Obama at UN declares ‘no shortcuts’ to peace

US president: Peace between Israel, PA won’t be achieved by resolutions; "If it were that easy, it would have been accomplished by now."

By JORDANA HORN, JERUSALEM POST CORRESPONDENT
September 21, 2011 19:24
4 minute read.
Obama addresses UN General Assembly

Obama addresses UN General Assembly_311. (photo credit: Reuters)

NEW YORK – US President Barack Obama told the UN General Assembly on Wednesday that there could be “no shortcuts” to peace between the Israelis and Palestinians, and that negotiations between the two parties would be the only means to achieving a true and lasting peace.

In his 20-minute speech before the international body, Obama devoted significant time to discussing the Israeli- Palestinian conflict.

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Saying that the Jewish people “have forged a successful state in their historic homeland,” Obama said, “Israel deserves recognition.

“It deserves normal relations with its neighbors. And friends of the Palestinians do them no favors by ignoring this truth, just as friends of Israel must recognize the need to pursue a twostate solution with a secure Israel next to an independent Palestine.

“That truth – that each side has legitimate aspirations – is what makes peace so hard,” Obama said. “And the deadlock will only be broken when each side learns to stand in each other’s shoes.

“It is incumbent upon the UN,” he said, to “recognize the reality that is lived by both the Palestinians and the Israelis.

“The measure of our actions must always be whether they advance the right of Israeli and Palestinian children to live in peace and security, with dignity and opportunity,” Obama said.

“We will only succeed in that effort if we can encourage the parties to sit down together, to listen to each other, and to understand each other’s hopes and fears. That is the project to which America is committed.

And that is what the United Nations should be focused on in the weeks ahead.”

Obama also referenced events in other parts of the world.

While applauding protesters who demonstrated in the name of democracy, he said the Security Council should sanction the Syrian regime and stand with the Syrian people.

Obama also said Iran and North Korea must be held accountable for their nuclear proliferation. No other single issue, however, commanded as much time in his speech as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


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