Obama: I Won't Stand for Delegitimization of Israel

By Ron Kampeas (JTA)

Published September 23, 2010.
  • Print
  • Share Share

President Obama said he would not countenance Israel’s delegitimization and called on the world community to back Israeli-Palestinian peace with deeds and not just words.

“Many in this hall count themselves as friends of the Palestinians. But these pledges must now be supported by deeds,” President Obama said Thursday, addressing the opening of the United Nations General Assembly session.

“Those who have signed on to the Arab Peace Initiative should seize this opportunity to make it real by taking tangible steps toward the normalization that it promises Israel,” he said, referring to the 2003 Saudi-sponsored plan which would offer Israel comprehensive peace in return for its withdrawal to 1967 borders.

“Those who speak out for Palestinian self-government should help the Palestinian Authority politically and financially, and – in so doing – help the Palestinians build the institutions of their state,” Obama said. “And those who long to see an independent Palestine rise must stop trying to tear Israel down.”

The Obama administration has made increased Arab support for the peace process a central plank of its efforts to arrive at a deal within a year, and Hillary Rodham Clinton, the secretary of state, has been making the case in one-on-one meetings with Arab leaders at the U.N.’s annual signature event.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that efforts to delegitimize Israel are a major obstacle to peace, and Obama made it clear he too adopted this view.

“After sixty years in the community of nations, Israel’s existence must not be a subject for debate,” he said. “Israel is a sovereign state, and the historic homeland of the Jewish people. It should be clear to all that efforts to chip away at Israel’s legitimacy will only be met by the unshakeable opposition of the United States.”

Obama praised the courage of Netanyahu and Abbas, devoting a third of his prepared speech to the topic.

He repeated a call on Netanyahu to extend beyond next week the ten-month partial settlement freeze which helped bring Abbas to the talks.






Find us on Facebook!
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.