With a showdown expected this week at the United Nations, where Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is expected to push for complete statehood for the Palestinian Authority (PA), there’s a new question being asked today about what President Obama has said about Palestinian statehood in the past.
In 2010, President Obama told the U.N General Assembly: “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.”
Palestinian President Abbas calls that the “Obama promise.” That statement became the centerpiece of a Palestinian radio commercial promoting PA statehood.
U.S. officials have labeled that 2010 statement as simply an expression of hope. But, Abbas clearly sees it differently. Abbas tells Palestinians in the radio commercial that “if he said it, he must have meant it.”
The official U.S. position now is that the President and the State Department strongly oppose PA statehood and are prepared to veto any statehood bid in the U.N. Security Council – a position made clear less than two weeks ago.
That may be the case, and we’re certainly hopeful that it is, but it’s important to note that according to news reports, Abbas has a message for President Obama this week: You promised me a state by September 2011. I hope you will deliver.
Take a moment now and stand with Israel – send a powerful message to President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton – no more waffling on this issue – don’t give in to Palestinian pressure. The U.S. must stand firm and reject any attempt to grant statehood to the Palestinian Authority, which is backed by Hamas, a terrorist organization that vows to destroy Israel and the Jewish people.