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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Obama: Israel and Congress to blame for lack of 'progress' toward 'peace'

A group of Arab Americans who met with President Hussein Obama in preparation for his Middle East trip next week claim that he told them that Israel and Congress are to blame for the lack of 'progress' toward 'peace.'
But one story in an important Arab media outlet quoted participants as having provided a reason for the U.S. president’s unwillingness to push a peace initiative during this trip.  That anonymous Arab and/or Muslim participant told Al Arabiya.net reporters that Obama said to the group: “since the Israeli government has not been willing to make concessions, there is no point in pushing [for negotiations] right now.”
In addition, the U.S. president expressed solidarity with the plight of the Arab Palestinians. “‘The only people more frustrated than me,’” Obama was quoted by a source as saying, are the ‘”Palestinians living in West Bank and Gaza – it’s a legitimate frustration,’” Al Arabiya‘s source said.
The U.S. congress also came in for criticism by the U.S. president. “Every time the pressure gets to the Israelis, they go to Congress.”
The message understood by that source who was present at the March 11 meeting was that Obama believed he could get around the interference of the U.S. congress and the obstructionist Israeli government by speaking directly to the Israeli people. The source said, “He wants to find a way around that, that’s why he wants to talk to the Israeli public directly.”
In other words, the Israeli elected government should be sidelined because President Obama believes he knows what is best for Israel, and he will deal directly with the Israeli people this time, rather than with their elected government.  At least that is the message some meeting participants either believed or want others to believe.
There was one additional piece of information in the Al Arabiya article that was not reported elsewhere.
President Obama, who has been railing against what he describes as the Republican-imposed sequester, “will take with him a cash infusion of $500 million – which Congress will soon release – of much needed financial aid to the Palestinian Authority.”
Wouldn't it be funny if Obama was heckled at that speech to university students?

I think it would be even funnier if the Israeli government found the junk to tell him not to come at all. 

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