Re: Averting Their Eyes

Jennifer’s important post on the meeting yesterday of 14 Jewish organizations with President Obama included this excerpt from a JTA report:

[Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations Executive Vice Chairman Malcolm] Hoenlein said that peace progress was likelier when there was “no daylight” between Israel and the United States. Obama agreed that it must always be clear that Israel has unalloyed U.S. support, but added that for eight years there was “no daylight and no progress.”

The following would be my summary of the progress over the past eight years — which Obama apparently ignored in his response to the group:

After the Palestinians rejected an offer of a state at Camp David in 2000, rejected the Clinton Parameters in 2001, and conducted a terror war against Israeli civilians from September 2000-2002, Israel nevertheless agreed in 2003 to the “Performance-Based Roadmap” for the creation of a Palestinian state, despite reservations about the manner in which that plan would actually be implemented.

During this eight-year period, the Palestinian concessions (aka reciprocal “progress”) can be enumerated more briefly:  zero.  The “peace partner” still demands “every inch” of the West Bank, the entire Old City of Jerusalem, and a “right of return” to Israel for every Palestinian “refugee.”  It refuses to negotiate without the immediate and continued cessation of any Israeli population growth in areas Israel will keep in any conceivable peace agreement.

Obama told the group yesterday there is “a narrow window of opportunity” that demands Israel engage in “serious self-reflection” because the Bush administration’s approach “was not helpful in advancing the peace process.”

Was there no one at the meeting yesterday prepared to challenge Obama’s claim about the absence of “progress,” or articulate which side has repeatedly rejected an eight-year “window of opportunity” (and consequently needs some “serious self-reflection”), or ask how the continued refusal to endorse the April 14 letter is consistent with any confidence in the president’s assurance yesterday of his “unalloyed support,” or even back up Hoenlein’s suggestion that daylight between the U.S. and Israel is not the path to peace?  No one?