On Tuesday, President Obama met with a delegation of leaders from the U.S. Orthodox Jewish community and told them he gives Israel more attention than the Palestinians, and that the window on the peace process has probably closed. Give him points for honesty.
U.S. President Barack Obama told a delegation of the U.S. Orthodox Jewish community at the White House on Tuesday that his administration is decidedly more attentive to Israel than it is to the Palestinians.
Obama was speaking at a meeting between White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew and leaders of the Orthodox Jewish community, including Dr. Simcha Katz, Rabbi Steven Burg and Nathan Diament of the Orthodox Union.
Meeting participants who wished to remain nameless told Haaretz that the delegation asked Obama what lessons he has learned from events related to the Israel-Palestine peace process, and that the U.S. president said that it is very difficult, and that there are many possibilities for misunderstanding. There is only tension because both sides feel pressured to compromise, he said.
Obama also said that he understands the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants no restraints, like the leader of any country. He assured his guests that he and Netanyahu get along well on a personal level – but that Netanyahu does not want to appear weak.
In the past, President Obama and other administration officials warned the window of opportunity for making peace might not remain open for long. At Tuesday’s meeting he said that maybe it is already closed, but still expressed hope that progress is still possible, although he admitted that the position of the Palestinians has deteriorated.