Obama gave a good speech at the U.N. last week, I credited him with that.
But his Israel policy still encourages Palestinian intransigence, as evidenced by his demands that Israel cease building new housing units in the Jewish neighborhood of Gilo. Gilo occupies a strategic hilltop in Jersusalem from which Arabs used to fire upon Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem prior to the 1967 war.
As explained by Jonathan Tobin:
Those who believed the Obama administration’s attitude toward Israel has changed for the better got a rude wakeup call today when Washington condemned the start of a housing project in Jerusalem….
The first thing that needs to be understood is Gilo is no settlement. Built on the southern border of the city, it was established more than 40 years ago and is the home of approximately 40,000 residents of Israel’s capital. Up until Barack Obama took office, it was not the subject of much, if any comment, by any previous administration. By seeking to force Israel to cease building houses in existing Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem, Obama has legitimized Palestinian demands for not only a re-division of the city but also their desire to evict the more than 200,000 Jews who live in those parts that were illegally occupied by Jordan between 1948 and 1967….
It should also be pointed out that far from being an obstacle to a putative peace deal, building in Gilo — or any other part of Jerusalem — would have no effect on the creation of a Palestinian state if a peace deal should ever be signed. It is generally understood that even according to President Obama’s idea of a border being created along the 1967 lines with land swaps that Jewish Jerusalem would remain under Israeli sovereignty. The only way homes in Gilo could be construed as an obstacle to peace is if the vision of peace being pursued is one in which every Jew is thrown out of much of the city.
Indeed, people in Israel were surprised when, in November 2009, Obama referred to Gilo as a settlement:
Gilo is home to 40,000 people and seems so indistinguishable from the rest of the city that residents and officials were surprised to hear US President Barack Obama refer to it as a “settlement” during an interview he gave to Fox News in China on Wednesday.
Nothing has changed. Obama still feeds the dead-end Palestinian dream of evicting Jews from all land occupied by Jordan prior to the 1967 war, as part of their desire (which they express openly among themselves) to destroying Israel as a Jewish state.