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Thursday, June 04, 2009

Obama on the 'Saudi plan'

At Hot Air, one of the points Ed Morrissey picked up on was President Obama's reference to the 'Saudi plan.'
Not surprisingly, Obama emphasized the rights of Palestinians to live in their own state, which the Washington Post’s Howard Schneider reported via Twitter prompted a lot of head-nodding. Obama added this scolding to Arab nations, though, that may have come as a surprise:

Finally, the Arab States must recognize that the Arab Peace Initiative was an important beginning, but not the end of their responsibilities. The Arab-Israeli conflict should no longer be used to distract the people of Arab nations from other problems. Instead, it must be a cause for action to help the Palestinian people develop the institutions that will sustain their state; to recognize Israel’s legitimacy; and to choose progress over a self-defeating focus on the past.

That was a not-so-subtle jab at the practice of various Arab and Muslim states to use the Palestinian issue to whip up anti-Israel sentiment for their own domestic purposes. Egypt has diplomatic relations with Israel, but is not above doing some of that itself, which makes this jab a little more sharp, given the setting. It seems a little surprising — and refreshing — that Obama would challenge this practice in a speech in Cairo.
When Obama started that paragraph, I thought hoped that he would finally say to the Arab states that the 'Saudi plan' was a starting point for negotiations, but that it wasn't necessarily the ending point, and that while it was good that the Saudis had proposed it, it was wrong and unfair to insist that it was non-negotiable and that no changes to it could be proposed or made.

Alas, my hope was in vain. Obama has left the Arab world with the impression (which may or may not be correct) that he is not averse to imposing the 'Saudi plan' on Israel in toto.


At 6:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lies my president told me:

"Robert Spencer: Platitudes and naivete: Obama's Cairo speech

At 7:16 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Shy Guy, Robert Spencer has the same impression I had for the last few posts, which is why Carl here stopped live blogging it. What Obama said is nothing new and people have heard it all before. Its not going to change hearts and minds in the Middle East. In a few months it will be all but forgotten.


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