Though the Palestinians have been the beneficiaries of the most anti-Israeli American government in living memory, they still got a taste of the underside of the bus in 2011 when Obama went back on his word to support the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.
In a 2010 UN appearance Obama pledged “When we come back here next year, we can have an agreement that can lead to a new member of the United Nations, an independent, sovereign state of Palestine living in peace with Israel.” Unfortunately he forgot to take into account over 60 years of historical precedent that dictated peace between the Jews and Muslims could never be achieved until the Palestinians acknowledge that Israel has a right to exist and cease their terrorist war against the Jewish state. This isn’t exactly rocket science and every previous American President had recognized that the source of hostilities between the two nations isn’t Israel, but those who seek its destruction.
By throwing his lot in with the Palestinians, Obama put himself way out of the mainstream in American politics. While he could get away with selling weapons to Israel’s enemies and compromising its security and legitimacy in a multitude of ways without drawing too much attention from uninformed liberal and independent voters, a move to establish a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders not only drew conservative criticism, he also got an earful from prominent Democrats. In one of the few bipartisan efforts since Obama became President, 87 Senators signed a statement in June 2011 that said “Palestinian efforts to gain recognition of a state outside direct negotiations demonstrates absence of a good faith commitment to peace negotiations, and will have implications for continued United States aid.” They demanded Obama veto any U.N. resolution that would create a Palestinian state.
By mid 2011 it was becoming clear that support for an independent Palestine was a losing proposition for Obama, though the message didn’t fully crystallize until Democrats lost the majority Jewish New York 9th congressional district special election in September 2011 to replace disgraced representative Anthony Weiner. The district had long been in Democrat hands, yet they voted in Tea Party favorite Bob Turner in part to send a message to Washington that support for a Palestinian state would have dire consequences for Democrats. It only took Obama a couple of weeks to read the political tea leaves and betray his commitment to the Palestinians when he said “peace will not come through statements and resolutions at the U.N.”
Obama may not have kept his word in supporting an independent Palestinian state, but he has gone out of his way to ensure American taxpayer money has continued to flow into its coffers. Even though Congress cut off aid to the Palestinians in 2011 in repayment for their UN statehood debacle, Obama signed a waiver in April 2012 that released $192 million in foreign aid to the Palestinians claiming that it was “important to the security interests of the United States.”