Addressing the United Nations General Assembly this morning, President Obama that the Palestinians would not achieve lasting peace or statehood through the United Nations.
Obama urged Palestinians to abandon their plans to apply for statehood this week, urging both sides to return to the negotiating table.
“I am convinced that there is no short cut to the end of a conflict that has endured for decades,” he said. “Peace will not come through statements and resolutions at the UN – if it were that easy, it would have been accomplished by now.”
The President didn’t specify how the U.S. would respond to a Palestinian statehood bid, but he made it clear the U.S. would stand by Israel if push comes to shove.
“Make no mistake — America’s commitment to Israel’s security is unshakeable, and our friendship with Israel is deep and enduring,” he said. “And so we believe that any lasting peace must acknowledge the very real security concerns that Israel faces every single day. Let’s be honest: Israel is surrounded by neighbours that have waged repeated wars against it.”
The rest of Obama’s speech provided a kind of retrospective of the dramatic changes of the past year, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa. But he acknowledged that the outcome of those changes remains uncertain.
“We stand at a crossroads of history with the chance to move decisively in the direction of peace,” Obama told General Assembly members. “But let us remember: peace is hard. Progress can be reversed. Prosperity comes slowly. Societies can split apart.”
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