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US Arabs: Obama Blames Israel, Congress for Slacking Peace Progress

Arab Americans who met with Obama said he blamed the Israeli government for refusing to make concessions, blamed the U.S. congress for providing cover to the Israeli government, and he planned to bring an additional $500 million in aid for the PA.

U.S. President Barack Obama

U.S. President Barack Obama

Most reports about the meeting between U.S. President Barack Obama and several representatives of various Arab American organizations which took place on Monday, March 11, have been fairly sketchy.

But at least some participants at that meeting provided three rather startling revelations to an Arabic news source.

First, they said the U.S. president blamed the stalled peace process on the Israeli government for refusing to offer concessions, and second, that he blamed the U.S. congress for providing cover to the Israelis whenever the president tries to apply pressure on the Jewish State.  The implication the sources came away with was that Obama said he will get around those problems when he is in Israel by bypassing the Israeli government and going directly to the Israeli people.

The third surprising revelation from the meeting was that President Obama plans to hand over half a billion dollars in additional aid to the PA during his visit.

As with Obama’s meeting with representatives of Jewish organizations a week ago, his get together with Arab and Muslim leaders was not part of the president’s public schedule, and participants had been asked not to comment about the confidential conversations which took place.

Most reports about the meeting merely mentioned the names of some of the participating organizations, which included the Arab American Anti-Discrimination Committee, the American Task Force for Palestine, the Arab American Institute, the Arab Federation of Ramallah, and the Muslim Public Affairs Council.

As was also the case with the Jewish representatives’ meeting, there were some Arab American participants who discussed some details of the meetings, a few with attribution and others on condition of anonymity.  Several sources at each meeting told members of the media that the president told their group that he was not going to attempt to kickstart a new Arab-Israeli peace initiative.

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.”

A condition-free gift to the PA of half a billion dollars in additional aid from the U.S. is hard to imagine given all the cuts being imposed because of the sequester.  For one thing, several hundred million dollars is due to be cut from Israel’s portion of the defense budget, but more importantly, as this is U.S. taxpayer money, are the statements made by the president that the U.S. is reducing naval warpower in the Persian Gulf because of the sequester.  This came up recently in the context of a dust-up between the White House and liberal journalist Bob Woodward of the Washington Post.

It is particularly hard to believe that the U.S. congress will “soon release” the half billion dollars, just months after the PA  ignored U.S. pleas that they not seek an upgrade in status at the United Nations, and instead remain on the path of bilateral negotiations.

Whether or not President Obama is going to hand over half a billion dollars to the PA during his brief visit -  there are many people who would have to sign off on it before it could ever happen – it is extremely alarming – if true – that the U.S. president told Arab American leaders that he plans to bypass the Israeli government and the U.S. congress in order to obtain concessions directly from the Israeli people.

About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.


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40 Responses to “US Arabs: Obama Blames Israel, Congress for Slacking Peace Progress”

  1. I think this is a case of wishful thinking. For one thing Congress isn't going to be bypassed by the President over funding.

    Second the Israeli government is to left of the Israeli public. He can talk all he wants – a vast majority of Israelis aren't in the mood for any concessions whatsoever.

  2. Franco Miccolupo says:

    all BS…Obama is pro-Israeli and the FACTS are that Israel-USA had never had better military relationship like today.

  3. Lori Lowenthal Marcus says:

    Franco, are you calling the Arab Americans who said it liars? Or the Arab journalists who reported it?

  4. Franco Miccolupo says:

    I dont care where it comes from. I trust Obama more then Arab Americans or the Arab Journalist. Again I direct you to FACTS from the Israeli Military…."never had better relations". So I trust the Israeli Military more….yes. Not sure how many times Obama has to prove himself. Whats next? His Birth Certicate again? Cause its in the same parrallel.

  5. Ed Feraco says:

    Impeach Obama!

  6. Ed Feraco says:

    Are you serious Franco? Obama has NEVER been "Pro-Israeli". You obviously are delusional. Obama has NOT been to Israel since becoming president and is PRO-Arab.

  7. Franco Miccolupo says:

    Right. This has been said since he is in office…already 5 years. Meantime…Bin Laden has gone (Yes I give credit to Obama) and Israel MOD is in love with Obama. But gain,,,I should listen o Arabs FOX and th deeted instead of FACTS and the Israeli MOD. talk about being dillusional….

  8. Franco Miccolupo says:

    Not sure who hates our Presdent more…Al Quaeda or FOx and the demented Tea Party.

  9. Jeff Kletman says:

    Thanks Obama, you're a real SOB.

  10. H Fragman Abramson says:

    BHO is going directly to the Israeli public…? The same public that has nearly voted the left out of existence? Is he really that full of himself? Is this money he's purportedly offering to the Arabs coming from some reduction in his golf with Tiger budget? There's no other money around…

  11. H Fragman Abramson says:

    BHO is going directly to the Israeli public…? The same public that has nearly voted the left out of existence? Is he really that full of himself? Is this money he's purportedly offering to the Arabs coming from some reduction in his golf with Tiger budget? There's no other money around…

  12. Gil Gilman says:

    lol……………

  13. Gil Gilman says:

    If these reports are true, BO is more clueless than I ever credited before. If thy are untrue let us hear the rebuttal from his actions and his tongue. If this politics, it is crazy politics I haven't seen the like of since the Governor Turnbuckle era when Minnesota was sold down the rat hole for a couple hundred dollars each. As i asked elsewhere, "if there is a statesman out there somewhere, please stand up and raise your hand so we can be sure to take note."

  14. Gerry Weiss says:

    Obama is a community organizer. It's not just what he does best, it's all he knows. He's a one trick pony.

    So, he's going to Israel to community organize? Problem is that Jews — not he — INVENTED community organizing. So if the professor is going to Israel to preach to the choir, he'd be better off staying home and listening to a good speech by his trusted reverends Wright, Farrakhan, Ayers, and the other arab coddlers/Israel haters.

    "King" Barack Hussein of America is not as brilliant as he thinks he is; Israelis are not as stupid as he hopes they are.

  15. Cody Flecker says:

    One has to remember that 70% of the Jewish voters in the USA voted not once but twice for a man who has on more than one occassion insulted Israel and the Jewish People. This trip to Israel is just another attempt to diminish Israeli leadership in the area by promoting the Palestinian cause. Quite frankly it is a waste of time and money for Israel to invite the President, and for the President to be in Israel. Giving an additional $500 million dollars to the Palestinians is like putting money down a rat hole. I can think of better ways of spending the tax payers money than that.

  16. Alan Kardon says:

    Will the Arabs give any concessions? Will they state that Israel has a right to exist?

  17. Gerry Weiss says:

    There is no such right as a right of a nation to exist or not. Either it exists or does not exist.

    Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people is, therefore it exists. Its coming into existence did not require any one's approval but the will and strength of the Jewish people. Its right to exist is not negotiable nor subject to argument. Israel's existence does not depend on whether some professor thinks Israel has no right to exist because it will not treat non-citizens as citizens. It does not depend on how it treats its minorities, gays, refugees or neighbors.

    Israel may cease to exist if another nation militarily destroys Israel and exiles its population as Rome did or if the citizens chose to disband the state whether at the ballot box or by civil war.

    Egypt never lost a right to exist despite the actions of the Fatamids, Mamluks or Nasser. Germany, Italy, Austria, and Japan did not lose a right to exist notwithstanding the atrocities each committed before or during world war II. The Soviet Union did not cease to exist because it controlled states in Eastern Europe such as Poland and Romania. China did not lose a right to exist because it invaded Tibet or that it threatens Taiwan existence. Great Britain, Portugal and Spain did not lose a right to exist by colonizing much of the world. Canada, the United States, New Zealand and Australia, never lost a right to exist because their societies were built over top pre-existing aboriginal cultures.

    Czechoslovakia ceased to exist, because its citizens decided they wanted to separate into 2 states. It did not forfeit a right to exist because some professor at an American University or France, Belgium or Singapore thought the state had no right to exist.

  18. We have to make our voices heard and stop our tax money from going to the Palestinians.

  19. John Winter says:

    So Obama is giving another $500 million to the PA. You can bet that only a small fraction of that money ends up where it is needed while the rest goes into the secret bank accounts of the PA and Hamas leaderships.

  20. And into weaponry…

  21. Actually it would be the Israeli people. He is the very first American President that we despise. Jimmy the Peanut was nearly 10 times as popular and he was and is an outright anti-Semite

  22. Gerry Weiss but since they want something that isn't theirs – Israel can demand anything they want in return

  23. Gerry Weiss says:

    When you floor someone and they say uncle just to get you off their back, what have you really gained… a hudna in plain old arabic, isn't worth bubkas.

  24. The NEGRO President of the United States is an IDIOT and supports the Arabs over Israeli People. Obama is a fool, this country is having problems with our Budget and he wants to give Millions to countries that hates the United States.

  25. dumb, ignorant, under, – and uninformed idiot.

  26. Robin Rosenblatt says:

    Why are so many Jews surpirsed about Obama actions you would have to be blind, deaf and dumb not to know he is going in that direction.

  27. Franco you are an IDIOT just like that NEGRO president. He is the first president to turn his back to the Israeli officials. This country will always stand with Israel, because the Son of God. You must be anti Jewish.

  28. Alan Kardon says:

    Gerry, I suggest that you learn the history of how the State of Israel was established. Unless you are from Iran were they teach the Halocaust never happened.

  29. John Winter says:

    So why did so many Jews vote for him in both presidential elections? Face it, Jews are their own worst enemy and this coming from a Jew. Most Jews flock toward left leaning/liberal/socialist ideals. This Jew does not.

  30. Franco Miccolupo says:

    WE despise? who is WE? not most americans nor most israelis nor most american Jews whom vote overwhelming OBAMA.

  31. why is Obama giving al lthis aid to the Pa. when he is trillions in debt and Americans are losing their homes. so much for love of one's own country.

  32. Franco I dont trust Obama, who lies about his religion, as he is not a true christian, and one who lies about his religion can he be trusted?

  33. Gerry Weiss, Israel will never cease to exist, as it the country which the Lord G-d has promised to Isaac and Jacob descendants. like in Psalm 105 "Firm stands His Word to Abraham spoken
    His oath to Isaac never broken
    His everlasting covenant
    With Israel, G-d will not recant
    He said "To you this land I give
    That as my heirs you there may live." Keep the faith.

  34. Gerry Weiss says:

    Alan Kardon If you are implying that a sound basis for justifying Israel's existence *to the world* is the Shoah or a UN resolution, you are mistaken. While these are excellent moral & legal arguments, the ACTIONS of the world community, esp. in the UN, have long proven that they simply don't care. So explain to me, which part of Israel's history or the Holocaust should I focus on in my learning — per your suggestion?

  35. Gerry Weiss says:

    Sientje Seinen Amen.

  36. If the above article is true, then the Jews who voted for him twice, should slap themselves silly for electing him. Over 80% of the Jewish community voted for him and are Dems. How is all this hope and change working for you. Personally, I don't give a crap.

  37. Why isn't Obama talking about a Kurdish state in Iraqi Kurdistan/.
    OOOps, we don't we them Kurds to have a state, now do we Mr Obama.
    HYPOCRITE.

  38. Why isn't Obama talking about a Kurdish state in Iraqi Kurdistan/.
    OOOps, we don't we them Kurds to have a state, now do we Mr Obama.
    HYPOCRITE.

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