web analytics
December 23, 2014 / 1 Tevet, 5775
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Obama Outreach Fails To Move Intransigent Arabs


I was most privileged on July 13 to be invited along with 16 other Jewish leaders to meet with President Obama at the White House. Much has been written about this historic meeting; it’s hard to believe there have been so many commentaries on a one-hour session.

Everyone who was present has his or her own version of what happened, and I’m no different. For me, the meeting was a chance to dialogue with a new administration and to make certain the views of the Orthodox Union and our constituent body were well represented.

After the meeting, I surmised that the administration was asking a great deal of Israel while requesting little from the Arab world.

President Obama apparently likes the word “recalibrate.” I’ve heard him use it on many occasions. He said, “We have to recalibrate the perception that little is being asked of the Arab world, and specifically the Palestinians.”

The president assured us that in private discussions, Arabs have agreed to stop the incitement and to recognize Israel’s legitimate right to be a homeland for the Jewish people, but they have yet to express this publicly. We were assured that in the near future there would be significant changes in the news releases and speeches given by moderate Arab leaders.

The president felt that with a more evenhanded diplomatic posture, the Arab world would rise to the occasion.

It is time to look at what has happened since we had our meeting.

I have not heard one Arab leader publicly recognize Israel’s legitimate right to be a Jewish homeland and a free democratic society in the Middle East.

I have not heard one Arab leader publicly recognize that Israel is a nation among the nations of the world.

I have not heard one Arab leader call for the elimination of incitement and hatred against the State of Israel

I have not heard one Arab leader recommend that the educational tools used to indoctrinate hatred against Israel be eliminated and new textbooks published in which the State of Israel is displayed on the map of the Middle East.

Also, I did not hear any words of conciliation and moderation at the recent Fatah convention.

What I did hear were statements praising suicide bombers and threatening violence, as well as the ridiculous claim accusing Israel of assassinating Arafat – although the Fatah delegates acknowledged there was no proof.

What I did hear at the convention is that Palestinians who supposedly were expelled in 1948 should be able to return to their homes.

What I did hear is that Israel had no justification to defend itself after waiting seven years and absorbing tens of thousands of missiles fired at its people.

What I did hear is a Palestinian leader warning the Arab states not to normalize their ties with Israel. (“Normalization of Israel’s ties with the Arab countries before the occupation ends in the Palestinian areas is the last thing that the Palestinians should have to experience,” said Abu El-Izz Dajani, a former PLO ambassador.)

What I did hear is Jordan calling on Saudi Arabia to publicly reject appeals to improve relations with Israel. (After meeting with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh told her the confidence-building measures the U.S. wants the Arab states to take will not produce a resolution to the conflict.)

So it seems the Arab world has totally rejected President Obama’s requests. I therefore eagerly await the change in approach the president promised us on July 13.

In the interim, the Obama administration has continued to press the settlements issue with Israel.

Our meeting with President Obama was the beginning of a dialogue, and so, as president of the Orthodox Union, representing the fastest growing segment of Jewish life, I respectfully ask the president to reconsider his position in relationship to Israel. At that meeting the president was urged that there be no daylight between Israel and United States – the stronger the relationship, the greater the opportunity for peace.

The Arab world has sent a clear message to President Obama: “We will not change our rhetoric and we will not change our positions. Continue to press Israel, force them to give back land and compromise their security in exchange for words of hatred from moderate Arab leaders.”

About the Author: Stephen J. Savitsky is the president of the Orthodox Union.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Obama Outreach Fails To Move Intransigent Arabs”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Yaron Sidman, (center) Israel's Consul General for Philadelphia and the 5 state surrounding area, spoke to a hundreds strong crowd at Adath Israel in Suburban Philadelphia, Dec. 17, 2014. State Senator Anthony Williams (left, rear), waiting to speak.
Philly Ties Har Nof Victims’ Shloshim to Hanukkah Theme of Rededication
Latest Indepth Stories
Hanukiyah created world famous Venetian Glass Blower
Maestro Gianni Toso

Let us become modern day Maccabees and seize the day. Embrace the challenge. Fight for Hashem.

Motta Gur overlooks the Old City with his troops during the Six Day War

Har HaBayit is still Biyadein; Through our actions, its fate is in our hands


What does the way we count the days of Chanukah come to teach us about living in the present?

Knesset and Menorah

Israel projects global material illumination not always the light of “morality” meant by the Navi

“Mr. Prime Minister, declare a unilateral ceasefire! Remember, Blessed is the peacemaker!”

“D-e-t-e-r-m-i-n-a-t-i-o-n!”

Hamas is continuing to prepare its next war against Israel instead of improving conditions in Gaza

If the UN Grants national recognition to Palestine, why stop there? Tibet, Chechnya, Basque…

The decision to not publicly light the Menorah in Sydney, epitomizes the eternal dilemma of Judaism and Jews in the Diaspora.

Am Yisrael is one family, filled with excruciating pain&sorrow for losing the 4 kedoshim of Har Nof

What is its message of the dreidel?” The complexity and hidden nature of history and miracles.

Police play down Arab terrorism as mere “violence” until the truth can no longer be hidden.

The 7 branches of the menorah represent the 7 pillars of secular wisdom, knowledge, and science.

Obama obtained NO verifiable commitments from Cuba it would desist from acts prejudicial to the US

No one would deny that the program subjected detainees to less than pleasant treatment, but the salient point is, for what purpose?

For the past six years President Obama has consistently deplored all Palestinian efforts to end-run negotiations in search of a UN-imposed agreement on Israel.

More Articles from Stephen J. Savitsky

I was most privileged on July 13 to be invited along with 16 other Jewish leaders to meet with President Obama at the White House. Much has been written about this historic meeting; it’s hard to believe there have been so many commentaries on a one-hour session.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/obama-outreach-fails-to-move-intransigent-arabs/2009/08/19/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: