Akiva Eldar writes:
To realize the extent to which the lame-duck candidate has regressed from the positions of the new and promising President Obama, the speech to the United Nations in September 2011 should be compared to one he gave in Cairo in 2009. At that time he pledged to “personally pursue this outcome with all the patience that the task requires,” and said “… it is time for all of us to live up to our responsibilities.” Yesterday he sent the occupied and the occupier, the strong and the weak, to solve the core issues on their own.
In Cairo he recalled, along with Jewish suffering in the Holocaust, the “daily humiliations … that come with the occupation.” And he added: “Let there be no doubt: The situation for the Palestinian people is intolerable.” He even compared the struggle of the Palestinians for freedom to the struggle of black people in the United States for equal rights. On Wednesday, Obama paid pursed lip service to the legitimate aspirations and forgot to mention the occupation.
In June 2009, Obama spoke of “the obligations that the parties have agreed to under the road map.” He meant, among other things, and perhaps mainly, Israel’s obligation to completely stop construction in the settlements and dismantle the outposts built after March 2001. To remove all doubt, he stated resolutely: “It is time for these settlements to stop.”
On Wednesday, not one word of criticism was heard about Israel creating unilateral physical facts on the ground. To the 2011-model Obama, only the Palestinians’ approach to the United Nations is unilateral, objectionable and meriting the death penalty.