President Obama Shows True Leadership By Pushing For Peace Between Israel And Palestine

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On Tuesday, an op-ed written by President Obama appeared in Haaretz, Israel’s oldest newspaper. This op-ed comes as tensions between Israelis and Palestinians are extremely high. Last month, the bodies of three Israeli teens were found in the West Bank. They had been abducted weeks before. Israel claims that the militant group Hamas is responsible for the murders.  Shortly after the discovery of the bodies, a group of Israelis kidnapped and murdered a Palestinian teen in retaliation. While Israeli police have captured six suspects, and three have recently confessed to the killing, the situation in Israel remains very delicate.

The President reached out to the parents and families of all of the slain teens and called for restraint.

And as a father myself, I cannot imagine the pain endured by the parents of Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Shaar and Eyal Yifrach, who were tragically kidnapped and murdered in June. I am also heartbroken by the senseless abduction and murder of Mohammed Hussein Abu Khdeir, whose life was stolen from him and his family. At this dangerous moment, all parties must protect the innocent and act with reasonableness and restraint, not vengeance and retribution.

In the article, the President reaffirmed his and the nation’s commitment to Israel’s security. He pointed out that the United States has and will always be Israel’s “greatest friend.” The President also highlighted the monetary aid that the US has promised to send Israel to boost its national security.

From Harry Truman through today, the United States has always been Israel’s greatest friend. As I’ve said time and again, neither I nor the United States will ever waver in our commitment to the security of Israel and the Israeli people, and our support for peace will always remain a bedrock foundation of that commitment.

Over the past five years, we’ve expanded our cooperation and today, as Israel’s leaders have affirmed, the security relationship between Israel and the United States is stronger than ever. Our militaries conduct more exercises together.

Our intelligence cooperation is at an all-time high. Together, we’re developing new defense technologies, such as remote IED-sensing equipment and lightweight protective armor that will protect our troops.

Budgets in Washington are tight, but our commitment to Israel’s security remains ironclad. The United States is committed to providing more than $3 billion each year to help finance Israel’s security through 2018. Across the board, our unprecedented security cooperation is making Israel safer, and American investments in Israel’s cutting-edge defense systems like the Arrow interceptor system and Iron Dome are saving lives.

President Obama also reassured Israel that the United States won’t just help Israel’s national security via monetary aid and technology sharing, but also through its engagement with other countries in the region. Specifically, the President pointed out efforts made by the US to keep weapons of mass destruction out of the hands of nations like Syria and Iran.

Our commitment to Israel’s security also extends to our engagement throughout the Middle East. Last month, under American leadership, the international community successfully removed the last of Bashar al-Assad’s declared chemical weapons from Syria. Eliminating this stockpile reduces the ability of a brutal dictator to use weapons of mass destruction to threaten not just the Syrian people but Syria’s neighbors, including Israel. And we will continue working with our partners in Europe and the Arab world to support the moderate opposition and to press for a political solution that resolves a conflict that is feeding a humanitarian crisis and regional instability.

We are also working to ensure that Iran does not ever possess a nuclear weapon. Through tough international negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program, we are attempting to peacefully address a major threat to global and regional security, including the security of Israel. We have been clear that any agreement must provide concrete, verifiable assurances that Iran’s nuclear program is exclusively peaceful, and we have consulted closely with Israel throughout this process. As we draw near to the deadline for negotiations, we do not yet know if these talks will succeed, but our bottom line has not changed. We are determined to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, and we are keeping every option on the table to accomplish that goal.

In the end, though, POTUS declared that the only real path for true Israeli security is peace with Palestine. The President plainly stated that Israel needs to work with the Palestinian people to find a peaceful resolution to the long-running turmoil. He also reiterated his support for a Palestinian state and said that peace between Israelis and Palestinians is possible and obtainable.

As I said last year in Jerusalem, peace is necessary, just, and possible. I believed it then. I believe it now. Peace is necessary because it’s the only way to ensure a secure and democratic future for the Jewish state of Israel. While walls and missile defense systems can help protect against some threats, true safety will only come with a comprehensive negotiated settlement. Reaching a peace agreement with the Palestinians would also help turn the tide of international sentiment and sideline violent extremists, further bolstering Israel’s security.

Peace is also, undeniably, just. Just as the Israeli people have the right to live in the historic homeland of the Jewish people, the Palestinian people deserve the right to self-determination. Palestinian children have hopes and dreams for their future and deserve to live with the dignity that can only come with a state of their own. And, in President Abbas, Israel has a counterpart committed to a two-state solution and security cooperation with Israel. The United States has repeatedly made clear that any Palestinian government must uphold these long-standing principles: a commitment to non-violence, adherence to past agreements, and the recognition of Israel. With negotiations on hiatus, these principles are more important than ever. All parties must exercise restraint and work together to maintain stability on the ground.

Finally, peace is possible. This is one of the most important things to remember during setbacks and moments of frustration. It will take political will to make the difficult choices that are necessary and support from the Israeli and Palestinian people and civil society. Both parties must be willing to take risks for peace. But at the end of the day, we know where negotiations must lead—two states for two peoples. Refusing to compromise or cooperate with one another won’t do anything to increase security for either the Israeli or the Palestinian people. The only solution is a democratic, Jewish state living side-by-side in peace and security with a viable, independent Palestinian state. That’s why Secretary Kerry and I remain determined to work with both Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Abbas to pursue a two-state solution. When the political will exists to recommit to serious negotiations, the United States will be there, ready to do our part.

President Obama showed that he remains firm on his stance regarding a two-state solution and that Israel needs to work with Palestinian leaders to achieve this. It is the only truly humane and just way for tensions between the two groups to finally cease.

19 Replies to “President Obama Shows True Leadership By Pushing For Peace Between Israel And Palestine”

  1. The problem with the situation between Israel and the Palestinians is that they have grown into a dysfunctional marriage. To a certain degree the Palestinians have taken on the role of the oppressed and Israel the oppressors, and vice versa. It suits their political and economic needs.

    At some point in time they are going to have to be the adults in the room. No other country or person can truly broker peace. I applaud the presidents efforts and Kerrys efforts, but in the end it will have to be their own willingness to cooperate.

  2. Spot on. I applaud our President for trying, nothing wrong with that. If nothing else, maybe it reminds both sides that they are each human beings, instead of just enemies. Our President is a very hopeful person and very willing to work for the greater good.

  3. My aunt was the only person I’ve ever known who leaned farther to the left than me. The only issue we could never agree on was Israel. In her eyes, they could do no wrong simply because they were Israel. I couldn’t make her see that, as a nation governed by fallible human beings, they were capable of fucking things up just as badly as anyone else.

    It breaks my heart to see myself proven right in such a horrific manner.

  4. The only thing that stands a chance of providing peace in this situation is the introduction of UN peacekeeping troops into the Occupied Territories of Palestine to protect the Palestinian people from the military might of Israel. Palestinians have no army, no air force, no navy, no tanks, no attack helicopters, no fighter jets, no missiles. They have nothing which constitutes an ability to fight a “war” with the huge American supplied military force of Israel. It is time for the world to provide protection to the Palestinians before Israel succeeds in their genocide of the people and place of Palestine.

  5. Seems like president just only look one side only… if president know how many life has been taken away in gaza because of israel rocket/bomb.. he will surprise with that… or president didnt even care at all about what happen in gaza..

  6. First off all, i am sorry to hear abt what happened in Israel to those teens but can’t anyone see what Israel is doing to Palestine! ? Thousands of innocent kids got murdered, innocent girls got raped, innocent boys got tortured. If u say “It’s okay” to do this to palestine then u r srsly inhumane!!!

  7. I am sick of hearing about these people who refuse to come to peaceful terms.. The ONLY WAY to peace is for all financial support to be contingent on it.
    Same for other Middle East financial support. When will we Americans voters have the power to make it so.
    Sadly, US money finances most of this nonsense.
    STOP THE MONEY! See what happens. If they want to destroy each other,have at it—but not on my dime.

  8. Maggie,

    You are speaking the truth, how does anyone who knows what its like to be treated less than human believe anything the USA would say. Why doesn’t Israel got off the land that they have taken. What do they treat the Palestine like the USA treated black in the 60’s and the South Africa treated Black in that country. This is hate and racist I can say because I’m black and I know what its like. I’ll lived a long time. Obamma is only a bag of wind he has no ball to stand up for anything that is wrong. The Palestine want to live with having to show a card to move to get out and live like other people. The USA is the problem they support with tons of money and arms. I don’t trust this government they speak with two tongues. How can they speak of peace ask the native india of USA they can tell you about the good USA word. And peace!

  9. What the hell is wrong with these people!
    How could they think that israel is innocent!!! I believe this is the most embarassing thing a president could ever do. How can they not see the thousands of innocent people who are dying? This is the most stupidest thing that they only those who die in israel. Just imagine you guys who are so proud of israel gets treated the way they are getting.This is the most horrible the late years have experienced.

  10. What we are seeing is ethnic cleansing. Every 5 to 6 years there is another bombing spree in order to kill as many Palestinian children as possible. I can see by Obama’s words that he is truly willing to stop this but when America is run by the zionists , he can not do anything about this.

  11. It is unbelievable that Obama can twist the truth and speak to the American public about how Israel has the right to defend itself from attack ! The us give Israel 3 billion to defence from gaza that have no planes tanks just rocket launchers , yes they are attacking but Israel are sending bombs from there 3 billon army what chance do palistanians have !! Obama is a fool for hiding the truth I once respected him but no more , people are being murdered by us wepons fact !

  12. Gaza has rockets that’s why Hamas is able to launch rockets into Israel, had Hamas no fired into Israel there wouldn’t be any War going on, they (Hamas) fired first into Israel thats why Israel is retaliating, i would understand your view had Israel fired first.

  13. You’re absolutely right. Israel is morally bankrupt and it’s an absolute disgrace that no nation on earth is prepared to stand up to it. No US president, however supposedly liberal, will ever take a stand against Israel, because of the vested interest in having Israel as a middle east ally. The US and the international community need to put up a united front and withdraw all support from the state of Israel. The world really needs to turn against Israel; that is the only possible way to stop it. For as long as the US supports Israel, and for as long as other states fail to act, these atrocities will continue. It’s also disgusting that Obama is so keen to prevent Iran and Syria from acquiring nuclear capacity, while supporting Israel’s huge nuclear arsenal, when Israel is morally no better than Iran and Syria. Israel is a monster that the US and the UK created and it is now down to them to stop it.

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