June 16, 2011 | Quote

The Obama-Fatah Tag Team

Looking through a strictly foreign policy lens, Jonathan Schanzer of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies says Obama’s current stance on Israel is actually part of a trend evident since the beginning of his administration. Schanzer e-mailed me yesterday: “The U.S. position and the Palestinian position have not been far apart since Barack Obama became president. Consider the following: In September of last year, Obama stated that he wanted to see a Palestinian state by September 2011. Lo and behold, Abbas set that date as his target for his plans for a unilateral declaration of statehood at the UN. For two years, the Obama administration has applied consistent pressure on Israel to vacate lands the Palestinians wish to claim for their national project in the West Bank. He has not pressed the Palestinians for anything meaningful in return.” Schanzer continued: “In January, the Obama administration upgraded the PLO offices, granting them diplomatic status never before enjoyed by the Palestinians. He did this alongside scores of other states that did so in anticipation of Palestinian statehood.” And then we get to the present: “The 1967 formulation Obama articulated last month deals a blow to decades of understanding between U.S. presidents and Israeli leaders, and effectively resets the clock to June 1967, the moment the Palestinian nationalist movement was truly born.”