Obama showed off his analytical brilliance this morning when he compared the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to the US having arguments with Canada (h/t: WFB):
It just seems like yesterday that Canada was lobbing missiles into Wisconsin.
Meanwhile, Obama said the “Palestinians deserve a state of their own“:
President Barack Obama spoke critically of Israeli settlement activity in Palestinian territories and reaffirmed his commitment to the creation of “an independent and sovereign state of Palestine” in a Thursday news conference in the West Bank.
“We cannot give up on the search for peace, no matter how hard it is. … Too much is at stake,” the president said during the joint news conference with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on the second day of his first official trip to Israel.
Obama reaffirmed the “difficult” goal of a two-state solution, adding that Israel’s program of settlements was unhelpful and did not “advance the cause of peace.”
When asked whether he thought a halt to further settlement activity was required before peace talks could begin in earnest, Obama demurred.
“If the only way to even begin the conversation is that we get everything right from the outset … then we’re never going to get to the broader issue, which is how you actually structure a state of Palestine that is sovereign and contiguous,” the president said.
“The core issue right now is how do we get sovereignty for the Palestinian people and ensure security for the Israeli people,” he added. “If we solve those two problems, the settlement problem will be solved.”
Obama said that had been the focus of the talks he had just conducted with Abbas, which lasted about an hour and occurred just before the news conference, during which Obama praised Abbas for his leadership and sharply criticized rival group Hamas for the “misery” of Palestinians in Gaza.
He sounded hopeful about Abbas and the Palestinian Authority and reiterated U.S. willingness to help.
“The United States is deeply committed to the creation of an independent and sovereign state of Palestine,” he said, adding, “Simply, Palestinians deserve a state of their own.”