The Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement has been the preeminent issue defining foreign policy debates for decades. Negotiating a successful peace deal has evaded almost every modern President of the United States and this conundrum has now been even more complicated for President Obama this past week.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu loudly voiced his strong disdain for President Obama’s position that Israel should return to pre-1967 borders, announced in his speech on the Middle East and North Africa last Thursday.
This was the first time a U.S. President officially stated a long-held position and the blowback has reverberated in Washington through negative reactions from Congressional leadership, including Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. It is no coincidence that every Washington figure addressed the AIPAC lobby these past several days.
President Obama’s diminished favorability at the U.S. Capitol became clear today when a joint session at the Congress received Netanyahu’s speech with more standing ovations than his State of the Union Address earlier this year: 29 versus 25.
Should the American Congress visibly stand behind a foreign leader instead of their President on such an important foreign policy issue?