US President Barack Obama has said that the odds of reaching a final settlement between Israel and the Palestinians are less than fifty-fifty, without giving reasons for his pessimism. He added that there is a correlation between the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations and the Syrian and Iranian files.
During an extensive interview with the US weekly magazine the New Yorker, Obama noted that while Israel’s interests are closely linked to those of the Sunni Arab states, the Palestinian issue prevents them from forming a stronger alliance. “With respect to Israel, the interests of Israel in stability and security are actually very closely aligned with the interests of the Sunni states. What’s preventing them from entering into even an informal alliance with at least normalised diplomatic relations is not that their interests are profoundly in conflict but the Palestinian issue,” he said.
The US president highlighted the difficulties facing his three main Middle East initiatives – Palestine and Israel, Syria and Iran – but suggested that: “In all three circumstances we may be able to push the boulder partway up the hill and maybe stabilize it so it doesn’t roll back on us.”
Obama also suggested that there is a correlation between the three initiatives. “All three are connected,” he said. “I do believe that the region is going through rapid change and inexorable change. Some of it is demographics; some of it is technology; some of it is economics. And the old order, the old equilibrium, is no longer tenable. The question then becomes, What’s next?”
In the interview Obama ignored the long history of Israeli aggression, which started with the forced removal of the Palestinian people and the establishment of a racist political entity on their land.
Instead, he attempted to justify Israeli violence by speaking about a “long history of anti-Semitism that’s developed over the course of decades [in the region], and anti-Arab sentiment that’s increased inside of Israel based on seeing buses being blown up.”