The Corner

Did President Obama Promise a Palestinian State?

The Palestinians have taken Barack Obama’s grandiose political rhetoric and turned it into their own version of a campaign ad:

Part of a speech Obama gave in 2010 to the United Nations General Assembly is featured in an ad aimed to rally support for the Palestinians upcoming bid for statehood at the United Nations on Sept. 20, Reuters reported on Wednesday.

“When we come back here next year, we can have an agreement that can lead to a new member of the United Nations, an independent, sovereign state of Palestine living in peace with Israel,” Obama said in the 2010 speech in the clip that is played in the radio ad.

It’s obvious to any fair reader that this is an aspirational statement — a breathtakingly naive statement, to be sure — but aspirational nonetheless. The Palestinians are merely the latest (and far from the last) to use Obama’s penchant for towering rhetoric against him. The 2012 campaign will likely feature a greatest-hits parade of Obama’s rhetorical excesses, all from a candidate — and president — so unschooled in economic and geopolitical realities that I think he actually believed much of what he said.

Our response to the Palestinians should be short and sweet:  President Obama will give you a state . . . right after he heals the planet.

David French — David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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