He’s hoping everyone forgot what he said last year.
President Barack Obama smiles after addressing the 66th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011. (AP/Richard Drew)
In 2010 Barack Obama pushed for an independent Palestinian state during his speech at the United Nations.
From the White House website:
Last year, I pledged my best efforts to support the goal of two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security, as part of a comprehensive peace between Israel and all of its neighbors. We have travelled a winding road over the last 12 months, with few peaks and many valleys. But this month, I am pleased that we have pursued direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians in Washington, Sharm el Sheikh and Jerusalem…
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…Now, peace must be made by Israelis and Palestinians, but each of us has a responsibility to do our part as well. Those of us who are friends of Israel must understand that true security for the Jewish state requires an independent Palestine — one that allows the Palestinian people to live with dignity and opportunity. And those of us who are friends of the Palestinians must understand that the rights of the Palestinian people will be won only through peaceful means — including genuine reconciliation with a secure Israel.
Today Obama pulled back on that notion and told the Palestinians not to push things.
“Peace is hard,” an impassioned Obama said repeatedly in his annual address before the U.N. General Assembly. “I am convinced that there is no shortcut to the end of a conflict that has endured for decades. Peace will not come through statements and resolutions at the U.N. — if it were that easy, it would have been accomplished by now. Ultimately, it is Israelis and Palestinians who must live side by side. Ultimately, it is Israelis and Palestinians – not us — who must reach agreement on the issues that divide them: on borders and security; on refugees and Jerusalem,” he said.