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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.

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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.

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40 COMMENTS

  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. 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.

  3. 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….

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. 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."

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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?

  14. 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.

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