This is for those who think that Obama broke some new ground in his speech on the Palestinian/Israeli standoff in the Middle East. For this commentator, Ms. Andoni, writing in Al-Jazeera, not so much. It is interesting to me how delusional our politics has become. Does anyone really believe that a one state solution will work?
Also, insofar as this commentary captured Obama's meaning, it illustrates that the "cult of the presidency," by which each president is seen as distinct and different, especially from his predecessor, is another delusion we like to entertain. It feeds into our desire to believe that the presidency is the capstone, the brilliant capstone, of the American political order, an office that allows its occupants to demonstrate "greatness." As I have been saying for awhile now, disillusionment is not a bad thing. Otherwise, we condemn ourselves to live in a land of illusions.
"Just in case his pro-Israel support base misunderstood the thinly veiled statements from his Middle East speech last Friday, Obama made sure to clarify to his definitively pro-Israeli view that there is no going back to the true 1967 borders:
"'[The statement] means that the parties themselves - Israelis and Palestinians - will negotiate a border that is different than the one that existed on June 4, 196... It allows the parties themselves to account for the changes that have taken place over the last forty-four years, including the new demographic reality.'"
"In clearer words, the president is effectively, although not explicitly, equating the presence of Palestinians on their own land with the illegal presence of Israeli settlers living on land confiscated forty-four years ago from the Palestinians.
"Basically, despite the fact that settlers live on that land illegally under international law, because they are physically there, the land becomes theirs.
"This confirms the belief of many in the region that the construction of Israeli settlements and of the Separation Wall inside the 1967 borders is Israel's way of slowly completing a de facto annexation of Palestinian land.
"This latest of Obama's statements may be the closest the president has come to legitimising illegal Israeli settlements."