- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 7, 2009


I am a supporter of President Obama, and I think he did a great job during his visit to the Group of 20 summit, but there was a significant flaw. In a meeting with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, Mr. Obama said he supported the 2002 Saudi initiative. This was a mistake because of problems with the initiative.

The Saudis presented their plan on a take-it-or-leave-it basis. Although the Saudis claimed they wanted to carry out U.N. Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, those resolutions call for Israel to withdraw from an unspecified portion of the occupied territories, the extent of withdrawal to be determined by negotiation among the parties. In calling for complete withdrawal and eschewing negotiations, the Saudi initiative conflicts with Resolutions 242 and 338.

Moreover, the reference to Palestinian refugees in the Saudi initiative is unacceptable. If Israel were to absorb 3 million Palestinians, including descendants or a substantial portion of them, its identity as a Jewish state would be destroyed. No nation should be required to commit national suicide.

Instead of supporting the Saudi initiative, which had and has no chance of achieving peace, Mr. Obama should have endorsed the Clinton-Barak peace proposal of 2000-01 and condemned the response of the Palestinians to that generous plan. The Palestinians' reply was to launch the second intifada, which resulted in the deaths of 4,000 Palestinians and 1,000 Israelis.



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