While admitting that “short-term interests may not represent the long term vision of the region,” Obama assured its regional allies in his Thursday speech that the United States will keep its “commitment to friends and partners.”
Two long-time US-backed dictators, Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and Zine El Abidine Ben Ali of Tunisia were ousted from power following massive anti-government protests. Ben Ali fled to Saudi Arabia and Mubarak has been detained and awaits trial over criminal charges against the Egyptian people.
Obama warned Palestinians that they would never gain independence by denying the Israeli regime the “right to exist,” claiming that efforts to “de-legitimize Israel” would fail.
The pro-Israeli remarks by the US president comes despite his acknowledgment that a new generation has emerged in the Muslim world demanding ‘change’ that cannot be denied. Recent popular protests in Middle Eastern and North African countries have included numerous expressions of anti-Israeli and anti-US feelings.
Obama also reminded Israeli officials that their status quo was “unsustainable,” and said that the Tel Aviv regime’s conflict “has meant suffering and the humiliation of occupation” for Palestinians.
In conclusion, the US president said it was ultimately up to the Israeli regime and the Palestinians to hammer out a peace deal, adding that the US supported a two state solution with permanent borders based on the 1967 lines, and hinted at the prospect of “mutually agreed swap.”
According to observers and a number of published opinion poll results, most Palestinians and Muslim populations have expressed distrust of the US as an objective mediator in the Middle East, citing its unconditional support for the Israeli regime and all of its many violations against Palestinians and neighboring countries.