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President Obama with Israeli President Shimon Peres (l.) and Israeli Prime Minister (r.) Benjamin Netanyahu.

"I honestly believe that if any Israeli parent sat down with those (Palestinian) kids, they’d say I want these kids to succeed.”

— President Obama, in Jerusalem, March 21

Very true. But how does the other side feel about Israeli kids?

Consider that the most revered parent in Palestinian society is Mariam Farhat of Gaza. Her distinction? Three of her sons died trying to kill Israelis — one in a suicide attack, shooting up and hurling grenades in a room full of Jewish students.

She gloried in her “martyr” sons, wishing only that she had 100 boys like her schoolroom suicide attacker to “sacrifice . . . for the sake of God.” And for that she was venerated as “mother of the struggle,” elected to parliament and widely mourned upon her recent passing.

So much for reciprocity. In the Palestinian territories, streets, public squares, summer camps, high schools, even a kindergarten are named after suicide bombers and other mass murderers. So much for the notion that if only Israelis would care about Arab kids, peace would be possible.

Israelis have forever wanted nothing more than peace and security for all the children. That’s why they accepted the 1947 UN partition of British Palestine into a Jewish and Arab state. Unfortunately — another asymmetry — the Arabs said no. To this day, the Palestinians have rejected every peace offer that leaves a Jewish state standing.

This is not ancient history. Yasser Arafat said no at Camp David in 2000 and at Taba in 2001. And in 2008, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert offered a Palestinian state on all of the West Bank (with territorial swaps) with its capital in a shared Jerusalem. Mahmoud Abbas walked away.

In that same speech, Obama called these “missed historic opportunities” that should not prevent peace-seeking now. But these “missed historic opportunities” are not random events. They present an unrelenting pattern over seven decades of rejecting any final peace with Israel.

So what was the point of Obama’s Jerusalem speech encouraging young Israelis to make peace, a speech the media drooled over? It was mere rhetoric, a sideshow meant to soften the impact on the Arab side of the really important event of Obama’s trip: the major recalibration of his position on the peace process.

Obama knows that peace talks are going nowhere. First, because there is no way that Israel can sanely make concessions while its neighborhood is roiling — the Muslim Brotherhood taking over Egypt, rockets being fired from Gaza, Hezbollah brandishing 50,000 missiles aimed at Israel, civil war raging in Syria, and Iran threatening to raze Tel Aviv and Haifa.

Second, peace is going nowhere because Abbas has shown Obama over the last four years that he has no interest in negotiating. Obama’s message to Abbas was blunt: Come to the table without preconditions, i.e., without the excuse of demanding a settlement freeze first.

Obama himself had contributed to this impasse when he imposed that precondition — for the first time ever in the history of Arab-Israeli negotiations — four years ago. And when Israel responded with an equally unprecedented 10-month settlement freeze, Abbas didn’t show up to talk until more than nine months in — then walked out, never to return.

In Ramallah, Obama didn’t just address this perennial Palestinian dodge. He demolished the very claim that settlements are the obstacle to peace. Palestinian sovereignty and Israeli security are “the core issue,” he told Abbas. “If we solve those two problems, the settlement problem will be solved.”

Finally. Presidential validation of the screamingly obvious truism: Any peace agreement will produce a Palestinian state with not a single Israeli settlement remaining on its territory. Any settlement on the Palestinian side of whatever border is agreed upon will be demolished. Thus, any peace that reconciles Palestinian statehood with Israeli security automatically resolves the settlement issue. It disappears.

Yes, Obama offered the ritual incantations about settlements being unhelpful. He could have called them illegal or illegitimate. It wouldn’t have mattered — Obama declared them irrelevant.

Exposing settlements as a mere excuse for the Palestinian refusal to negotiate — that was the news coming out of Obama’s trip. It was a breakthrough.

Will it endure? Who knows.

But when an American President so sympathetic to the Palestinian cause tells Abbas to stop obstructing peace with that settlement excuse, something important has happened. Abbas knows this better than anyone.

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Comment by TROCK on March 31, 2013 at 12:55pm
All praise due yahwehshai..big up to Yahquezel drop those jewels break it down for these Gentiles blow the trumpet..
Comment by Yahzequel Ben Israel on March 31, 2013 at 2:04am

LOL Someone need to tell joel barros that olives comes in 2 colors ,, green and black '' and that africa belongs to blacks and whites belongs in europe  it even tells us that in Genesis10-5 table of nations,, also jerusalem is in africa not europe, also the first nations the most high creator made is black people, and also white people invade africa in the 622-700yr, also pope julius in the 1500 calls the european artist to paint all the biblical prophets and israelites white.the matter and facts remain true that you cannot have any nation before black people we are the true first nation, all religions came out of africa also white people appear on earth after noah flood, i can go on but why educated a fool, one thing about gentiles/white people they see everything europe by their own foolish white supremacy knowledge,, im not a racist but i hate the game they play,, we black people got so much history just to know that the bible is not a religious book but a black history book, and our messiyah is a blood relatives of us slave descendants,, we are awaking up world wide just as it said in the bible by prophet yahzequel (dry bones) and other prophets ,, ps do your research that the white arabs was a nomad people untill they invade africa  africans were all civilized on the continents,and that the true palestinians are blacks they are hamites from their black father Ham, its in the bible as the phillistines/plus the other hites, again whites dont have any good history but for stealing and repainted, again our people need to focus on color and history it helps us from the wicked and build confidents in us you cannot have history without black history,even willie lynch said he is going wipe out our memory(300yrs) of whom we was, psalms 83 even clears that up, so again our people must know there true identity and who are their enemys @joel it wont work this time our people have been thru alot thru Slavery untill now, than any nations in this world every nations and religions had their hands on us christianity,muslim/islam/judaisn, and major companys banks insurance companys list goes on, the most high said he will make sure that all will pay back soon.

Comment by YES PAPA!! on March 30, 2013 at 3:15pm
Comment by TROCK on March 30, 2013 at 11:00am
Shalom..Yahquezel May the most high stay with you
Comment by TROCK on March 30, 2013 at 10:58am
Joel u need to do. Some research and talk to real so called Jew few know the truth and aren't afraid to tell you it
Comment by Ronsay on March 30, 2013 at 1:14am

no dis but ppl talk as if we really know what yeshua (jesus) looked like......go live in the shoes of those ppl then come back and give a report... my ex is from palestine and the s*** that those ppl do to them is crazy! no dis and no argument this image of the one of many chosen ones looks black to me


Comment by Joel Barros on March 29, 2013 at 11:02pm
Too many times we focuse on color Jesus was not black nor was he white he was of an olive skin. N please tell me what is Palestine lol they had no existence prior to war those were rejected Arabs which mixed n created a lie to claim what God called His. I find it funny that every tribe n kingdom never re- established themselves except the Jews n been hated n persecuted by the world yet they overcome. Listen many of us blacks are part of the tribes that was lost but to say they are not Jews is dumb too many so called knowledge but no real proof let God handle n do what He said he will do n not judge or hate others based on opinions n theory's.
Comment by Barry Lawrence on March 29, 2013 at 8:36pm
If you know the geography of the area you will know that Israel captured those areas to prevent the Palestinians from loving rockets down into Israel. If the Palestinians could controlled their "martyrs" to prevent them from doing that, then a major obstacle would be removed. Right now allowing "those" Palestinians to occupy those areas would be like sending "lambs to the slaughter house"! Food for thought.
Comment by baba on March 29, 2013 at 5:33pm
Crazy guys
Comment by Oliver F. Sampson on March 29, 2013 at 5:27pm

Whoever wrote this article is a f****** liar!! The Israeli government does not want peace. The fact is that Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated by his own people just before he had a chance to complete a real peace agreement and the fact that the current regime totally rejected that agreement from 1995 proves Israel does not want peace. Further the presidents call for a halt to the settlements is not the reason the Palestinians rejected Israeli proposals. It was because the Israeli's continue to take and build on Palestinian land while systematically killing Palestinians on a daily basis.  Whoever wrote this article is a right wing Jew or republican trying to sway black people on CF. The fact is that Israel IS the power in the middle east and they have the power to immediately cease all hostilities and settlements and actually make a peace agreement. Unfortunately the Israeli government will never truly come to the table and as they have done for decades will move the goal posts as soon as the Palestinians agree to anything.

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