Obama gave a good speech today at the U.N. on the Israel-Palestinian conflict:
President Barack Obama told a meeting of the United Nations General Assembly Wednesday that Mideast peace “will not come through statements and resolutions” by the world body, arguing against a proposed resolution calling for U.N. recognition of Palestine as a sovereign state.
“I am convinced that there is no shortcut to the end of a conflict that has endured for decades. Peace will not come through statements and resolutions at the UN – if it were that easy, it would have been accomplished by now,” he told the UN General Assembly. “Ultimately, it is Israelis and Palestinians who must live side by side. Ultimately, it is Israelis and Palestinians — not us — who must reach agreement on the issues that divide them: on borders and security; on refugees and Jerusalem.”
Yes, yes, I know that this speech doesn’t undo years of unrealistic and destructive policies in the Middle East, many of which have been documented here.
But standing on it’s own, it was a good speech. If only he had given this speech a year ago, perhaps expectations would not have been raised (full speech here).
Question of the Day: Will this speech dissauade Mahmoud Abbas from forcing the U.S. to use the veto in the Security Council?
Update: Doesn’t look like it worked:
Yasser Abed Rabbo, secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Executive Committee, said following Barack Obama’s UN speech that the US president’s statements on the freedom of the Arab people are far removed from his call to resume negotiations between the Palestinians and Israel.
“We expected to hear that the liberty of the Palestinian people is the key to the Arab spring,” he said. “The entire region deserves liberty.”
A top Palestinian official says President Mahmoud Abbas has no plans to agree to a delayed vote on his bid for membership in the United Nations, rejecting mounting pressure to do so from the United States and France.
“We will not allow any political maneurvering on this issue,” said Saeb Erekat, a senior aide to Abbas and former chief of negotiations.
And, well maybe it did work, as the application to the Security Council will be put on the slow boat:
The Palestinians will give the UN Security Council “some time” to study their application for full membership in the United Nations, a senior Palestinian official said on Wednesday.
“We will give some time to the Security Council to consider first our full membership request before heading to the General Assembly,” Nabil Shaath, a senior official in Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party, told reporters on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.