Candidate Obama's promise on 'right of return'

Sorry for the hook in the headline but it is important to point out that critics of Barack Obama who are complaining that he has endangered Israel by not disabusing the Palestinians of the notion that they have a right of return to Israel are missing an important point.

This is not just a departure from previous president's positions (for example, both Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush had positions that these refugees - a term of UN art that include children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren of the actual refugees who fled Israel, often at the behest of their own leaders - would have to be settled in a Palestinian state and not in Israel proper) but also a departure from Barack Obama's own campaign promise from 2008.
When Barack Obama faced controversy and political problems among pro-Israel voters he was compelled to sit down with the media to dispel concerns. This happened in January 2008. During the Question and answer period, he stated that there was no prospect of a right of return.

From the Jerusalem Post article ("Obama: Palestinian refugees can't return") by Hilary Leila Krieger and Tovah Lazaroff:

"The right of return [to Israel] is something that is not an option in a literal sense,"

By holding out the prospect of the right of return to the Palestinians he is giving them false hope and also a hammer to swing towards Israel. By pressuring Israel to make the first moves - giving up land-while kicking the can down the road regarding the "right of return" - he is further imperiling Israel since Israel would give up something very tangible (the security that comes from land) while being forced to confront later Palestinian demands that Israel accept a flood of "refugees" that would destroy Israel.

Why could candidate Obama recognize reality but President Obama refuse to say those magic words that reflect reality? As has been said before, all of Barack Obama's promises come with an expiration date. In this case, the January 2008 position expired the day after his election in November,2008.

In failing to hold true to his previous position, he has again make the possibility of peace a very remote prospect.


Sorry for the hook in the headline but it is important to point out that critics of Barack Obama who are complaining that he has endangered Israel by not disabusing the Palestinians of the notion that they have a right of return to Israel are missing an important point.

This is not just a departure from previous president's positions (for example, both Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush had positions that these refugees - a term of UN art that include children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren of the actual refugees who fled Israel, often at the behest of their own leaders - would have to be settled in a Palestinian state and not in Israel proper) but also a departure from Barack Obama's own campaign promise from 2008.

When Barack Obama faced controversy and political problems among pro-Israel voters he was compelled to sit down with the media to dispel concerns. This happened in January 2008. During the Question and answer period, he stated that there was no prospect of a right of return.

From the Jerusalem Post article ("Obama: Palestinian refugees can't return") by Hilary Leila Krieger and Tovah Lazaroff:

"The right of return [to Israel] is something that is not an option in a literal sense,"

By holding out the prospect of the right of return to the Palestinians he is giving them false hope and also a hammer to swing towards Israel. By pressuring Israel to make the first moves - giving up land-while kicking the can down the road regarding the "right of return" - he is further imperiling Israel since Israel would give up something very tangible (the security that comes from land) while being forced to confront later Palestinian demands that Israel accept a flood of "refugees" that would destroy Israel.

Why could candidate Obama recognize reality but President Obama refuse to say those magic words that reflect reality? As has been said before, all of Barack Obama's promises come with an expiration date. In this case, the January 2008 position expired the day after his election in November,2008.

In failing to hold true to his previous position, he has again make the possibility of peace a very remote prospect.


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