hardly supported the conclusion. On Israel’s side Mr. Netanyahu had designated peace process supporters to the most senior positions, consistently called for direct negotiations, and declared a ten month halt to new construction in the Jewish areas of the West Bank. On the Palestinian side Mr. Abbas not only refused direct negotiations but raised a set of preconditions to negotiations and named a new square in Ramallah after a Palestinian martyr who had murdered more than three dozen Israeli civilians. 13
More recently there was the well publicized “off-microphone” gaff between Prime Minister Sarkozy and Mr. Obama in November 2011: Mr. Sarkozy, “I cannot bear Netanyahu, he's a liar. “Mr. Obama, “You’re fed up with him, but I have to deal with him even more often than you.” 14 This candid exchange occurred almost immediately after Mr. Netanyahu announced plans to begin the removal of some of the small Jewish outposts in the West Bank. In doing so he kept a promise made but never fulfilled by his two predecessors and incurred some political cost in the process. 15 Yet Mr. Obama’s comments reflected complete indifference to this important recent development.
As previously noted, the Palestinian Authority came to act as though Mr. Obama would deliver an Israeli policy to their liking so that they did not have to engage in substantive negotiations. This belief proved to be justified on one level.
Last May with the Arab world in turmoil, old autocracies falling, and hope for a better future in the air, Mr. Obama announced a major policy address on the Arab Spring. About the same time Mr. Netanyahu announced a trip to Washington D.C. with the express purpose of providing new ideas to hopefully restart direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Circumstances seemed hopeful for a new beginning between Mr. Obama, Mr. Netanyahu, and Mr. Abbas. But again, this was not to be. Only hours before the President’s speech Israel was informed of the new policy doctrine that Mr. Obama was about to announce.
Mr. Obama’s speech of May 19, 2011 was billed as a major policy address on the Arab Spring. However, he devoted about 20% of it to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. This was more than to any other single topic. 16 He fundamentally altered the U.S. posture toward the conflict.
The first policy concerned borders. “We believe the borders of Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both sides.” With this bold stroke Mr. Obama abandoned all previous policy from the diplomatic ambiguity of the 1967 UN Resolution 242 to Presidents Clinton’s and Bush’s recognition of demographic changes and generally defined land swaps. Beyond the obvious political difficulties this policy would create for any Israeli government, the term “1967 lines” raised national security concerns harkening back to the memories of the vulnerability that those lines posed in earlier years. Mr. Obama immediately compounded these concerns.
"As for security, every state has the right to self-defense, and Israel must be able to defend itself -– by itself -– against any threat. Provisions must also be robust enough to prevent a resurgence of terrorism, to stop the infiltration of weapons, and to provide effective border security. The full and phased withdrawal of Israeli military forces should be coordinated with the assumption of Palestinian security responsibility in a sovereign, non-militarized state. And the duration of this transition period must be agreed, and the effectiveness of security arrangements must be demonstrated."
The sheer duplicity of this statement was stunning. In plain language it called for a full withdrawal of Israeli forces from the West Bank and the complete reliance on the Palestinian security forces. Yet the substance of the policy, “full and phased withdrawal of Israeli military forces” is almost hidden in the center of the paragraph preceded and followed by a string of seeming assurances to Israel’s security that tend to obscure the statement’s actual meaning. Mr. Obama’s later references to this statement as an assurance of Israel’s security compunded the cold cynicism of his words.
The Palestinian Authority had not made the full reliance on their own security forces an important policy goal. In fact Mr. Abbas had openly spoken about accepting third party NATO forces as a basis of security. 17 To him the security force issue was one in which compromise seemed possible. Once again, Mr. Obama raised the bar on the Palestinian side beyond anything they had requested.
Nothing in my comments should be taken as critical of any outcome that might have resulted from the give and take of comprehensive direct negotiations between the two parties. However, it is in the likelihood of real negotiations that Mr. Obama did perhaps the greatest harm. He then insisted that the issues of borders and Israel’s security (as he defined it) be a first stage of negotiations preceding deliberation on the status of Jerusalem and the Palestinian refugees:
"These principles provide a foundation for negotiations. Palestinians should know the territorial outlines of their state; Israelis should know that their basic security concerns will be met. I’m aware that these steps alone will not resolve the conflict, because two wrenching and emotional issues will remain: the future of Jerusalem, and the fate of Palestinian refugees. But moving forward now on the basis of territory and security provides a foundation to resolve those two issues in a way that is just and fair, and that respects the rights and aspirations of both Israelis and Palestinians."
Thus Israel was to cede the final borders and agree to completely withdraw of its forces from the West Bank, i.e. give up its major bargaining chips before dealing with the contentious issues of Jerusalem and the Palestinian right of return. The fundamental notion of land for peace was abandoned. Israel was to give up land and then discuss peace.
A good perspective on these issues came from former British Prime Minister Tony Blair in his August 2010 remarks on Israel’s legitimacy at the Lauder School of Government in Haifa. He defined a form of deligitimization as follows:
… "it is a conscious or often unconscious resistance, sometimes bordering on refusal, to accept Israel has a legitimate point of view. Note that I say refusal to accept Israel has a legitimate point of view. I’m not saying refusal to agree with it. People are perfectly entitled to agree or not; but rather an unwillingness to listen to the other side, to acknowledge that Israel has a point, to embrace the notion that this is a complex matter that requires understanding of the other way of looking at it." 18
Mr. Obama, despite his articulate public support for Israel’s legitimacy as a Jewish state has denied Israel the right to its own point of view and its own policies. When Mr. Netanyahu declared a ten month settlement construction freeze on the West Bank, Mr. Obama ran the clock down and acknowledged the importance of the freeze only as it was coming to an end. When Mr. Netanyahu apologized for the public declaration of new building in Jerusalem during Vice President Biden’s visit in March 2010, Mr. Obama ignored the apology and attacked. In May 2011 when Mr. Netanyahu was coming to the United States to propose new ideas to restart direct negotiations, Mr. Obama informed him only several hours ahead of time that he was about to propose a new U.S. doctrine that neither he nor likely any other serious Israeli leader could accept. These deliberate actions amount to the kind of delegitimization that Tony Blair described so insightfully.
In the days and weeks that followed the speech Mr. Obama faced a firestorm of criticism starting with the dramatic bipartisan support for Mr. Netanyahu by the U.S. Congress and culminating in the upset electoral defeat of the Democrat Party in New York’s 9 th Congressional District.
Since then the public tenor of the Administration towards Israel has changed dramatically. The multi-pronged criticism of Israel goes on, but only by subordinates. 19 Mr. Obama, himself, has become the leading public defender of Israel’s legitimacy. At the United Nations last September he said:
"But understand this as well: America’s commitment to Israel’s security is unshakeable. Our friendship with Israel is deep a nd enduring. And so we believe that any lasting peace must acknowledge the very real security concerns that Israel faces every single day.
Let us be honest with ourselves: Israel is surrounded by neighbors that have waged repeated wars against it. Israel’s citizens have been killed by rockets fired at their houses and suicide bombs on their buses. Israel’s children come of age knowing that throughout the region, other children are taught to hate them. Israel, a small country of less than eight million people, look out at a world where leaders of much larger nations threaten to wipe it off of the map. The Jewish people carry the burden of centuries of exile and persecution, and fresh memories of knowing that six million people were killed simply because of who they are. Those are facts. They cannot be denied.
The Jewish people have forged a successful state in their historic homeland. Israel deserves recognition. It deserves normal relations with its neighbors. And friends of the Palestinians do them no favors by ignoring this truth, just as friends of Israel must recognize the need to pursue a two-state solution with a secure Israel next to an independent Palestine. That is the truth -- each side has legitimate aspirations -- and that’s part of what makes peace so hard. And the deadlock will only be broken when each side learns to stand in the other’s shoes; each side can see the world through the other’s eyes. That’s what we should be encouraging. That’s what we should be promoting." 20
Mr. Obama and his supporters often state that the he has raised the level of security and military cooperation between the United States and Israel to unprecedented levels. This statement is true and Mr. Obama deserves a great deal of credit. And if part of the motivation is to put Israel in a stronger position from which to make further compromises for peace, then this too is a legitimate U.S. policy goal.
However, Mr Obama is in election mode now. He has been there before. In July 2008 in Sderot, Israel, the city which had lived for years under rocket attack from the Gaza Strip he said:
“ The first job of any nation state is to protect its citizens. And so I can assure you that if -- I don't even care if I was a politician. If somebody was sending rockets into my house where my two daughters sleep at night, I'm going to do everything in my power to stop that. And I would expect Israelis to do the same thing.” 21
But elections end. In January 2009 with Israel arguably taking his earlier advice and conducting an effective ground campaign in Gaza, Mr. Obama choose to not directly weigh in on the situation prior to his inauguration:
"Starting at the beginning of our administration, we are going to engage effectively and consistently in trying to resolve the conflicts that exist in the Middle East. So on Jan. 20, you will be hearing directly from me in my opinions on this issue. Until then, my job is to monitor the situation and put together the best possible national security team so that we hit the ground running once we are responsible for national security issues."
This statement was entirely appropriate and could have ended right there. It did not. He continued, "The loss of civilian life in Gaza and in Israel is a source of deep concern to me. And after Jan. 20, I'm going to have plenty to say about the issue." 22 This comment during the Israeli campaign that was widely criticized for the alleged disproportionate use of force and excessive civilian casualties was deeply ambiguous. On the surface it seemed neutral. At a deeper level, its resonance with the general criticism directed at Israel was unmistakable. For reasons that were never made clear the Israeli campaign in Gaza, which was steadily reducing the Palestinian ability to launch rockets, ended suddenly. It was long over when Mr. Obama became the President of the United States.
Mr. Obama’s policies have been neither random nor haphazard. A dramatic policy change suggested in Cairo in June 2009 became explicit in Washington D.C. in May 2011. A dramatic move by a right-of-center Israeli Prime Minister to freeze new settlement construction for ten months was blocked and acknowledged only after the time period had run out. A more recent attempt by that Prime Minister to initiate negotiations was cut off by a dramatic new policy doctrine of which he was notified only several hours in advance. These actions represent Mr. Obama’s core beliefs.
Throughout there has the duality of his language, the parallel meanings, the soaring rhetoric obscuring actual policies, and the subtle phraseology masking implicit or explicit messages. Easily missed in his stunning defense of Israel’s legitimacy at the UN in September 2011 (quoted above) was his reaffirmation of the May 19, 2011 policy doctrine that has otherwise disappeared from public discourse:
"Faced with this stalemate, I put forward a new basis for negotiations in May of this year. That basis is clear. It’s well known to all of us here. Israelis must know that any agreement provides assurances for their security. Palestinians deserve to know the territorial basis of their state." 23
Perhaps none of this makes any difference. Those who argue that the Palestinians will never accept the legitimacy of Israel as a Jewish state have copious evidence to cite. On the other hand, in June 2010 a fascinating report had Mr. Abbas publicly affirming the legitimacy of a Jewish presence in the area. When challenged by the Arab media he responded, “Jews are there, and when you read the Holy Koran you have it there. That’s what I said.” 24 Thus, the President of the Palestinian Authority began publicly going down the sort of road that might have legitimized Israel to the Palestinian people (and basing it on the Koran).
We have two leaders, one Israeli and one Palestinian. Both have dedicated their lives and considerable talents to the national aspirations of their people. Yet each has seemingly tried to advance compromise positions with the other. Unfortunately, the President of the United States of America failed to seize a middle-ground where a true reconciliation might have occurred. Instead, he chose to impose his own policies which one side could not accept and the other not reject. We shall never know what might have been with different American leadership.
If Mr. Obama is re-elected this November he will most likely reemphasize, final borders based on pre-1967 lines with land swaps, full Israel Defense Force withdrawal from the West Bank, and negotiation on the status of Jerusalem and the Palestinian right of return only after these Israeli concessions are complete. His laudable emphasis on Israel’s military security and legitimacy must be understood in context of this larger policy. The difference will be that he will then conduct foreign policy without ever again having to stand before the electorate. For it is the President of the United States who determines our foreign policy under the Constitution, as it has been since the days of Chief Justice John Marshall.
1 Text of George W. Bush's letter to Ariel Sharon and Ariel Sharon's letter to George W. Bush, 14 April 2004, http://www.haaretz.com/news/ariel-sharon-and-george-w-bush-s-letters-in-full-1.277418 and Letter from Dov Weisglass to NSA Condoleezza Rice, 14 April 2004, http://www.haaretz.com/news/letter-from-dov-weisglass-to-nsa-condoleezza-rice-1.119993
2 Text of President Obama’s speech in Cairo, Egypt, 4 June 2009 http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/04/us/politics/04obama.text.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all
3 Lander, Mark, Clinton Rebukes Israel on Housing Announcement, New York Times, 12 March 2010, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/17/world/middleeast/17mideast.html
4 Klinegbiel, Jacqueline, Axelrod: Israel Settlement Approval an ‘Affront’; ‘Insult’ , ABC News , Mar 14, 2010 10:24am, http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2010/03/axelrod-israel-settlement-approval-an-affront-insult/
5 Bloomfield, Adrain, “Obama snubbed Netanyahu for dinner with Michelle and the girls, Israelis claim”, The Telegraph, 25 March, 2010,
6 Phillips, Melanie, “'Peace convoy'? This was an Islamist terror ambush, Spectator, 31 May, 2010, http://www.spectator.co.uk/melaniephillips/6044639/peace-convoy-this-was-an-islamist-terror-ambush.thtml
7 Abbas, Mahmoud, “Mahmoud Abbas: I Reached Understandings with Olmert on Borders, Security”, MEMRI, 16 November 2010, http://m.memri.org/14499/show/651786e14e026aa63acac9ffcc3d6114&t=20320d97cb30b6845cb6422bedb5dfbe
8 Ephron, Dan, “The Wrath of Abbas”, Newsweek, 2 Mau 2011, http://www.newsweek.com/2011/04/24/the-wrath-of-abbas.print.html
9 Laub, Karin, “Obama letter to Palestinian leader included warning, PLO says”, Washingtonpost.com, 1 August 2010, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/31/AR2010073102972.html
10 “Obama’s Remarks at the United Nations”, 23 September 2010, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/24/us/politics/24obama-text.html?pagewanted=all
11 Abbas Supports Mideast Peace Bid”, A Wall Street Journal Round Up, 27 April 2010. http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB10001424052748703465204575208551763064446-lMyQjAxMTAyMDAwODEwNDgyWj.html?mod=wsj_share_email
12 Harris, Ben, “Obama: Israelis should soul-search about seriousness of peace”, JTA, 2 March, 2011, http://www.jta.org/news/article/2011/03/02/2743158/obama-israelis-should-soul-search-about-seriousness-on-peace
13 Kirshner, Isabel, “ Palestinians Honor a Figure Reviled in Israel as a Terrorist” , New York Times, 11 March 2010, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/12/world/middleeast/12westbank.html
14 Le Guernigou, Yann ” Sarkozy tells Obama Netanyahu is a ‘liar’ ”, Reuters, 8 November 2011, http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/11/08/us-mideast-netanyahu-sarkozy-idUSTRE7A720120111108
15 Abrams, Eliot, “Obama Joins the Chorus”, 8 November 2011, http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_opinion.php?id=793
16 “Remarks by the President on the Middle East and North Africa”, 19 May 2011, http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/05/19/remarks-president-middle-east-and-north-africa
17 Abbas Mahmoud, “Mahmoud Abbas: I Reached Understandings with Olmert on Borders, Security”, 16 November 2010. http://www.memri.org/report/en/print4770.htm
18 “Tony Blair at the Lauder School”, 24 August 2010, http://keeptonyblairforpm.wordpress.com/tag/the-lauder-school-of-government/
19 Hornik. P. David, “Obama Administration’s Threefold Slap in Israel’s Face”, FRONTPAGEMAG.COM, 5 December 2011, http://frontpagemag.com/2011/12/05/obama-administrations-three-pronged-attack-on-israel/
20 “ Remarks by President Obama in Address to the United Nations General Assembly”, 21 September 2011, http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/09/21/remarks-president-obama-address-united-nations-general-assembly
21 “ Obama’s Speech in Sderot, Israel”, New York Times, 23 July 2008, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/23/us/politics/23text-obama.html?pagewanted=all
22 Kampeas, Ron, “With Obama mum on Gaza, Democrats move to fill void”, JTA, 9 January 2009, http://www.jweekly.com/article/full/36504/with-obama-mum-on-gaza-democrats-move-to-fill-void/
23 “Remarks by President Obama in Address to the United Nations General Assembly”, 21 September 2012, http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/09/21/remarks-president-obama-address-united-nations-general-assembly
24 Gutman, Nathan, “ Abbas: Quran Recognizes Jewish Ties to Israel”, The Jewish Daily Forward, 10 June 2010, http://forward.com/articles/128720/
from the June 2012 Edition of the Jewish Magazine
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