What did Obama’s visit to Israel accomplish?

Courtesy of desertpeace.wordpress.com

Looking back on President Obama’s recent visit to Israel and the West Bank, it’s hard to see any positive results. If there was a bright spot, it had to be has address to the students in Jerusalem. That is predictable, since the younger the crowd, the better the chance of a positive response. Of course, he ruffled a lot of feathers by ignoring a host of government officials and decision-makers in favor of a more accepting audience. The mood of the meetings he did have with government personnel was strained and awkward.

In the West Bank, the Palestinian response to his visit was a week of violent anti-American protests. In Bethlehem protesters tore down a billboard of Obama welcoming the president, spray painted a swastika on his forehead, and left the billboard in the street. A video showed official Palestinian Authority cars driving over the defaced billboard. In Ramallah, approximately 15 km north of Jerusalem, police blocked anti-Obama protesters from reaching the offices of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Among their chants were “O malicious Obama, defender of the state of the Jews” and “we hereby declare, America is the mother of terror.” The trip to the West Bank culminated in a press conference and photo op. during which both men appeared stiff, formal, unsmiling, and appearing to be wishing they could be anywhere but where they were.

While Obama was meeting with the Palestinian leader, Hamas (which controls the Gaza Strip) was firing rockets at Israeli civilians. Meanwhile, demonstrators in the Gaza Strip set fire to U.S. flags and posters of the president. By the time he left Israel, he had not said a single word of condemnation for these attacks, but had continued to pressure Israel to make more concessions to the very people who are trying to kill them.

Obama supporters could try to argue that the hostile Palestine response was due to the President’s unwavering support for Israel. I’m sorry, but that argument just won’t fly. Yes, the Palestinians had seen him as a supporter of Israel, but they see just about any visit to Israel for any purpose as unacceptable since it appears to “legitimize” Israel’s existence. The brevity of Obama’s stay in Israel and who he chose to address shows his priorities. Even abroad, he’s still in campaign mode, appearing to be governing and engaging in diplomatic bridge-building, but it’s all for show. Despite the shift to the center and even left of the new Israeli government, he, in my opinion, realized he couldn’t ram his agenda down anyone’s throat, so he departed for greener pastures.

Not making the headlines was the fact that students from Ariel University were barred from attending Obama’s address to college and University students. Mike Evans of the Jerusalem Prayer Team believes that it is because Ariel University is located in the so-called “West Bank”-the Bible lands of Judea and Samaria that are part of Israel. He believes that the Obama Administration refused admittance to these students as a sign that they still want to force Israel to abandon the ancient land of their fathers and hand control over to their worst enemies.

Instead of being the one person in the whole world who single-handedly has brought peace to the Middle-East, Barack Obama has managed to alienate both sides. So, where does this leave America as a player in Middle-East peace? Considering Obama’s recent cabinet appointees, I’d say our chances of playing a positive roll are non-existent.

As is always the case, our only hope for peace is the Prince of Peace and He has explained what has to happen before the earth will ever see lasting peace. His true disciples can experience peace no matter what’s going on in the world. If you’ve had enough of the world’s disappointments and heartaches, click here.


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