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November 1, 2016 2:56 pm

Wall Street Journal: ‘Does Obama Want to Be Remembered as the President Who Criminalized Israeli Citizenship?’

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US President Barack Obama during a June 2009 Oval Office phone call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo: The Official White House Photostream via Wikimedia Commons.

US President Barack Obama during a June 2009 Oval Office phone call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo: The Official White House Photostream via Wikimedia Commons.

The White House has instructed the State Department to prepare an “options menu” detailing potential diplomatic steps that could be taken as part of an end-of-term Israeli-Palestinian peace push, the Wall Street Journal  reported on Tuesday.

In an editorial — titled “Obama’s Israel Surprise?” — the WSJ said a UN Security Council resolution that condemns Israeli settlement construction or formally recognizes a Palestinian state would be “a boon to the bullies in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, while also subjecting Israeli citizens and supporters abroad to new and more aggressive forms of legal harassment…Does Mr. Obama want to be remembered as the President who criminalized Israeli citizenship?”

Moreover, asserted the editorial, a Security Council resolution setting parameters for an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement would be an even graver “blunder.”

“President Obama may be the last man on earth to get the memo, but after decades of fruitless efforts to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict it might be wiser for the U.S. to step back until the Palestinians recognize that peace cannot be imposed from the outside,” it concluded. “If Mr. Obama is still seeking a Middle East legacy at this late stage in his presidency, his best move is do nothing to make it worse.”

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In Politico on Monday, State Department veterans Aaron David Miller and Richard Sokolsky advised whomever the next president is not to “chase after Israeli-Palestinian peace without clear indications that the locals themselves and the Arabs, too, are prepared to act.”

“Washington should stay away from high-profile U.S.-initiated efforts to take on the big peace process issues,” they wrote. “The advice Bill Clinton gave to one of us before the July 2000 Camp David summit is inspirational but not always right: trying and failing isn’t better than not trying at all. Failure undermines U.S. prestige and power in war and peacemaking. It already has.”

“[T]he time for American-created transformational diplomacy in this region has long passed…If Americans want Hollywood endings, they should think about going to the movies,” Miller and Sokolsky concluded.

Over the weekend, the Washington Post said any Obama-led Israeli-Palestinian peace initiative launched during the lame-duck period between the presidential election on Nov. 8 and the inauguration of Obama’s successor on Jan. 20. would likely be viewed in the Middle East as “legacy-seeking grandstanding rather than as a contribution to peace.”

As reported extensively by The Algemeiner, concerns have been growing that Obama might not protect Israel at the UN as his time in office comes to an end. Last week, Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer said Hillary Clinton supporters must call on the Democratic presidential nominee to ensure Obama refrains from making any diplomatic moves against the Jewish state.

Earlier this month, Malcolm Hoenlein — executive vice president of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations — told The Algemeiner he had “some concerns about what Obama and others may do” regarding the Israeli-Palestinian peace process before Jan. 20.

“This is based on things I heard from him a year ago about his priorities and the understandable importance of his legacy to him,” Hoenlein said. “And I listen to his speeches and I have seen some of the harsh statements that are being issued…about Israeli settlement policies. The language being used is much stronger than we’ve seen in the past and I’m afraid that this could be indicative of what a forthcoming UN Security Council resolution against settlements, or something that goes even further, might look like.”

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  • herbcaen

    His legacy is nuclear Iran, shortages of vital drugs and a dysfunctional health care system, and a country more divided at any time since 1860

  • Why ask what he is going to do? Have Israel ask their spies….I mean we make a good team. Remember the help they offered our drowning sailors on the USS Liberty? A great apartheid, the finest. We should protect them. Go ahead, attack your enemies, we are right behind you.

  • Holy Shirt

    Since Obama refuses to withdraw the United States from the United Nations, might his successor weigh deporting the United Nations to Tibet or Tahiti?

  • Muriel Rozine

    What legacy? he will be remembered for his wise wife only.
    He has done nothing good to his people or to the world, got the Nobel Peace price for nothing.
    I will not remember him, he is such a disappointment, more a rock star with a very good sense of humor, nothing else.

  • ElmoGlick

    So, what would be his legacy otherwise? A failed Iran deal? A massively unpopular boondoggle known as the Affordable Care Act? May as well add one more failure to this arrogant putz’s track record….

  • cbusa

    If there is ever to be peace, pressure must be applied to the intransigent party – the Palestinians. Israel has repeatedly offered peace and given land in a futile effort for an end to hostilities. Every time, they have been rebuffed by the Palestinians, who choose a path of terror, war, delegitimization, and international lawfare. Trying to force Israel’s hand removes any remaining incentive for the Palestinians to negotiate.

  • watsa46

    500,000 Syrian dead should suggest something! Among which many, many kids!!!

  • Josh Korn

    “Does Mr. Obama want to be remembered as the President who criminalized Israeli citizenship?”

    The obvious answer is that he does.

    In the global A-List which Obama aspires to join, you establish your bona fides by demonizing Israel.

    Guess what?

  • Marjorie Stamm Rosenfeld

    What President Obama, a former law professor, doesn’t seem to realize is that the Israeli settlements are perfectly legal. The 1922 Mandate for Palestine reserved all of Western Palestine for World Jewry so that the Jews could reconstitute their historic homeland there. What’s more, Article 6 of that Mandate specifies:

    “The Administration of Palestine, while ensuring that the rights and position of other sections of the population are not prejudiced, shall facilitate Jewish immigration under suitable conditions and shall encourage, in co-operation with the Jewish agency referred to in Article 4, close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes.”

    This Mandate, termed “a sacred trust,” has never been abrogated or amended. And the U.N. Charter’s Article 80 preserves the rights of all peoples given them by previous legal instruments. The Mandate for Palestine was just such a legal instrument. It is still the document governing Jewish rights in Western Palestine under international law, as 1,000 international jurists attested in a petition to the U.N.’s Catherine Ashton only a few short years ago.

    • Leonid

      Small correction: Obama has never been a “law professor”, he was a lecturer. He calls himself “professor”, and of course the Left calls him that.

      • Marjorie Stamm Rosenfeld

        Thanks, Leonid. I didn’t realize this.

    • Seoigh