There are two views of Obama’s speech to the General Assembly on September 21, 2011, and his opposition to the recognition of Palestine as a sovereign state and its admission to the UN. The common opinion of foreign policy experts was that Obama led the US to an ignominious diplomatic defeat, deepening US isolation in the international system.
The White House’s blatant parroting of Israel’s position to continue bilateral negotiations, while Tel Aviv continued to colonize Palestinian land and forcibly evict its residents, alienated the 1.5 billion Muslims throughout the world. Obama’s refusal to even mention the return to the 1967 borders as a basis for a “peace settlement”, totally undermined any pretext that the US could act as an “honest broker” in Mid-East peace negotiations, even in the eyes of its most slavish supporters in the PLO. His one-sided reference to Israel’s minimal casualties in maintaining the Occupation, while omitting any mention of the 12,000 Palestinian political prisoners, thousands of assassinations, everyday humiliation, routine torture of suspects and frequent defacement of Palestinian religious centers (mosques and churches, cemeteries and shrines), undermined any US effort to win favor among the millions of people involved in the pro-democracy social movements sweeping the Arab world from Tunisia, Egypt to the Gulf states.