Cameron: Obama was most pro-Palestinian and pro-Arab US president ever

Cameron, who was Britain's Conservative prime minister from 2010-2016 and considered one of Britain's most pro-Isarel prime ministers, wrote that “I was – I am – a friend of Israel.”

September 24, 2019 23:41
2 minute read.
David Cameron and Barack Obama

British Prime Minister David Cameron (R) and US President Barack Obama leave a news conference at the White House. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says frequently that US President Donald Trump is the most pro-Israel president to ever sit in the White House. In a memoir released on Tuesday, former UK prime minister David Cameron asserted that former president Barack Obama was “the most pro-Palestinian and pro-Arab president in history.”

“[Obama’s] careful analysis – ‘They both need to want peace more than we do,’ as he put it to me – meant a reluctance to take risks in order to achieve progress,” Cameron wrote in his book For the Record. “Plus, he was understandably distracted by the Arab Spring, and anything he did propose to put pressure on Israel was rejected by Congress.”

Cameron, who was Britain’s Conservative prime minister from 2010-2016 and considered one of Britain’s most pro-Israel prime ministers, wrote that “I was – I am – a friend of Israel.”

“This tiny country was a haven for Jews after the most horrific event in modern history,” he continued. “It remains a beacon of democracy in a region of dictatorships. I credit the Conservative Friends of Israel group, and its charismatic head Stuart Polak, for opening my eyes, and those of many Tory MPs, to the issues.”

But, he continued, “Israel did not always do the right thing. I thought we needed to put pressure on it to stop building illegal settlements, and that work was required on when and how we would take a more aggressive position on recognizing the State of Palestine. No people should have to live as permanent refugees.”

Cameron said that he was “wholly for a two-state solution: creating a single Palestinian state linking the West Bank and Gaza. Some in the West had resorted to a two-faced solution: telling each side what it wanted to hear and getting nowhere. I wanted to be tougher on both.”

The former UK leader, who took a very strong position on imposing sanctions on Iran – more so at times than Obama – writes about efforts to keep Israel from preemptively striking the Islamic Republic.

He wrote that Netanyahu was “constantly talking in apocalyptic terms,” and that the IDF was rehearsing attacks.

“Obama knew that he had to convince Netanyahu that the US would do the job better than the Israelis ever could, if all other measures failed and Tehran got too close to the redline,” he wrote.

Recalling a period in 2012 when it seemed Iran was just a few months away from crossing the nuclear redline and Israel was sending signals that it might attack, Cameron wrote, “To this day I’m not quite sure why Netanyahu didn’t act.”

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