The first is that President Obama’s speech was marked by astonishing self-deception. He presented a two-state solution that would already have been achieved long ago, if Israel were dealing with a genuine “peace partner.” But instead Israel is dealing with entities—Hamas and the Palestinian Authority (PA)—that are bent on its destruction of Israel or too powerless to stop it. (Doubts about the intentions of the PA have understandably increased ever since it engaged in a unity pact with Hamas.)
It is worse than folly to assume an agreement can be reached unless and until the Palestinians make their own inner peace with the existence of the Jewish state. That has not yet happened and until it does, repeating like a incantation the argument that a “lasting peace will involve two states for two peoples” is useless.
On one side is Israel, bone-weary for peace; on the other side, the Palestinians, who preach a steady diet of murderous anti-Semitism to their children and whose leadership has shown a fierce and burning hatred for Israel. It is stupid and morally indefensible to apply pressure to the former until there is a profound shift in attitudes by the latter. But thanks to President Obama, altering the rejectionist precepts of the Palestinians is less rather than more likely. Why should the Palestinians shift their stance if Obama is willing to do their bidding for them?
Then there is President Obama’s claim in his speech that “Israel too must act boldly to advance a lasting peace,” a statement which raises questions about whether the president is aware of even the most basic facts on this matter.
To be specific: Is Obama aware that Israel has been willing to “act boldly to advance a lasting peace” since before its existence, when Israel accepted a U.N. proposal to establish two states in the region—one Jewish, the other Arab? We know that Arab states rejected that plan, which granted Israel land that constituted one-sixth of one percent of what was known as the Arab world, and five Arab armies invaded Israel the day after its independence was declared in order to annihilate her.