Obama’s speech was to some extent a recognition of his failed Middle East policies. One year ago, he boldly announced to the world that he planned to solve the entire Palestinian-Israeli conflict in twelve months, aiming to create a Palestinian state that would live side by side with Israel. Today, the president, who is expected to veto a U.N. Security Council proposal for Palestinian statehood, admitted, “Peace will not come through statements and resolutions at the U.N. — if it were that easy, it would have been accomplished by now. … Ultimately, it is Israelis and Palestinians — not us — who must reach agreement on the issues that divide them.”
He continued, “Despite extensive efforts by America and others, the parties have not bridged their differences.” This confirms what we already knew to be true.
— Jonathan Schanzer is vice president of research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.