Rick Richman nails President Obama's "confusing" (a word he uses to be polite) and contradictory positions on Israel at Jewish Current Issues.
President Obamaspeaks about "the President's speech" as a basis for new negotiations, which speech does it mean?
Yesterday a said one thing in his May 19 State Department address, which was aimed at the Palestinians and their European supporters, and then said something different on May 22 to AIPAC.
So when the administration "Senior Administration Official" gave a confusing answer on background. Later that day, the Spokesperson of the State Department was asked to clarify, and gave an equally confusing answer (I am using the word "confusing" in an attempt to be diplomatic). See if you can figure out what the administration position is.
This is far from the first time President Obama has taken multiple sides of an issue related to Isarel and the Palestinians:
When Obama spoke to AIPAC in 2008, his let-me-be-clear pledge of an undivided Jerusalem lasted 24 hours, and then produced four increasingly confused explanations.
Last year, the administration made oral promises to Israel in an attempt to obtain a 60 or 90 day extension of Israel's construction moratorium; when Israel asked that the promises be put in writing, some of them disappeared -- and the rest turned out to be different from what Israel originally was told.
Obama began his administration by reneging on the six-year old informal understanding about what a settlement construction freeze meant (previously it meant no establishment of new settlements or expansion of the borders of existing ones; Obama changed it to mean every new apartment anywhere over the Green Line, including in the eastern portion of Jerusalem). His secretary of state responded to Israeli objections by saying the old understanding was "unenforceable."
On Obama's watch the situation in the Middle East has gotten worse, and his promises about "smart diplomacy" are now eminently mockworthy. As Richman puts it:
Is it any wonder that neither Israel nor the Palestinians have any confidence in the promises of this administration, or the words of its "words matter" president?