(AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Abbas Netanyahu

PA head Abbas (L) and PM Netanyahu. (AP/Alex Brandon)

Despite his unrelenting pressure on Israel, President Obama admits there is little hope for a peaceful resolution now between Israel and the Palestinians. 

US President Barack Obama sees no foreseeable end to the diplomatic standoff between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA), he told the Arab Al-Arabiya news site on Friday.

Obama gave a lengthy interview in the wake of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit at Camp David, where he discussed the many challenges facing the Middle East, including a nuclear Iran and radical Islam.

The journalist, noting that Obama was the second president she had interviewed who would be leaving office without realizing his goal of a Palestinian state, asked: Who is to blame?

Discussing the “very difficult challenge,” the president responded: “On the one hand, I am a deep and strong supporter of Israel, and the connection between the United States and Israel is obviously powerful. And Israel has legitimate security concerns. There’s no doubt about it. And what is also true is I’m deeply committed to a Palestinian state.”

He shared the “heartbreaking stories” he heard from “young Palestinians” in Gaza and Ramallah, saying that “the only solution to me over the long term is a two-state solution.”

“We worked very hard, but, frankly, the politics inside of Israel and the politics among the Palestinians as well made it very difficult for each side to trust each other enough to make that leap.”

“And what I think at this point, realistically, we can do is to try to rebuild trust — not through a big overarching deal, which I don’t think is probably possible in the next year, given the makeup of the Netanyahu government, given the challenges that I think exist for President Abbas — but if we can start building some trust around, for example, relieving the humanitarian suffering inside of Gaza and helping the ordinary people in Gaza to recover from the devastation that happened last year; if we can do more to create business opportunities and jobs inside the territories — if we can slowly rebuild that kind of trust, then I continue to believe that the logic of a two-state solution will reassert itself.”

Obama failed to mention any of the trust-building gestures that the Palestinians have been expected to, but did not, make in order to boost Israel’s sense of safety, such as the ceasing the incitement and promotion of terror within the PA.

rock attack car

An Israeli family attacked by Arab rioters. (Yonatan Sindel / Flash90)

“Because I’ve said to the Israelis [that] you cannot remain a state that is both a democracy and Jewish if you continue to have this problem unresolved,” Obama said. “And with respect to the Palestinians, I’ve said that you cannot expect to have a state of your own and the full dignity and respect that is inherent for all human beings if you also don’t recognize Israel, because Israel is not going anywhere.”

“People of goodwill on both sides understand that…[but] unfortunately, the politics of fear has been stronger than the politics of hope over recent years — partly because of the chaotic situation in the region overall. And it’s going to take some time to rebuild it,” he stated.

Regarding the possibility of a meeting between Netanyahu and Abbas in the near future, Obama said, “Well, you never say never. So we’ll see how it unfolds. But the US’s commitment to both a secure Israel and a sovereign Palestinian state, that remains our policy.”

By: United with Israel Staff

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PA head Abbas and Hamas leader Haniyeh together.

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