Michael Oren, former Israeli Ambassador to the United States and now a Knesset Member with the Kulanu party, wrote Tuesday that President Barack Obama “deliberately” abandoned a 40-year core policy regarding Jewish population centers in Judea and Samaria.
Writing in The Wall Street Journal, Oren stated that President Obama is a “friend” of Israel but nevertheless maintained that while anyone can make a mistake, President Obama did so on purpose.
In his words:
Only one leader made them deliberately. Obama promoted an agenda of championing the Palestinian cause and achieving a nuclear accord with Iran.
It took Oren six years to respond and correct part of President Obama’s “Reaching Out to Muslims” speech in Cairo, in which he said, “When there is no daylight, Israel just sits on the sidelines and that erodes our credibility with the Arabs.”
Oren, who still is a champion of the “peace process,” sounded like a Netanyahu sympathizer in part of his op-ed, writing that President Obama ignored Israel’s withdrawal of all Israeli soldiers and the expulsion of 9,000 Jews from Gaza in 2005. Obama also ignored several major concessions to the Palestinian Authority, including one that offered it almost all of Judea and Samaria and eastern Jerusalem.
President Obama said in his speech that Israel should freeze all building for Jews in “settlements,” to which Oren finally wrote in his article:
Israeli leaders typically received advance copies of major American policy statements on the Middle East and could submit their comments. But Mr. Obama delivered his Cairo speech, with its unprecedented support for the Palestinians and its recognition of Iran’s right to nuclear power, without consulting Israel.
The Bush administration had committed itself to writing in a letter to then-Prime Ariel Sharon that large population centers, such as Maaleh Adumim and Gush Etzion, would remain under Israeli sovereignty in a future Palestinian Authority state.
Obama abandoned that policy and insisted that the promise by Bush was an “unofficial” and non-binding letter. In Oren’s words:
Mr. Obama also voided President George W. Bush’s commitment to include the major settlement blocs and Jewish Jerusalem within Israel’s borders in any peace agreement. Instead, he insisted on a total freeze of Israeli construction in those areas —’not a single brick.’
It was clear from that time that the Obama was working behind the scenes, and sometimes up front, on behalf of the Palestinian Authority and against Israel.
Oren came out of the closet in his op-ed today and charged that President Obama never asked for any concession from the Palestinian Authority despite the fact the Mahmoud Abbas “violated all of his commitments.”
The United States so far has publicly opposed a Palestinian Authority effort in the U.N. Security Council to condemn Israel for a Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria and to vote the Palestinian Authority into the United Nations as a permanent member.
However, the Obama administration has made open statements that it does not know how much longer it wants to use its veto power in the Security Council on behalf of Israel.
President Obama abandoned a four-decade U.S. policy in May 2011 and stated that a future agreement with the Palestinian Authority should be based on the borders drawn under the 1949 Temporary Armistice Agreement, which lasted until the Six-Day War in 1967.
If Mr. Netanyahu appeared to lecture the president the following day, it was because he had been assured by the White House, through me, that no such change would happen.
He also wrote that the Obama administration “stunned” Israel by offering to support a Security Council investigation of settlements and by backing Turkish and Egyptian maneuvers to force Israel to come clean on its nuclear capability.