May 23rd, 2011
05:00 PM ET

Is Pres. Obama making U.S. relations with Israel worse?


Pres. Obama speaks in Dublin on the first stop of a week-long European tour. (PHOTO CREDIT: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Obama was in Ireland today, the first leg of a six-day trip to Europe. And as he travels to Britain, France and Poland, U.S. tensions with Israel and the overall instability of the Middle East will likely be a theme.

The president's still trying to navigate around comments he made in a speech last Thursday, suggesting peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian people should begin with the borders established before the 1967 war, in which Israel captured Gaza and the West Bank. Palestinians claim some of that land is theirs. President Obama’s suggestion angered the Israelis and created an uncomfortable meeting between President Obama and Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday at the White House. Sticking with the pre-1967 borders has been a long-held, but not often-stated, U.S. position.

Yesterday, the president spoke before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Washington's most powerful pro-Israel lobbying group, in an effort at damage control. He reiterated that peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians should begin with the pre-1967 borders, but only as a starting point. Land swaps could eventually be part of the plan in order to be fair to both sides. Netanyahu is addressing the same group tonight.

President Obama has said he's trying to jump-start peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians to slow the growing momentum for a declaration of a Palestinian statehood at the United Nations in September. The president hopes to persuade his European counterparts to vote against it. But tensions between the two long-time allies remain high, and the rhetoric coming from Israel has gotten much sharper.

Here’s my question to you: Is President Obama making U.S. relations with Israel worse?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

No, he's not. President Obama knows what he is doing. He is trying to get something going here between Israel and the Palestinian people. The fact that the Israeli Prime Minister went ballistic shows you he's not ready for peace talks. He only wants things to go his way.

Josh in New Orleans, Louisiana:
I think that Israel has been taking advantage of America's relationship to do almost anything they want against the Palestinians and Obama is calling them out on this. If anything is making the situation worse, it's the lack of compromise in the peace process.

Arp in Brandon, Mississippi:
It's about time someone in American politics spoke truth to power. The festering sore that is Israeli relations with its neighbors must be resolved if there is to be any hope of peace and stability in the region. So far, the U.S. has insulated Israel from having to face the ultimate reality of a Palestinian state. Israel will not change course unless forced to reassess what is in their best interests, and ours.

Ed in Maryland:
I think it's like telling the people of Arizona that we're going back to pre-Columbus borders. I can see where people might get upset.

Perhaps the question needs to be framed differently: Is America better off for amending its policy with Israel? Do we consider Israel an ally? Sure. But hasn't the relationship been a little one-sided? We give and Israel takes. Other than the fact that Israel represents the lone democracy in the Middle East, what tangible benefits accrue to the U.S. over this relationship?

Obama isn't going to coddle Israel like so many other politicians do. I think he is doing it for their own safety. With the uprisings in the region and Israel's friends growing smaller, the writing is on the wall for them. They have to come to the table before it's too late.

Bit in Prattville, Alabama:
Well, let's just wait and see, Jack. Since the world didn't come to an end Saturday, and President Obama didn't get the blame for it, there's still hope for U.S. and Israel.

Filed under: Israel • President Barack Obama
soundoff (265 Responses)
  1. John from Alabama

    Jack: No! The Judeo-Christian ethic is well an alive in both America and Israel. The United States will defend Israelis against all would be attackers, but America will try an seek a peaceful solution always. Israel must realize compromise must be part of solution, and maybe not back to the 1967 boundary lines, but surely there must be movement by both the Israelis and Palestines. Terrorist can not be part of the solution, or there is no solution for peace.

    May 23, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
  2. Phil, Georgia

    NO! Our relations are not worse. Instead of just trying to be a "YES MAN" to Isreal as republicans want, President Obama is trying to solve the problem once and for all. This problem has been a linguring sore for ever and the president is trying to solve it by speaking truth to a dear friend. And its apparent, by Netanyahu great passion for Obama, that he understands where the presedent is comming from and is willing to make sacrifices for peace.

    May 23, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
  3. Jane (Minnesota)

    Probably to the ultra-conservatives, just like the ones in this country who won't work with him to solve the difficult problems this country has.

    May 23, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
  4. Carl


    What a mistake this guy Obama is. Remember his promises he made while running for the presdency. It's just 1 lie after another. This idiot has enought problems here in the United States. The nerve of Obama, telling Israel what your bounderies will be, he doesn't even care about protecting our own borders. This president, is like the last one, a loser. In many ways, he is worse than Bush.

    May 23, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
  5. Tony from Torrington

    Is President Obama making U.S. relations with Israel worse?

    Perhaps you remember the story of the Scorpion and the Frog, and what the Scorpion said to the Frog after stinging him, dooming them both to drown in the river.... "I could not help myself. It is my nature."

    I really don't think this needs an explanation, but to those who are still under the Obama spell, it simply means that Barack Obama leans more towards the Palestinians than to Israel, and it is plain to see.

    May 23, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
  6. Mike in Minneapolis

    An optimist would say that the glass is half full, that we are not making relations worse with Israel, we are making them better with the Arab states. However, if we are trying to improve relations with one side, we are automatically going to be making them worse with the other. In this situation, I don't think the glass is likely to be half full or half empty, it will simply be half a glass of water.

    May 23, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
  7. Minesh - Troy, MI

    Jack, I didn't think President Obama was a Muslim but I am starting to entertain the idea now. Why is President Obama trying to appease and accomodate the Muslim community?

    Minesh Baxi Troy, MI

    May 23, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
  8. Rick, Medina, OH


    The President is bringing again to the forefront an issue that simply must be resolved. In any negotiation, when there is little intensity to stay at the table, one must take a step back, and ask, "Why?" Usually, one or more of the parties perceives more benefit in leaving the situation unresolved. Since, 1948, U. S. foreign aid to Israel has exceeded $110 billion (in unadjusted dollars.) The Israeli army is equipped with the most modern and lethal weapons ever manufactured. And, Israel is housing its citizens in settlements in occupied territories ... land the Palestinians likely had expected to become its own. And the Palestinians certainly haven't helped themselves with their relationship with Hamas and periodic senseless attacks on Israeli citizens.

    The President reminded Israel, U. S. citizens, and the world that this conflict is a 2-sided coin. And that is a good thing.

    Medina, OH

    May 23, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
  9. Robby Bowling

    Yes he is ,& he will mess it up with his high & might aspirations like he has this country. Watch the interview with Israel's Prime Minister , these two people don't like one another at all. Your not gonna force anything on Israel that they don't agree to. Negotiations are done behind closed doors not out in public. Obama's arrogance & prejudices comes out every time he opens his mouth. Actions speak louder than words & Obama is all words & no action.

    May 23, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
  10. Tom in Desoto, TX

    Worse than what Jack? Israel has been complaining and whining for decades. They don't like Arabs and Arab don't like the Jews. Regionally, Arabs outnumber Jews. In the not too distant future there will be more Arabs in Israel than Jews, then the Jews will be a minority in their own country. The U.S. won't be establishing a military base there so they better find a way to get along. Their backs are to the sea.

    May 23, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
  11. BILL, WI

    What Pres Obama said will not make U.S.-Israel relations worse, but it will not help the situation in that region. The people of Israel are mature enough to discuss differences with the U.S.and others on what the border should look be. Hamas and Hezbollah and other radical groups, that have been the primary block to peace in the region, will probably feel more empowered and be more aggressive towards Israel and step up attacks.

    May 23, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
  12. Loren, Chicago

    Well, the President has no particular love for Israel, but Israel has been self-indulgent with its expansion in the West Bank. Israel needed a come to Jesus moment, but until Hamas has its own come to Jesus moment (and that means removing Iranian support), no progress can be made.

    May 23, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
  13. Jane in Ca

    Obama is making a long overdue rejection of blind subservience to Likud interests. Israel is very much like the victim of abuse who grows up to be an abuser. They want to eliminate Palestinians from the West Bank, one settlement at a time. America cannot defend the right of Israel to exist while denying that right to a Palestinian state. Agreeing on the respective state's borders is the first step.

    May 23, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
  14. Peg in NY

    He is in no way improving this situation.

    May 23, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
  15. J Farrow, New Orleans

    Perhaps. I think given the turmoil in Middle East Arab countries now that Israel's right-wing government needs to be shaken up with a little bit of reality testing. I think this is what President Obama is trying to do.

    May 23, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
  16. Jim

    He may be, but I agree with his position. There's never going to be peace in that region as long as the Israeli's continue their expansion or settlements and the Palistinians continue to refuse to accept the fact that Israel has a right to exist. Personally, I'm sick and tired of the whole thing because it's pretty obvious that there;'s NEVER going to be peace in that area no matter what. It's an ongoing and never ending saga, just like the U.S. wars.

    May 23, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
  17. ACitizen

    No. Our president had the courage to say in public what last several administrations have been proposing. As for the Israeli PM, what gives him the right to 'lecture' our president? Shame on you Blitzer for using that phrase. Beggars shouldn't complain about the alms they receive, Israel has taken over 103 Billion dollars from us since its inception, that is over $3000 per person, and their PM has the nerve to talk like this to us? Who does he think he is? But for us, Israel wouldn't have existed!

    May 23, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
  18. Richard Oak Harbor, Wa

    Israel is becoming increasingly reliant on U.S. military and financial aid while American seniors are being threatened with a future of eating dogfood because entitlement programs have become too expensive.

    President Obama represents the United State's divergent national interests from Israel's existential concerns. Perhaps if Israel were one of the United States their routine US federal stipend could be more easily justified.

    Are we really expected to continue borrowing funds from China to give to Israel and other countries at the expense of fixed income Americans at home?

    May 23, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
  19. Brad, Portland, OR

    While I don't think Obama is a "secret Muslim," he definitely is far more sympathetic to the Palestinian/Muslim point of view than any president since Carter.

    His new policy is that negotiations about the borders should START with the 1967 lines with minor changes, when that is probably where the borders will end up AFTER negotiations. Giving the Palestinians 99% of what they wanted, with no requirements on them in return, before negotiations even started, definitely threw Israel under the bus.

    And if the Palestinians go the UN to be declared a state in September, then Israel should unilaterally set the border themselves and build the security fence along it. Then they should tell the Palestinians they can do what they want peacefully on their side of the wall, but if they attack or start lobbing rockets over the border, Israel will flatten the West Bank.

    Then it'll be up to the Palestinians as to whether they want peace or not.

    May 23, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
  20. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    I think it is Netanyahu that is making things worse. Peace negotiations are made up of give and take. When either side is not willing to give then there is no chance for peace, no matter who is president of the United States.

    May 23, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
  21. Susan Frost

    No. Israel is NOT the 51st state – it's just another political entity among a world of political entities, and we will be as good or better a friend to them as they are to us. That's called reality. They should get used to it.

    Tuscaloosa AL

    May 23, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
  22. Rich McKinney, Texas

    It's hard to say one way or the other Jack. The only reason Israel has anything to do with the United Sates is because they need our weapons our military and our money. If that is what you call relations then to me the United States once again is getting the short end of the deal. The America government would serve it's citizens better if it worried more about America then everyone else. The people of Israel have been fighting it's neighbors since the beginning of time and they still have not figured it out. I doubt Obama has anything to add that will change the situation one damn bit.

    May 23, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
  23. Conor in Chicago

    No, not at all. What is happening is the Israeli and American right wings are showing the world how completely unreasonable they are. To veteran observers of this conflict that is nothing new. All Obama did was state what Bush did during his Presidency: A peace deal means '67 borders and Hamas recognizing Israel’s right to exist. A lack of those two facets means no peace. But Obama is also not going to tow the extreme right wing line of Israeli politics the way Bibi, a right wing Israeli hawk, is going to.

    This is fake outrage ginned up by the Israeli money machine, AKA, AIPAC.

    May 23, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
  24. Lori - PA


    I believe Obama is. How can he ask Israel, a country that always seems to get the short end of the stick. to go back to the border they had in 1967? I know that if someone asked me to take a step back from the progress I had made, I'd be really angry.

    May 23, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
  25. James in Greenville, NC

    Obama could not make US relations with Israel worse if he tried. It is out of his hands. The Israelis decide what the relationship will be. A US President is just a bystander. Name one US President who did anything with Israel...........except follow along.

    May 23, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
  26. Bill in New Mexico


    Every since 1948, U.S. Presidents have futilely attempted negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian People.

    What negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian People overlooks is that the Moslem World and in particular the Arabian People fervently want all the "Holy Lands" totally and completely under the Moslem Faith.

    Yasser Arafat told Clinton that if he yielded even on the smallest point that he would be assasinated.

    Peace in the "Holy Lands" is not going to happen until:

    --The Moslem World gets a different attitude.

    --Israel is either destroyed or driven from the Holy Lands.

    Future U.S. Presidents should befriend their only ally in the area and not punish Israel.

    The Moslem World is prepared to sacrifice the Palestinian People for their greater cause of having all the "Holy Lands" under Moslem control.

    May 23, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
  27. Dave

    I think Obama knows what he is doing. In fact I think he is brilliant. The Israeli's have always been tough negotiators, and the US is in a unique position to push them towards finding a solution to the Palestinian issues. Conversely, he is also pushing the Palestinian coalition towards eliminating language in the constitution of Hamas that calls for the destruction of Israel.

    May 23, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
  28. louie wingo port richey fl

    Yes Jack, two chances, slim and none

    May 23, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
  29. John ................... Marlton, NJ

    Yes, and he is right in doing so. Obama is doing what is in the best interest of the United States as he should. It is clear to all but the most naïve that Israel is the impetus of most of the anger and subsequent terrorism against the United States, if not all of it. Given Israel’s continued growth of illegal settlements and human rights violations against Palestinians it is perhaps time to recognize the impact of financial payments from AIPAC to our politicians. Clearly these political operatives for the Israeli sponsored AIPAC should be required to register as Foreign Agents and frankly much of the money raised in the US and elsewhere to support illegal settlements should be considered ‘material support of terrorism’ against the United States and the supporters arrested.

    May 23, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
  30. troy45

    Unfortunately, yes; The '67 border idea stunned me. Israel should concede some land, but it has to reasonable concession and the borders defensable. Unfortunately, Mr. Netanyahu is a rather pig-headed bully who has never served Israel well. Once he's gone, I think reasonable talks can resume. With all the Mid-east turmoil, you know they'll find a way to blame Israel and we don't nee our president pouring fuel on the fire.

    May 23, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
  31. jo momma

    obviously he is an idiot

    May 23, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
  32. Ed from California

    How?? How can you make a disaster worse?? Those two countries, are a great example of Narcissism running amok!! The citizens on both sides want peace. It's the Hoopeheads that run each country who want the hostilities!! Why?? Foreign Aid!!!!! It all boils down to the Benjamin's, every time!!

    May 23, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
  33. Sean Roaen

    I think Obama is. He does not understand that the reason that Israel is fighting is so they can keep that area in one peace not splinting it up for four counters. This is making the relationship bad because he thinks Obama is on the Islamic side instead of Israel's – Sean Rosen Age 14 Littleton, Colorado

    May 23, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
  34. Rex in Portland, Oregon

    As difficult as it may be to believe, it is entirely within the realm of possiblility that President Obama has inherited a no-win situation vis-a-vis Israel and Palestine. It is my opinion that Israel is making the Israeli/US relationship worse, not the perennial scapegoat Obama, the democrat party, or the big bad USofA. If McCain or any other republican were president, of course the relationship would be peachy-keen as it was under Reagan, Bush, (Clinton), and Bush; wherein absolutely no progress was made in Israeli/US dealings.

    There will be no progres with the Middle East situation unless the status quo: non-action by anyone involved, just talk – is changed. Perhaps Obama;s very mild (read politically correct) stance on the Middle East and particularly on Israeli/Palestinian affairs can jar someone into actions instead of words. Probably not, but it is not due to naivety, ignorance, or malfeasance on our president's part.

    I am for less Obama bashing and blaming for everything from the bank failures, the economic disaster inherited from the 00"s, the removal of our industrial base to foreign shores, the housing crash, and the turmoil in the world. I am for more constructive suggestions, even from republicans and/or from the media "experts".

    May 23, 2011 at 3:32 pm |

    Is President Obama making U.S. relations with Israel worse?

    Frankly Jack I don't care what Israel thinks. This whole mess of the Israelis and the Palestinians has to end once and for all. Just because it was all but ignored under GW Bush and his administration doesn't mean that we Americans agree with Israel on every turn. We must solve this issue of Israelis committing GENOCIDE against the Palestinians so that the region will quiet down. Enough is enough!

    Roseville CA

    May 23, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
  36. Gary H. Boyd

    Jack, I'm an Anglo-Saxon protestant but, if I were a Jew, Barack Hussein Obama would scare me more than he already does. I do not trust the man and my guess is a majority in Israel don't either. Obama's foreign policy is like a sailing ship becalmed and awaiting the next gust of wind. Where it will take him is anybody's guess.

    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    May 23, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
  37. Veda

    Yes...Very sad....We should be supporting Israel in every way...

    May 23, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  38. David Hamilton

    Not really. Our relationship with Israel has always been strong. Obama's comments simply reflect American policy towards Israel under many administrations. If Israel really thought there was a different policy – that the US would somehow support uni-lateral action or land grabs by Israel – then Obama's comment are a wake-up call to Israeli – a big favor. A lasting peace in the middle east would benefit everyone – particularly Israel.

    May 23, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  39. Shane in Boston

    The President isn't making huge policy changes, so if the Israelis are ticked off, then maybe they should take a long look in the mirror about who and what their leadership is. In my opinion, we can only help the Israelis for so long before our patience with their non-commitment to peace wears thin, and our patience is starting to look like Princess Catherine's dress. And you know which dress I'm talking about.

    May 23, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
  40. Al

    Due to your obvious bias against Obama you asked the wrong question. It should be, by dissing the President of the only only friend they have in the world, did Israel make it's relations with the U.S. worst? Israel needs the U.S. We do not need Israel. Then they have the nerve to bite the hand that feeds them. They are more trouble than they are worth.

    May 23, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
  41. Mark, Oklahoma City

    Are you kidding, Jack. The ONLY thing Obama hasn't done to tick off Israel is to have them declared a "terrorist state".

    May 23, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
  42. Bud Rupert

    Probably so. Jimmy Carter did as well. I certainy am not favoring the Palestinians over our Jewish friends – they helped build this country- and have suffered greatly as a people. But from what I gather a lot of what both Carter and the President are saying in public is what is and has been said in private by many of the experts in order to come to some agrred to solution.

    May 23, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
  43. Larry Feierstein-Denver

    There is no question that the president has driven a deeper wedge between Israel, american Jews and the Whitehouse. However the Israeli has also driven a division between the state of Israel and american jews as well. His support is not as deep, nor is the American jewish community for Obama. He will be hurt at the polls come November 2012, but for that matter the Republicans offer little to overcome his strength.

    May 23, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  44. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    He better quit worrying about all these other countries or taking off to Ireland to trace his roots and stay home and take care of the most pressing problems here, starting with JOBS.

    May 23, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  45. Sandstone.

    "I didn't know you had that kind of relationship with Israel! They are just a pawn on the board, which world continue to see a different piece to move depending on which other country you choose to play the same sick-game! First Irael is a Knight in shining-armour (1967?). Then Israel had to castle because of Lizzie and Jordan. Then Israel became a pawn again in 1991 and Desert Storm! It became a Queen so palistinian/Jordanians could 'Jump it'. Now Obama wan'ts to win the game, with a Check Mate, he has the wrong color for!!"

    May 23, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
  46. Marilyn Bassano

    No he's not. President Obama knows what he is doing. He is trying to get something going here between Israel and Palestinian people. The fact that the Israeli Prime Minister went ballistic shows you he's not ready for the peace talks. He only wants things to go his way. He's not interested in the give and take of negotiations.

    May 23, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
  47. Mike S., Dayton Ohio

    President Obama was the first president to say to Israel what every other president only whispered behind Israel's back: give them back their land.
    It's about time someone had the courage to deal straight on with this "long held but not often stated U.S. position." Israel has been the elephant in the middle of the room for too long.

    May 23, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
  48. Donald in CA

    If you ask the conservates Israeles they will say yes, if you ask the liberal wing of Israel they will say no. You get the same answers here in america.

    May 23, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
  49. Arp

    It's about time someone in American politics spoke truth to power, in this case to virtually our only mid-east ally, and a powerful one. The festering sore that is Israeli relations with its neighbors must be resolved if there is to be any hope of peace and stability in the region. So far, the US has insulated Israel from having to face the ultimate reality of a Palestinian state by our massive infusion of American dollars and the threat of American arms. Israel will not change course unless forced to reassess what is in their best interests, and ours. Israel will exist, but it must change if it wants continued American aid.

    [Arp, in Brandon, MS]

    May 23, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
  50. gerry

    Israel had lost all respect fro Bush because he pandered to them, gave them everything they asked for and never questioned them.

    Obama questions their commitment to peace and tells them the way it is.

    In spite of the media rhetoric, Israel respects and trust's Obama, whereas they never trusted Bush because they felt if they could push Bush around so easily, everyone else could too.

    May 23, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
  51. AzRose

    Yes, I do believe that Obama's opinion on the border issue with the Palestinians will worsen U. S. relations with Israel.. It was very evident that Israel is not happy with his remarks. Maybe past presidents have had the same opinion but they have not presented that option openly. The damage is done now and Obama is sticking to his opinion but I think Netanyahu is going to stick with his opinion also.

    Rose, Glendale, Az

    May 23, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
  52. Retired & Tired

    There is a new lawn drawn in the sand when it comes to Foreign Aid which includes Israel. Bin Laden is dead & we are broke. So if you are taking steps toward our/A common goal which is usually peace we will give you aid. If you are expending borders and/or committing violence against your neighbors well the blank check days are over, try again next year.
    By the way, Obama did to Netanyahu what Netenyahu did to Hillary last year. Israel, you are neither poor or in dire situation. Get yourself out of your own trouble with your neighbors or learn how to get along with them.

    May 23, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
  53. John Blythe

    Yes Jack, I'm sorry to say that President Obama is making U.S.-Israeli relations worse. I'm drawing on the connections the Muslim Brotherhood has with Hamas' occupation in the Gaza Strip, which the now-crippled Egypt wants its borders opened. The same Hamas that fires rockets at Israel and is supported by Palestine. This seems to be a deadly plan to work against Israel and would perhaps even open up opportunistic attacks by Hezbollah and al-Qaeda. Obama's ignorance on facts is quite shocking. These groups all hate Israel and what we don't need in this world is another Holocaust.

    – John
    Lake Isabella, Calif.

    May 23, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
  54. Michael in Albuquerque, NM

    Requiring land swaps is a policy designed to create a war. Now that surrounding Arab nations are no longer restrained by Dictators there will be no stopping the bloodshed.

    May 23, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
  55. Bill from Clinton, Maryland

    There's no satisfying Israel. Can't live with them, can't live without them.

    May 23, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
  56. Ed from MD

    I think it's like telling the people of Arizona that we're going back to pre-Columbus borders. I can see where people might get pissed off.

    May 23, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
  57. ken, atlantic city, nj

    No obama is not making relations with israel worse. Obama and congress are owned by aipac, so it is a one way relationship, the israel way. There will never be any sanctions, or no fly zones against israel no matter what they do the palestinians. The u.s. policy is give them billions and defend them no matter what they do.

    May 23, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
  58. Eve Lemon

    Through AIPAC, Israel buys our politicians, just like corporations, unions, etc. They get more foreign aid than other countries. They spy on us, bombed the warship the Liberty during the Egypt war, and do little for the US. Obama isn't kissing their butts, like other presidents have. Good for him. Eve of Texas

    May 23, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  59. Robert Mohr

    I think the President is right in directly addressing the "800 Pound Gorilla" in the room by bringing up the 1973 borders. I recognize that Israel needs defensible borders, but if they are not even willing to discuss them in hopes of finding a compromise, how can they expect the Palistinians to support Israel's right to exist.

    May 23, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  60. Josh from New Orleans

    I think that Israel has been taking advantage of America's relationship to do almost anything they want against the Palestinians and Obama is
    calling them out on this. If anything is making the situation worse, it's the lack of compromise in the peace process.

    May 23, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  61. Jenny from Nanuet, NY

    No-HE'S not making U.S.-Israeli relations worse.-YOU (and others in the media) are. You're falsely reporting on what Obama said on Thursday. He included the "land swaps" on Thursday-not just in his speech to AIPAC. He just said out loud what U.S. policy has been since at least the Clinton administration. If he weren't Black and his middle name weren't "Hussein," there'd be no uproar from anyone-including Netenyahu.

    May 23, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
  62. Cliff Glass - Rego Park, New York


    The only mistake that Presidenrt Obama made was in not establishing ground rules for the Palestinians and neighboring Arab countries.
    First, accept Israels right to exist, second, remove all anti-Semitic teachings from school textbooks, and third, establish diplomatic relations with Israel. Even baby steps toward peace begin with human decency and respect. It's time for the Arab nations to realize that.

    May 23, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
  63. lou

    Obama isn't going to coddle Israel like so many other politicians do. I think he is doing it for their own safety. With the uprising in the region and Israel's friends growing smaller, the writing is on the wall for them. They have to come to the table before it gets blown away by the impending neighbors.

    May 23, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
  64. Alex in Bremerton, WA

    President Obama still supports Israel as he jumps into the decades long peace process like many American presidents before him. I find it amazingly hypocritical for the right-wing to go ballistic over the SAME negotiating points proposed by President Bush when he attempted Mideast peace late in his administration. (Roll the tape!)

    May 23, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  65. Dennis north carolina

    No, but Obama is trying to start peace talks which each president in my life time has tried to do with out results. We can blame both sides on why peace has not happen but over sixty years some form of peace should have happen. We want peace but if the two parties will not talk than we should rethink our part in the situation.

    May 23, 2011 at 4:25 pm |

    Yes, he is.
    The Jews have been persecuted for as long as anyone can remember. Many Israelis lost thier lives trying to protect thier homeland from surrounding countries and against all odds Israel fought them off bravely. It is a small country surrounded by people who hate them for no good reason.
    Who are we to say Israel should give the land back to Palestine, after all it was thier sons and daughters who gave thier lives while fighting them off. The Palestinians kill Israelis indiscriminately by lobby rockets over the fence, Hell I wouldn't give anything back either.

    May 23, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  67. Tom Mytoocents Fort Lauderdale, Florida


    Remember the USS Liberty? Never forget!!!

    May 23, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
  68. Kevo in New Mexico

    Israel and Palestine need to get it together, it's gone on long enough. Palestine is here today and will be tomorrow, Israel is here today and will be tomorrow, and we all have the right to exist. Obama's heart is in the right place but if he wants to improve relations, he's on the wrong track.

    May 23, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
  69. Kirdes

    Honesty has a way of angering those with other ideas, or no ideas, or not want change. You say he said what is US position though seldom stated.

    May 23, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  70. robsea69

    Perhap,s the question needs to be framed differently: IS AMERICA BETTER OFF FOR AMMENDING ITS POLICY WITH ISRAEL?

    Do we consider Israel an ally? Sure. But hasn't the relationship been a little one-sided? We give and Israel takes. Other than the fact that Israel represents the lone democracy in the ME, what tangible benefits accrue to the US over this relationship?

    Meanwhile, beginning with the period after the Munich Olympics, how many American lives have been lost, how much money have we spent to preserve this relationship, how much productivity and potential trade have we lost and how much higher are the prices we pay for practically everything, because of the ubiquitious nature of oil?

    I am not making a value judgement. I am asking a question. In terms of lives lost and dollars spent, is there a ceiling on how much America needs to invest to keep Israel as our ally? And since we do so much on their behalf, why can't they, at a minimum, arrive at the bargaining table without an untenable set of preconditions. That said, I agree that they should not negotiate with Hamas, until Hamas recognizes, Israel's right to exist. But people, Israel, is the big boy on the block, they are the democracy and they should set the example, instead of the implementing the worn out tit-for-tat strategies that continue to alienate them, from the rest of the world.

    May 23, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
  71. Bit

    Well, let's just wait and see Jack. Since the world didn't come to an end Saturday, and President Obama didn't get the blame for it, there's still hope for U.S. and Israel.

    Prattville Alabama

    May 23, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  72. sheila

    No, he's not making it worse but what would both sides actually find mutually agreeable? Sounds like an impossible situation to begin with.

    May 23, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  73. Cousin Vinny in Connecticut

    He's making it much worse. Israel is our closest friend and strongest ally in the Middle East, yet he constantly shows a complete lack of respect for Israel and its people while trying to 'cozy up' to Israel's and our enemies. Remember when Netanyahu came to DC a while back and Obama had him come in the back entrance to the White House, had no state dinner (Obama actually left him downstairs when he went upstairs to have dinner with Michelle and the kids! BTW, that incident wasn't widely reported by the so called 'mainstream media' Surprise!)
    Good for Netanyahu for scolding Obama on Friday! We need to support him and Israel 110%! Obama doesn't have a clue!

    May 23, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  74. Mike Savage

    No..... he is not making relations between the u.s. and Israel worse..... anything that will start the negotiations going could and should be used including the anything that previously got the negotiations going.... the negotiations should be ongoing and should remain ongoing ( as does the UN ) and should not stop until all parties in the Middle East, first Israel and the Palestinians and when that is settled then all the of the countries of the Middle East should all get together, including Iran, and set up their own Middle East U.N. subsidiary to take on all local matters especially terrorism....... if all of the Middle Eastern countries got together on that matter there would be no organized terrorism.

    May 23, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  75. David Scott Doherty

    Gee I hope He doesn't damage our relationship with Israel, what on earth would we do with all that money? Lets see since 1946 we've given them $156 billion plus between 1974 and 2003 $45 billion in waived loans. Thats over $200 billion, I know the US. considers Israel one our greatest allies in the middle east, but besides using all that money to buy politican favors, what else have they done to deserve all that money? I know this won't be read on the air, it's to honest and might actually enlighten some people, and that should be left up too actual news outlets.
    Dave from peterborough, NH.

    May 23, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  76. David - Madison, WI

    Obama is not hurting our relations with Israel, Israel is. Granted, the US started it by being all-in for Israel at the expense of everyone else in the region for almost 70 years. But at this time Israel is hampering the peace process more than Hamas is by continuing to build settlements on Palestinian territory. It is high time for the US to employ the much more balanced approached that Obama is attempting to employ. Maybe then Israel's neighbors won't hate us quite so much.

    May 23, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
  77. Dave in Arizona

    Perhaps, but at this point so what, it's all a dog and pony show. Israel continues to steal land by just moving into it. Sounds like what Mexico is doing here in America.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  78. Linda in Charleston, SC

    Dare we talk honestly and frank about the situation that is going on between Israel and the Palestines? If so maybe it would have been better for him to cuddle them and talk around truth. Sorry to say either way nothing will be accomplished, so Jack the answer is no.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  79. Karl in Flint

    Worse, better, who knows, who cares? Obama is telling it like it is. These tribes have been battling since biblical times and have no intention of stopping now. We all know Israel isn’t stupid enough to go nuclear on anyone but they will keep pushing everyone’s buttons. The only reason our politicians kiss up to Israel is for the Jewish vote here at election time. The peace agreements between the two sides that were struck here with several past presidents have fallen apart before the representatives could get from Camp David to the airport to go back home. Israel was given borders in 1967 and has been land grabbing ever since. It’s time for the UN to earn its salt and put Israel in its original place, circa 1967.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
  80. Gigi Oregon

    No. In order to have peace in the middle East you must have a "Peace Maker". He reminds me more of President Carter and look at his record. To often the US shows more tolerance to Israel than to the Arab world unless that is, they have more oil. And remember his pole ratings rating are not bad. The biggest problem with the Obama's speeches on the middle East is the arm chair quarter backing of the press.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
  81. Curt, Avon, Indiana

    Jack, our president should have handed the Israeli president a ham sandwich and shown him the back door. The people who have lost everything in our southern states should be taken care of FIRST rather than the rest of the world.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
  82. Randy

    Hopefully! This one way friendship has cost the u.s. Hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars and untold soldiers' lives. What exactly does Israel do for us again?

    May 23, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  83. Sean

    If he was trying to disuade a vote in the U.N. for Palestinian statehood, his statements were the worst possible arguement against it. Israel has been a long-standing ally and this isn't the first time Obama created a rift there. Can we go back to when bin Laden was killed and we all felt that the president might have some foreign policy chops? Fleeting, but comforting.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
  84. Hafeezah (Utah)

    Parents (America) only want the best for their kids and a little scolding helps them become better. I really hope Israel grows up! Babies are very forgiving so the US-Israeli relationship will continue and not get any worse.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
  85. Michael Bindner, Alexandria, VA

    He is making them more real, which is ultimately an improvement.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  86. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    No one is making this situation worse other than the two direct parties.

    Obama lives in the here and now while the Israelis and Palestinians live life 3000 years ago. And nothing can ever move forward with thinking from generations ago.

    As the quip goes: tradition is the living faith of dead people whereas traditionalism is the dead faith of living people. The world is much to full of traditionalism.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  87. Paulette in Dallas,PA

    The UN should set up an arbitrary border and insist that since Israel and Palsetine cannot come to agreement on this subject the the UN and it's members have decided for them. This is it–obide by the borders.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  88. Laura

    Yes, I believe he is. There was already some skepticism about Obama as regards Israel. Instead of alleviating that he only made it worse. It's just not "kosher" to put another world leader on the spot like that. If he feels that the 1967 lines are the starting point, then use that as your starting point in private talks. Of course Netanyahu responded in kind by "educating" the President on camera. With all that's going on in the middle east and no one knowing how all this change will effect these countries (particularly Egypt) and Israeli it's the wrong time to expect Israeli to basically put all her chips on the table before the Palestinians even ante up.
    Hawthorne, CA

    May 23, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  89. Ralph Spyer

    How much time and money has the U.S. spent on Israel ? Jewish terrorist place a bomb in the King David hotel, when the state of Israel attack the USS liberty and killed Americans .How many Americans Jews have been caught working for the Israeli government ? 27 million Russian were killed in WW2 so they are not as special as they think.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  90. Justin

    Yes he is. Obama told the Israeli Prime Minster to give up the the land. That is disrespectful I thought the U.S. was supposed to support an allied country not go against them.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  91. Mr. D

    Well, anyone that does not give Israel what it wants is making relations worse. Frankly, Israel takes up too much of the world's time and energy.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  92. Thinker23

    YES, Obama is making US relations with Israel worse for several reasons. First, his position that peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians should begin with the pre-1967 borders is plainly wrong. The peace talks CAN NOT BEGIN WITHOUT END OF HOSTILITIES AND MUTUAL RECOGNITION. This means that the starting point for peace talks should be Palestinian recognition of Israel (Israel recognized an Arab state in Palestine since 1948) and mutual declaration of the end of hostilities. Second, Obama's statement about return to '67 lines encouraged the Palestinians and other Arabs to make even greater demands as now they believe that '67 borders are already in their pocket.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  93. Tony Leadon

    No. It is a reality check!

    May 23, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  94. Alex

    I'm sure President Obama is making U.S.-Israeli relations worse but that shouldn't be the question. The question should be, "Why is the United States even involved in this conflict?" The reality is that there wasn't a single act of Arab terrorism against American before 1968 right after LBJ dedicated the U.S. to being the chief backer of Israel. Our support for Israel is the best recruiting tool that radical Muslim terrorist leaders use to recruit their foot soldiers to carry out attacks against Americans. I have nothing against Israel but we can't sacrifice American security any longer to protect that nation. It's just not worth it.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  95. Joe, CA

    How many soldiers has Israel sent to help the war effort in Iraq and Afghanistan? It's time the US spent more time securing US interests rather than Israeli interests. The world is a different place than it was six months ago. If the Israelis don't realize that, then I just don't know what to say.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  96. Bruce Bishop

    Jack, no he's not making them worse, he's destroying them. Once again he is proving that he has no idea whats going on, then again he apologized to the Arab world just a short time ago! He b=would be better off staying at home!

    May 23, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  97. rick in california

    Who cares. Israel has been a thorn in our paw for years. They don't want peace. All they know is war. They continue to use the holocaust as an excuse for every warlike act they commit. Time to cut them loose along with every other Mideast country. Let em all kill each other off. Saves us the trouble.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  98. Old Redneck

    US Middle Eastern policy should no longer be held hostage to what Hitler did two generations ago. It's time we take a hard-headed stance toward Israel. After all, the only reason we care about the Mid East is oil - and Israel has none. As for Obama's 1967 borders comment, he is only stating what has been US policy for decades.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  99. Linda

    Yes he is. Why couldn't he say that the Palestinians had to accept the right of Israel to exist before there will be any negotiations???

    May 23, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  100. Ed Fertik

    Of course he is Jack. What nerve! Can you imagine if an Israeli leader suggested the America should give Texas back to Mexico as a starting point on immigration negotiations! Obama has done nothing well except getting himself elected.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  101. iris marks

    Absolutely, this is total Obama who truly could not care about Israel. The first thing he should have said....with Hamas & Fatah now one united group, who invented "suicide bomber" "forgetaboutit"...no way, no negotiations, no US Funding to Fatah...zero. We defend Israel. period.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  102. mitch

    Why do we even care about them. Let them fight it out themselves.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  103. Gabriel West

    we have the Israelis in a complete state of military and economic dependency – and yet they are calling the tune, and not Washington. What’s up with that?

    What’s up is the Israelis have a singularly powerful lobby in the US, which wields such political clout that no politician can afford to cross them. We are living in a country where the chief executive must constantly look over his shoulder and worry that Congress will support the position of a foreign leader over the President of the United States. As Pat Buchanan so memorably – and correctly – put it, Congress is “Israeli-occupied territory.”
    I Tell the Zionists to stop destroying our country

    May 23, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  104. Gail in Denver

    Does it worsen relations to tell your spouse how you really feel? America is married to Israel. I think it is progress to be stating our feelings honestly. We have some chance of coming to a better understanding of one another.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  105. Jimbo

    Maybe a better question would be: "do we really care?"

    May 23, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  106. Randy Lesseps

    Yes, he is making everything much worse.
    RL Georgetown, TX

    May 23, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  107. mike E

    Obama is standing up for America and everyone else in the world interested in peace. I dont understand why we care so much. Isreal is one of the only counties in the middle east who we dont need something from. I say lets get behind the ones with the oil and is that bothers Isreal then too bad. Isreal is not America.

    I always wondered why GW Bush liked Isreal so much. it was as if he was going to retire there and spend his golden years


    May 23, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  108. Steve, Sarasota, FL

    The American Jewish community broke for President Obama by 4 to 1 in 2008. He'll be lucky if that ratio is inversed in 2012. The Jews have finally woken up. Why has he not visited Israel since his election? Duh??

    May 23, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  109. David Sher

    President Clinton is reported to have said that Mr. Netanyahu seems to think he represents the superpower. Netanyahu is so extreme that there is nothing the US can do to improve relations except to capitulate.


    May 23, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  110. Haris D

    Is Obama building Illegal Jewish settlements ? Is Obama rejecting all peace talks ? Blame Neten-Yahoo. The same Neten-Yahoo who called the 9/11 attacks a 'Good event'

    May 23, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  111. clay Florida

    Israel has made it worse for themselves and the palestenians have not helped much, they need to put on their big boy clothes and do something for the future of their generations and stop blaming their problems on everyone else. Why does the Right Wing say it is unpatriotic to stand with another country untill they choose to stand there. Hypocricy at its GOP finest.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  112. David

    What you're witnessing is political theater. I'm not saying Obama and Netanyahu have a warm relationship, but I believe the recent "tension" is partly staged for the benefit of the Arab world. It's designed to show Obama as an honest broker, and it just might work. Nothing else has.

    New York

    May 23, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  113. Harry Harrington

    We give Israel billions every year, and they keep telling us what to do. How long do we have to endure this?
    Tell them to either get with the program or cut them off.
    Let's see how they talk to another American president.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  114. Jeff Dwiggins

    President Obama's lack of foreign policy experience is severely penalizing the US as well as Israel. I struggle with how he can throw Israel in front of the train without understanding the consequences. Israel was aggressively attacked. The 1967 borders were lost the moment aggression was committed against Israel. To the winner goes the spoils.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  115. Haris D

    How much time and money has the U.S. spent on Israel ? Jewish terrorist place a bomb in the King David hotel, when the state of Israel attack the USS liberty and killed Americans .How many Americans Jews have been caught working for the Israeli government ? 27 million Russian were killed in WW2 so they are not as special as they think.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  116. Judy in Colorado

    Yes, relations with Israel will probably worsen but it's about time that someone stood up to them, especially Netanyahu who is a warmongering hawk . . . we should stop being their sugar daddies and giving them billions of dollars only to have their tanks (actually OUR tanks) destroy a refugee camp near Bethlehem several years back, killing hundreds of women and children. They have become as arrogant and pushy as we are.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  117. Joe

    Does a cat have a tail? Does it take two to tango? You're joking right?

    May 23, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  118. Robert Weinraub

    President Obama seems to be completely out of the reality on the ground and seemingly not interested in history. All he is thinking now are the next elections and the need for the jewish vote. At this pace he will be happy to get 10% of that vote. It is difficult to get it right, but the arabs have enormous quantities of land except that nobody among them cares for the palestinians.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  119. Joseph O'Hara

    No, Jack, it's not President Obama who is the problem. Netanyahu, on the other hand, would welcome a Republican president and knows that Obama is not particularly popular back home is Israel. He was a conservative when he lived here, and his policies and positions in Israel continue to be hard right. He knows full well that the pre-1967 borders with land swaps has been the American position for a generation. Netanyahu wanted to pick this fight because it plays well back home and it fits the narrative the Republicans want here.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  120. TJB

    Yes is is making it worst. The American people will continue to support Israel, not the Palestinians. They can't and won't go back 44 years, just because Obama thinks it is a good idea.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  121. Marc

    I think the U.S. has had to deal with a lot of trouble due to Israel,yet when we ask them to help by talking to the Palestinians,they spit in our faces,dismiss our concerns and cause no end of trouble for the US overseas.The questions should be "Why does the US continue to support Israel?" Seems like a one-sided friendship that we as Americans get the short end of the stick.It is time for Israel to pay what they owe to the USA!

    May 23, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  122. Cathy

    Absolutely! He gave ammunition to the UN, Europe, and other Israel haters. He removed a bargaining chip from Israel's arsenal. He has lost my vote.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  123. Chris

    Worse? The question should be Why are we so dedicated to Israel? We should catch along with the rest of the world and side with the occupied palestinians.. they are as much as freedom fighters and democracy seekers then egypt...lybia and tunisia combined... but its not known to us Americans... 5.5 billion dollars a year to Israel? For what? To kill palestinians .. make them suffer for being palestinians?

    May 23, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  124. Doug

    The president is not making US-Israeli relations worse, Netenyahu is. He is an extremeist who has no desire to work toward a peace settlement, although that is not true for many of the jewish people.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  125. vivfrom NY

    To be a peace maker you can not side with one side. So who cares he saying what he thinks and trying to get them to work something out.. Our always siding with Israel is what causes problems . Now let them work things out .

    May 23, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  126. Bob

    Yes he is. And since he is on the kick to recognize the Palestine people...what's our issue with Cuba? We forgave pretty much everyone else in the world including North Vietnam.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  127. Tom

    Jack, administrations come and go, and positions and views change. It is true for the U.S. and it is true for Israel. Netanyahou is one of the hardest-line PMs in recent history in my opinion. Obama may be a good counter to that.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  128. Alton Bledsoe

    The answer depends on if you are an Obama backer and have some distorted idea from the bible that the nation of Israel really matters in modern fulfillment of prophesy. The truth is that every nation, the US, the nation of Israel, and every other nation are considered the film on the scales by the bible compared to God's Kingdom. So, Jack, who cares?

    May 23, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  129. J. Trenchard

    There can be no doubt. Obama is acting like he is on the side of Palistinians. Irish my foot!

    May 23, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  130. Randy

    I think its time we just buy the Palestinians a beautiful set of Islands in the South Pacific and let them enjoy life instead of fighting over a bunch of desert and rocks. It is idiocy to fight over something started by people living 2000 years ago. If the people in the Middle East knew that the earth was round and that wonderful lands like America were available to settle in when they started these fights they would have taken off for a better way of life. When will these people including the Jewish people grow up and live in a world based on today's knowledge and science instead of customs started by tribes of nomads with goats and sheep and no knowledge that the universe goes on forever.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  131. John

    Yes – he is showing a clear basis in favor of the Arabs and their terrorist allies.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  132. Haris D

    Israel blew up the USS Liberty,attacked US Installations in Egypt. Israel spies more on the US , then even the Soviets did during the height of the cold war. And you blame Obama ?

    May 23, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  133. Barbara Lesko

    No, President Obama is not "making worse" the relations with Israel it is their right-wing government that is being short-sighted and unreasonable. I am tired of Israel's biting the hand that feeds them the $2 billion they have been getting in foreign aid from the U.S. for the last forty or more years.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  134. diane

    Thanks for pointing out that President Obama isn't the first President to try this stance....just in case the pundits blame him for that, too. Peace in Israel will never happen unless there is compromise...on BOTH sides...at this point, after all these years....when will it end?

    May 23, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  135. Jim Roker

    There will not be peace in the middle east till the twin issues of borders and settlements are solved.

    Israel is wrong on both issues, has been wrong on both issues, and will continue to be wrong on both issues.

    Yes Israelis will take this as a personal attack.

    If our goal is to keep enabling a friend to continue their self destructive behavior then yes Obama has made a mistake.

    But if we want peace in the region it is time to quit ignoring reality and start making our friends deal with some hard truths.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  136. Wesley

    Yes the president is definitely making things worse he did a good job with the bin laden raid but now I think he is letting it go to his head and sticking his nose where it doesn't belong. He is to focused on other country's and not putting enough of his attention here at home at one of our more difficult times!

    May 23, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  137. Les Milne

    No...President Obama is not making relations with Israel worse. He is being honest and direct with them, dispite our past dealings with them with previous Presidents. He is also looking out for the interests of the USA.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  138. Fred

    Israel doesn't seem to care if we are a friend of theirs, so why should we? Our friendship with them seems to be one way – THEIR way.

    Surfside Beach, SC

    May 23, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  139. Cheryl

    Of course he has made it worse. Israel is our only "true" friend in the Middle East and he is doing everything he can to destroy that relationship. The Arabs hate us. When is he going to get it???
    He claims to be a Christian so he should read the Bible and see that God has given that land to the Jews. God said he would bless those who bless Israel. Mr. Cafferty, you need to be asking why Obama is so pro-Arab. That is the question.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  140. George in Arlington, VA

    Anyone who really knows the score knows that Obama has nothing to do with this. Israeli settlers and others committed to a "greater Israel" want the West Bank and, more importantly, the water under it and cannot make themselves let go of that unreachable aspiration.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  141. Jeff Dwiggins

    President Obama's lack of foreign policy experience is severely penalizing the US as well as Israel. I struggle with how he can throw Israel in front of the train without understanding the consequences. Israel was aggressively attacked. The 1967 borders were lost the moment aggression was committed against Israel. To the winner goes the spoils.

    Jeff D.
    Edmond, OK

    May 23, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  142. Susan from Idaho

    If telling it like it is makes it worse so be it. If the shoe fits Israel wear it.
    Discretion is the better part of valor. I think Israel needs to go scratch it's mad spot.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  143. Ilspartano

    No. Presidetn Obama is not making relations worse with Israel. The Prime Minister is. President Obama is doing what many presidents before him should have done: Tell Israel that the US has other interests beyond our spoiled little sister, which is Israel. Israel is as much to blame for its predicament as are the Palestinians. It is clear that the present Prime Minister of Israel is not interested in making peace and finds it ftting to inflame the Jewish American lobby against President Obama. It is about time someone stood up to the Israelis.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  144. dave in nashville

    No, he is finally the first to get everyone's attention on the broken record of "peace talks" between Palestine and Israel.
    It's been a decades old joke, maybe now they'll actually figure out a punch line, pun intended.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  145. Terry

    Just like everything else he touches......it get's worse. I don't believe he still gets a grip that he is President of the U.S.A. not a King of the World. Truthfully, he has an agenda and he flat out doesn't care about Americans. While our country is flooding away or being blown away by tornados the media shows him having a great time sweet talking the Irish and Poles. Do they realize what a disgrace he is in the minds of over 3/4 of Americans? 2012 can't come soon enough

    May 23, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  146. Jackie Wolf

    The U.S. helped world jews find a home and they were thrilled to get it. Now, after hogging all the land they can get from a helpless people, they want more and more while biting the hand that has fed them for 60 years. I don't think we should give them another dime or weapons they can use against Palestinians.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  147. Dee, florida

    Just another way of him destroying our country – one step at a time. First, financially – now diplomatically.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  148. Ashley Christopher Leach

    President Obama is not making relations with Israel worse; he's making them practical. Not since Jimmy Carter has a US President stood up so openly against Israel's illegal occupation of Palestinian Territory. Hopefully, American popular opinion will change, and the US will begin to view the Middle East problem equitably rather than turning a blind eye to the egregious acts committed by Israel. President Obama is stepping in the right direction when he argues for pre-67 borders.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  149. Frank W

    No, Israel's problem (as usual) is that it is not willing to compromise for the sake of achieving peace and stability for it's people. What's new! Maybe the young citizens of Israel may someday get it right. Everyone has to be willing to "give a little" if they hope to get anything in return!
    Frank W., Riverhead, N.Y.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  150. Phil Cashier

    First let me say that the US has a moral responsibility to guarantee Israel's security. However, I do not believe that Pres. Obama is making relations worse. That falls squarely on the Israelis and the Palestinians. Ever since a UN resolution created the state of Israel the Israelis have been taking more and more land from the Palestinians and are continuing to do so with the settlements expansion. And since that time the majority of Palestinians have refused to recognize Israel's right to exists peacefully. For years both Democratic and Republican presidents have tried to broker agreements and neither side has consistently demonstrated a willingness to compromise. It's about time Western nations recognize that a solution may have to be imposed on the Israelis and the Palestinians.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  151. Ana Garassini

    In his speech last week, before the speech to AIPAC, Pres. Obama clearly said that the basis for negotiation should be the pre-1967 borders AFTER MUTUALLY AGREED LAND SWAPS. This has been the position of US policy since Pres. Clinton.. What other borders would one use? The current status quo, under an occupied wrest bank? Not even Israelies want that.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  152. Albert gunn

    Yes.We need to but out.Ron Paul is right.We need to keep out of foreign country's disputes.We also need to stop borrowing money from China to hand it out all over the world.This country has too many problems for us to be the village mr. Fixit for the world.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  153. John

    No obama is not making relations with israel worse. Obama and congress are owned by aipac, so it is a one way relationship, the israel way. There will never be any sanctions, or no fly zones against israel no matter what they do the palestinians. The u.s. policy is give them billions and defend them no matter what they do.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  154. Gary Fuchs

    Making relations worse between the US and Israel? Probably. But anytime a US president suggests that what the current Israeli government wants is something different from what our own leaders think best the howling begins. I'm happy to have a president who can look beyond domestic political calculations and take the risks necessary to move beyond reflexive support for the State of Israel and the agenda of its expansionist leaders. Imagine a US president visiting Israel and dressing down an Israeli PM at a photo-op. The arrogance of Benjamin Netanyahu never ceases to amaze me. Chutzpah!!

    May 23, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  155. Derrick in Redondo Beach, CA

    Jack, i honestly don't care about Israel. We are America not a shill for Israel. Both sides, Israelis and Palestinians, need to stop acting childish and make substantial compromise. Both sides need to give on all issues. It can't be one-sided. The other option is death and bloodshed. One side refusing to budge has not worked and will never work. If both sides refuse to compromise we should cut ties with both.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  156. Bob Meyers

    I hope he is. I've been at a loss for years as to why the US engages in such blatant ass kissing of Israel. It's about time the US made clear that our national interests come first for Americans. If peace is ever to come to the region the Israelis have to be willing to compromise and less hard line.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  157. Carole in West Palm Beach

    Yes, President Obama is making things worse. Obviously, no one in the Obama administration yhas researched the history of Israel. Israel did not receive the original borders proposed under the Balfour Declaration. The pre- 1967 War borders were indefensible. Israel cannot and will not agree to returning to those borders which would certainly lead to the destruction of the jewish State. In the words of Golda Meir: There will never be peace until the Arabs love their children more than they hate us."

    May 23, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  158. Michael

    The president seems to always favor islam or the palestinians over Israel or Christians I sometimes wonder if this president is a Christian. Israel is the only democratic country over there and they are our allies. It is ashame that the president and congress is selling out because of arab oil. I am an african american and this president has to go. I don't like the way he treats Israel. Obama kiss your re-election good bye!

    May 23, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  159. Joe Hanon

    The right question is : Is Netanyahoo making Us-Israel relations worse?

    May 23, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  160. Ellen Wall

    It's not about Obama making things worse. Obama is trying very hard to get the peace process going. It seems there's always a problem before anything even gets started! People are tired of this. Let's have some negotiation; it's about time.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  161. Ryan W.

    We give Israel billions every year, and they keep telling us what to do. How long do we have to endure this?
    Tell them to either get with the program or cut them off.
    Let's see how they talk to another American president.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  162. Jay Sheffer

    Tough love. Good friends tell each other the truth...for a change.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  163. Marion

    President Obama is acting as a good friend should. When a friend is headed in the wrong direction, a good friend will assure him of his support but let him know he is heading to disaster. That takes courage and honesty, which our President continues to demonstrate. We should all be very proud! We support our Jewish friends but, true to our values, and in their best interests, we must be honest brokers.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  164. Diane

    A simple, yet emphatic: YES

    May 23, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  165. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Israel has put our military men and women in danger with no thought about their relationship to the U.S. and we stood by them without an apology. We have a committment to our military men and women just like Israel has to it's people.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  166. Frank A

    After decades of violence, bloodshed and mayhem, we should commend the President for calling out the obvious.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  167. Louis R Z

    No Israel thinks they are the chosen one and the American people to obey and pay for their friendship. I'm glad the United States takes a neutral stand. We owe Israel no special treatment. It's about time a President tell the American people the truth about Israel.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  168. Dorett

    No, the Israeli Prime Minister is. President Obama said nothing on Thursday that Netanayhu has not heard before. He is Israel's biggest obstacle to peace. While he was getting petulant with the President on Friday, his coherts were inaugurating 1500 new apartments in East Jerusalem. He cannot be trusted.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  169. Brent in NY

    I think the President is right in directly addressing the "800 Pound Gorilla" in the room by bringing up the 1973 borders. I recognize that Israel needs defensible borders, but if they are not even willing to discuss them in hopes of finding a compromise, how can they expect the Palistinians to support Israel's right to exist.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  170. raymond green

    you have become the united states of israel. you are terrified to stand up to israel.netanyahou is your dictator,by the i am a jew.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  171. Jerry, Wisconsin

    No Jack. It's just international posturing, yah du, yah du, yah du. It would take more than words.to break our bond with Israel. The 1967 line is only a starting point for negotiation. In a few weeks it will all be forgotten.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  172. terence

    Israel relations are at the lowest i have ever seen with the USA. Israel should tell Obama to give the whole west coast to the palestinians and then Israel will give the West Bank back afterwards. This would be what it amounts to us doing the same thing as Obama wants to do to Israel. How dumb can one president be? Sorry i voted for him!
    Terence, Piscataway, nj

    May 23, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  173. Kevin, Uniontown, Pa.

    Yes, he is making our relations with Israel worse... and bless him for it. They are our only true enemy in this world. The influence of the Zionists and their lackeys is at once disgusting and repulsive. I refuse to be ruled by foreign bankers. Congress is on notice... ZOG will go!

    May 23, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  174. Bobbi from L.A.

    No, I think the President is saying exactly what's been discussed in the U.S. for many years. Even Israel knows they must give up and begin again, bartering with the Palestinians with land Israel has conquered and built upon, in order to reach peace and a fair, 2-nation region. Sadly, though, Israel believes that God "gave them the land" thousands of years ago, and they're only reclaiming it. If there's a God who said that, way back then, then God should make an appearance... Otherwise, the peace process is futile, because Israel isn't going to give up any land to the Palestinians, and we all know the Palestinians are never going to recognize Israel as a legitimate nation because it was given to them by the Western Nations after WWII. I think peace is hopeless, and we can either give up helping Israel fight its battles and allow them to stand on their own, or we can continue giving them planes, arms, and billions of dollars while America just wastes away. And no, I'm not an anti-semite; I have a son who converted and lives in Jerusalem. I hear both sides of the coin, every day. I just don't see either side ever giving in to the other.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  175. Michael

    Yes. And deliberately so.

    He is more interested in peace in his time rather than a peaceful and long life for the Jewish people of the Jewish State of Israel.

    He wants the legacy of being the President who ordered the Navy Seals to kill Osama and who can claim he was the father of new state named Palestine controlled wittingly by a terrorist organization.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  176. jack edwards

    No country on earth recognizes the lands seized by Israel in the 1967 War. Let us hope that most of these countries grant complete recognition to a Palestianian State in September based on those lands seized whether the U.S. does or not. We are the only country in the world that is preserving Israeli's ethnic cleansing its way to a perminent state of Apartheid.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  177. Barbara

    I believe President Obama has finally "met his match" in Benjamin Netinyahu...who doesn't "cower" with the mention of U.S. Aid....like every other country does!
    The President seems to think we voted him into being the "President of the World"....rather than just the United States.
    We understand there are certain "foreign" responsibilities involved in that job...but there's an old saying where I come from:
    "Clean your OWN closets before you go off to clean everybody ELSE's"!
    Seems are "closets" are pretty damn messy...wouldn't ya say????

    May 23, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  178. ray nolan

    The Israeli-Palestininan conflict is the key to U.S. diplomacy in the region. It constitutes the key impediment to relations with various countries in the region.
    The Isrealis have thumbed their noses at the region and the world by a deliberate policy of illegal new settlements in the captured areas as an attempt at defacto claim to permanent possession. This behavior should not be allowed to succeed. Those communities should revert to Palestinian control.
    That being said, the Israelis need security, and some adjustments on the 1972 borders may be appropriate as a security buffer
    Ray, Oregon

    May 23, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  179. Brent

    This is ridiculous! You can't have a rational discussion about Israel without being ripped by the media and so called Israel supporters. Why is no one questioning Netanyahu's insane overreaction. All Obama did was state a fact known by all past presidents that any border deal would be based on the 67 lines, not the exact lines themselves. Any one who truly cares about the future of Israel should be pleading with them to stop settling the west bank or they will no longer be the beacon of democracy in the middle east. They well become an apartheid state.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  180. Kathy, Port St. Lucie, FL

    Yes! His inexperience and lack of leadership is so apparent to me. I'm the mother of four, grandmother to three and I think I could lead our country better than President Obama.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  181. Brandon George

    The peace process has to start someplace. Israel has to be prepared to give up something. It insists that Jerusalem is off the table, the return of refugee's are off the table, and the return of all the land it got from the 1967 war is impossible. My issue is what is left? What kind of peace process starts and ends with absolutes? The Israel's are not serious if they can't be flexible. Peace requires peace makers. Bibi isn't a serious peace maker. And attacking President Obama for being bold enough to at least suggest a point at which a dialogue can start is just plain rude. It's insulting to America and to America cititzens the way the President of the United States was treated in the Oval Office.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  182. Sally

    While I love and respect the people of Israel, when did they become a state, terrirtory, or province of the United States. I think it is time that they acted like good neighbors in their region and play fair. I am proud that President Obama has a mind of his own and does not walk lock and step with the same old way of thinking, which has brought not one peace treaty. He is a thinker and a pragmatist with a steady hand, the peace process must be fair. Israel has never demonstrated a sense of fairness in their actions in the region. They must decide if they will continue to be the bullies of the middle east or live in peace with their neighbors. If they make a decision to continue as bullies then they need to travel that road alone and not with my tax dollars.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  183. Yomi

    The truth is that both Israel and Plaestine make the peace agreement more difficult if they are not willing to negotiate like adults. Obama or any US president can not arm twist either side. As long their is no willingness on both side people will hide behind US/Israel relationship for their own failures in fostering peace as neighbors.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  184. tom

    If ever thing seen fine all time why is obama trying to memm that up if it not broke don't fix it

    May 23, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  185. Robert Zuniga

    The President is sticking ti his guns by stateing what is fair. If that is not to the likeing of the Netanyahu regime then tuff.
    Isreal has been the spoiled brat of the middle east for to long. It's time they stop abusing there cozy relationship with the US and do what's right.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  186. Ken Jacobs

    Yes. Asking a country to go back to it's 1967 boundaries and put it in a position of not being able to defend itself is nuts. Would the US like to give back Texas since we won it as a result of a war?

    May 23, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  187. Linda Williams

    No, I don't think so. But if asking for fundamental fairness is putting a strain in the relationship, then perhaps the problem is with Israel. Perhaps, Israel only want partners that will agree with every deed committed by Israel even if wrong.

    I think the US should rethink its relationship with Israel and just get out of the middle east conflict.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  188. Dave Stafford

    The relations between the U.S. and Israel are becoming worse because of Netanyahu (Sp?) not Obama. It seems that for the past 30 or so years, every time peace gets near the Israilis elect him as prime minister and he manages to derail the entire process. President Obama did not say go back to the 1967 borders, he said the 1967 borders with mutually agreed upon swaps. Israel chose to mis-interpret what he said as an excuse to try to discredit him. Our president tried to restart the process before it's too late. Israel seems to want to stay in the past in the hope that we'll continue to protect them. It's time to tell them to solve the problem, not keep reiterating their propaganda lines from the past 50 or so years.

    Dave Stafford
    Milford MI

    May 23, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  189. Ramiz

    Through AIPAC, Israel buys our politicians, just like corporations, unions, etc. They get more foreign aid than other countries. They spy on us, bombed the warship the Liberty during the Egypt war, and do little for the US. Obama isn't kissing their butts, like other presidents have. Good for him. Eve of Texas

    May 23, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  190. judy

    Why is the president trying to take a part in every country but his own?
    Israel is a small country, which has held it's own, in the most dangerous region on the world. To bring the borders back, they would have to move over 300,00 homes and people. How long will that take?

    May 23, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  191. Ross Villarreal

    Yes, he has made Us/Israeli relations worse because he is so naive and comes across as an appeaser. Remember what happen to other appeasers in history. They convey the message that they are weak to an adversary and that adversary usually ends up taking advantage of the perceived weakness. I don't see how Israel can trust the U.S. as long as the president is making comments and policies which appear to favor Israel's enemies who have not recognized their right to exist and probably never will.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  192. Sarita

    I'm happy Pres. Obama spoke so bluntly, & openly about the situation. It's about time. If Israel doesn't aggressively advance to the peace table, the Arab countries around them will sufficate them.
    Peace NOW is their only option. Obama is on target.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  193. Susan from NY

    It's about time someone mentioned the 800 lb gorilla in the room. The borders as they stand in Israel are accepted by Israel and Israel alone. If we could manage to make the Palestinians feel as if their views are being acknowledged, how much animosity and terrorism could be avoided. After all, isn't that why the Muslim world is angry with us? Because of our stance on Israel?

    May 23, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  194. Tony Fink

    The great problem with any Empire, such as our own, is that it becomes the instrument of its own satellites. Our satraps hold us hostage, and exact tribute in the form of “foreign aid” – even as the folks back home go broke. While Social Security benefits are the target of congressional budget-cutters, aid to Israel is sacrosanct. Israel have dragged us into the morrasses of the Middle East in 3 separate wars . Before Israel , USA had no enemy in Islam . The jews were kicked out of every country in the world and now are busy destroying ours .

    May 23, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  195. Dan

    Israel can and will take care of themselves. We need to keep our noses out of everybody's business and start taking care of our own.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  196. prianka mizrahi

    Why doesn't Obama give back California to Mexico ?

    May 23, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  197. Gerry

    Define 'worse'? Free from the mutual dependence, or not to the liking of Jewish-Americans? I dont know what happened in 700 BC, but unwaivering support for a country that doesnt seem to be providing us with much needs to be re-examined. Perhaps dual citizenship may be clouding OUR perspective/interests. AIPAC has a ot of influence too. The relationship seems to have hard costs and opportunity costs. How many Americans have died b/c of the 'war on terror', and why does our love of Israel always seem to be at the heart of that issue?

    May 23, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  198. Frank Goodman

    Yes. But, he is making the relations with the suppressed and oppressed people of Palestine better. Now he has a long way to go to reach equality and a fair balance between the wishes of Israel to grab Palestinian land and the Palestinians to resist it. That would be a zero sum game, where the rights of each are considered equal. Then we could tell them all that we do not give a damn and go our own ways.

    If we are fair we would tell Israel to surrender to a One State Solution and create a United State of Palestine/Israel with equality, democracy and justice for all. As the Palestinian side says, they would guarantee the right of Jews, Christians, Muslims, and all others in Palestine right now to worship in peace and equality in a state with true democracy. After about 250 years, they all would be able to sing "God Bless our Human Rights State" and live happily ever after arguing over which is true, Islam, Jesus, Israel, or Netan Yahoo.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  199. Autumn Meadows

    He is making it worse because the Islamic world is becoming more powerful. The fact is you have to entire middle east froathing from hatred of Jews and that only reason Israel has not been attacked further is that America and west spent so much resources influencing Egypt to make it neutral. WIth the arab spring all bets are off and which is why Obama is trying desperately to cater to Egpyt and not Syra. Egypt is right next to Israel if they turn Israel is great danger and most of us know it. I support Israel but I think its time is limited either way..if they did allow a palistanine state it would still by systematically attacked because palistine is NOT why Muslims hate Jews..the Quran, Hadiths and Sunnah tell them too and no Arab land will ever be allowed to be controlled by the "unbeliever"..the "Infidel" or "filthy kafir"...creating a two state solution will only slow Israels death. Israel will either be destroyed by the next caliph or the United Islamic States or bleed to death from the two state solution.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  200. Josef Meszaros

    Jack: President Obama is the leader of world democracy. As such he mayand should not accept any 'Militarily Occupied" land as part of the territory of the occupier. The border of israel and Palestine was established by UN in 1948. If both parties accept the offered "land swap' than it is a solution. Either party rejecting the new border should result in forcing the establishing of the borders drawn by the UN in 1948. End of discussion Josef.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  201. Wendy Brezin

    It is the fear of another war, coupled with the declarations by political entities such as Hamas that Israel has no right to exist and will be wiped out, that makes the border such a contentious problem. Israel retreating from Gaza led to non-stop shelling on Israeli civilians. Now try to imagine the devastation we will endure when the bombs are only 9 miles from our children's schools, our homes, our businesses, and Jewish and Christian Holy sites in Jerusalem. Would you want to live with that border?

    May 23, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  202. janice

    just another 2 party monopolized hippocrit playing the easiest role he knows, devils advocate.......might as well ask the arabs and the drub pushing pimps , to leave the women alone.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  203. Jeanne

    NO!!! Since 1967, all 9 US Presidents have told Israel that the occupation and settlements are illegal. But Israel continues to steal Palestinian land and water – knowing that the US Congress which has been bought by the Israeli Lobby will back up Israel over the Presidents of the United States. It is this very reason that enrages Muslims across the world - that rage is what cause KSM to plan Sept. 11 and present the plan to OBL who also (since he was a teenager) was enraged about the plight of the Palestinians. Pres. Truman should never have agreed to give part of Palestine to European Jews who were presecuted by European Christians. It has brought great harm to America.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  204. bob

    Seeing how the president is big on giving land back from previous wars maybe he should start here and give half the country back to the Indians we took it from. Then he can go tell Israel what to do with their land.

    Bob from NY

    May 23, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  205. Patrick in Maryland

    Jack – People are living in a fantasy World if they think the words of any American President or any other World Leader is going to influence Israeli decisions on borders. Both Hamas and Hezbollah still call for the total destruction of Israel so why should Israel consider any concessions. Israel also has to consider the crazies of IRAN and its quest for Nuclear Weapons. Israel also has to consider the control of the Jordan River. Water in the desert is more precious than oil. Obama needs to reconsider his position. If I were in Israel's shoes I would hold firm.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  206. Sam

    The real borders of Israel is when it established in 1948, whatever land it has beyond that are settlements that should be withdrawn from. For Arabs, Palestinians & Israelis to agree on a 1967 borders is a great gain for both sides, so Israel should actually be thankful for that, stop being the spoiled baby & realize the fact that that's the only way forward in peace, if it actually seeks peace. Apparently that they don't want.
    To answer your question, yes, it's making it worse, but that's the reality & they have to accept it.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  207. Ken in NC

    No. He's only saying out loud what others have said privately and it's about time.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  208. Richard

    I thought Netanyahu's comments in the recent press conference at the White House were quite instructive. I didn't know that so many Jews were kicked out of the Arab countries in 1948. It sounds like the population shift that occurred at the time of Israel's creation, when both Arabs and Jews re-located, should have been the end of it. Too bad, unlike the Jews, the Arab side didn't accept the Partition plan. Why should Israel, after decades of the Arabs trying to destroy it, give these still unabsorbed descendants anything at all? Has anyone ever looked a a modern day map of the 22 surrounding Arab countries?? I don't get it.

    Simi Valley, CA.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  209. mike E

    it is amazing how much money we pay to Isreal each year. Then we pay billions more to Jordan, Eqypt etc so they dont fight with Isreal. Not one law maker ever complains. But they stand on their soap box and talk about 2 billion in savings from Oil companies. how they are tough on spending... Lets cut foreign aid by half and see how much we save. Let the Chinese support them...

    I have a teenage son. Ill drive him to Canada before I let him die for Isreal...

    May 23, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  210. Ken J.

    Unfortunately, our President continuously proves his inexperience by undermining leaders and countries around the world, particularly in the Middle East. As an independent voter, he scares me since the ramifications of his policies in Lybia,Egypt, etc.will not be known for some time. he is making it clear to our Allies – "beware of your friends"!

    May 23, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  211. Nahla

    America has been spoiling Israel for way too long. Sometimes the truth is hard to accept. Bibi needs to stop acting like a baby and stop his whining. If we don't go back to the 67 lines then there is no sense in creating a two-state solution with whatever land is left for the Palestinian people. If you look at a map of what's left, you will realize what a big joke it is. What we really need is a bi-national state with Palestinians and Israelis living together with equal rights. From the looks of things, this solution has become more popular and that's exactly where we're heading weather Bibi likes it or not!

    May 23, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  212. fu9l

    obama seeks the desrtuction of israel look at what he is doing he is a mussilum and as a mussilum it is his duty to see israel fall his actions says it all...

    May 23, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  213. Mohammad

    Of course he is harming our relations with Israel when he is asking our best ally to return the occupied territories to the indigenous people. Why should Israel have to implement international laws when she is stronger and can have it all. Is not it betray; we gave them arms to dominate, and then ask them to respect the international laws and not occupy territories of their neighbors.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  214. J.G.

    So far the fact is, by withdrawing Israel is only bringing its enemy closer. So Obama's idea of 1967 broder is death to Israel. About land swap "where the land gone (in Arab area) those were owned by Jews before 1948"

    May 23, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  215. Steve, Clifton, VA

    I would say that President Obama has given both sides of the debate between Israel and Palestine a reason to evolve from the stalemate they have been engaged in during the past several years. President Obama has made public the forbidden truth that has secretly prevented both Israel and Palestine from holding open and public negotiations about. Both parties have been afraid to publicly address t how to modify the boundaries and issues around the 1967 baseline. President Obama has given Israel a compelling event (1967) from which to advance negotiations for peace.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  216. Jim

    NO. Friends tell the truth to eachother even when it hurts. This conflict has been going on for decades and it needs to get resolved soon if Israel wants real peace. As long as there is no Palestinian State their will be continued conflicts in the area. The palestinians were also told that you can't expect a country to make peace with you as long as you deny it's right to exist. As long as the U.S. supports Israel it WILL exist and so the Palestinians also need to change.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  217. Malek

    Obama's policy is by far the best policy for this peace process. I will vote for Obama for his policy on this matter and I am a conservative Republican who disagrees on everything else! People don't realize that many citizens of Palestine and Israel want peace but it is their respective controlling parties that do not. Every Arab nation as signed in an agreement put forward by the Prince of Saudi Arabia that will recognize the state of Israel with a two state system using the 1967 borders. There will never be peace in the middle east if a Palestinian State is not recognized because Arab nations sympathize with the Palestinians. Also Bashar Al Assad must go!!

    May 23, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  218. Wayne

    Instead of asking if President Obama is making US-Israel relations worse, perhaps you should ask why Israel has been so hostile to President Obama? One wonders if the Israeli leaders fall into the "birthers" camp.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  219. BobK from Larchmont,NY


    Barack Obama got hit by the Israeli-Palestinian buzz saw that he should have seen coming - but everything he now does can be seen through the lens of GETTING RE-ELECTED in November, 2012. He craves this job so intensely, that he will risk a Middle East confrontation between Israel and Palestinian authorities from exploding again to try and get his version of peace - for votes.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  220. Chris

    The United States is not in the position to determine Israel and Palestinian's boarders. Imagine Palestine suggesting that the US and Spain return to the boarders established before the Adams-Onís Treaty. Fixing problems within our country should be Obama's TOP priority. How can the president fix other places when he hasn't fixed home yet?

    May 23, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  221. Jeff

    It is time that we give Israel some tough love, we give them billions in foreign aid and yet we are always trying to appease them. The US-Israeli relationship is strictly a one way relationship so we shouldn't be afraid of upseting it. Obama needs to stay firm on his border demands. It is about time we get peace in Israel.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  222. Dana Georgia

    he may be making relations worse but it's time to stop mollycoddling the isreali's. both sides will have to give to make this peace process a reality but prime minister netanyahu refuses to make any sincere concessions. he has made no good faith efforts on the side of isreal.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  223. Mohammad


    Of course he is harming our relations with Israel when he is asking our best ally to return the occupied territories to the indigenous people. Why should Israel have to implement international laws when she is stronger and can have it all. Is not it betray; we gave them arms to dominate, and then ask them to respect the international laws and not occupy territories of their neighbors.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  224. Steve, Montreal

    Obama brought up the subject of pre-67 borders to divert attention from Hamas & PLO unity deal, because he realizes it shows that the Palestinians' refusal to recognize Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  225. Frantz

    No. I think the problem is that the current Israeli administration is not interested in true peace with the Palestinians. The preconditions are moving targets at best. In response, the Palestinians have chosen an unfortunate route to statehood that puts them on a crash course with Israel. American's don't have an appetite for war, and our tougher stance toward Israel and the illegal settlements reflects that. I would love for these two countries to coexist peacefully, but their leaders must prefer endless conflict.


    May 23, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
  226. John Richardson

    No. President Obama is doing his best to serve U.S. national interests and justice in Palestine. The fact that Israel, a major beneficiary of American political, military, and financial help, doesn't like it doesn't mean it's wrong. It is interesting to note that many Members of Congress are prepared to line up behind a foreign leader against their own President, which suggests that domestic political pressure still works.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
  227. Dave


    In fact, President Obama pretty much said that Israel doesn't have to do anything at all.

    First, he said that the issue can ONLY be decided by DIRECT talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

    Then he said that Israel does not have to negotiate with any group that doesn't recognize their fundamental right to exist.

    Fatah has joined with Hamas who doesn't recognize Israel's right to exist.

    Therefore, until Hamas changes its tune, or Fatah splits with them, Israel is under no obligation to do anything. QED

    May 23, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  228. Abe

    How rude for Bibi to dress down our President in the White House, especially considering the billions that we give Israel every year. The Israelization of US foreign policy has gone far enough. Isreal is stealing land that does not belong to them. President Carter was correct in saying that Israel has imposed apartheit upon the Palestinians. We need to quit supporting Israel in the United Nations, and we need to quit being afraid of the israeli lobby.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  229. Nancy, Tennessee

    As a Christian I have a fundamental belief that "God blesses those who bless Israel and curses those who curse Israel." The United States needs to stand with Israel more now than ever. We are seeing hard times and it's no time to get cursed by God.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  230. Mark Redding

    Its quite clear to me that these two parties are more comfortable with their current situation, considering that we've been trying to negociate a peace treaty for the last 40 years. I think it's time we washed our hands of the whole thing and let them settle this the old fashioned way.

    They don't want to talk to each other or consider each others position, then maybe the bitter flavor of war can change their way of thinking.

    Hamas wants to go on and not recognise Isreal's right to exist and Isreal wants to keep building new provences despite the negativity it brings. Not to mention the billions we give Isreal, for them to speak to Obama the way they did tells me they're ready to be on their own. Isreal is no longer a child Nation. Therefore we need to cut the ambillicle cord.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  231. Matt


    As most presidents have upheld the belief that Israel must be flexible to gain 'good neighbors' I don't see why this is a big issue. Israel is America's biggest 'entitlement program', with billions in aid every year. Israel is acting both defensively and offensively, and they need to start making progress. Israel was created as a nation, by nations, against the will of the indigenous Palestinians and the Arab world. Israel needs to drop this sense of Manifest Destiny, and begin to be flexible if it wishes peace to take hold in the region. Obama is doing the right thing by telling them to act in our interest and theirs. It's too bad some see it as a black and white "You support Israel, or you support Hamas" sort of thing. Its more complex, and Obama sees that.

    Matt, San Diego, CA

    May 23, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  232. Jason

    Why is it that the US cannot voice its position on this conflit without being crucified by the Israel lobby. To what extent should we sacrifice billions and our national security interest to help Israel if they won't even accept that we publicly state our opinion. There is a lot of questions to be answered in this nebulous relationship. If Obama made the sitution worst it is not by stating a legitimate consideration and something that has been our position. Now i wonder if he has the courage to continue on this path.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  233. sawmill

    Dear Jack .. No other people on earth have suffer more than the jews.. you said it anger the israeli people.. but i an average america and voted for obama and his words anger me too

    May 23, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  234. malcolm in St louis

    the middle east is changing. The President is letting them know they had better be ready.

    They are not going to be the only democracy in that neck of the world. the Israelis are going to have to give back some of those "facts on the ground" they have been creating for the last 40 years. If they want lasting peace.

    We can't keep propping them up with money. They spend too much of their GNP on defense. They could be a lot richer without all that defense.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  235. Bill

    The president did not say anything new, yet the news media acts like this is the first time any president talked about Israel establishing borders.
    Pres. G W Bush and Clinton said the same thing.
    If the Jews do not like it, it is too bad, it has to be said. If the Israelis want to keep creeping into Palestinian land, there will be continued blood shed and everyone knows it.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  236. Tim Sit

    Mr. Cafferty, I think your question is actually missing the point. Considering how BOTH the Palestinians AND the Israelis are unhappy with his suggestions, I think Obama just might have a point. Mutual compromise is the real key to any negotiations. If neither side is willing to cooperate, then how is a peace process ever to occur? Considering how much we spend on BOTH sides of this, maybe this is a great opportunity to find out if EITHER side will ever be willing to give each other mutual respect or recognition. If not, then a little domestic aid would certainly be better than spending billions on a lost cause.


    May 23, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  237. Leland H. Nolan

    He is doing Israel a favor and a large percentage of Israelis and their supporters understand this. The arab spring is of greater concern than the UN vote. The so-called arab street is even less supportive of Israel than the former dictators. Peace is becoming ever more complicated. Bibi and Likud continue to act for political purposes. Reason has been hijacked by extremist views for political gain. God forbid someone dare to challenge the absurdity of the party line. The craziness is perpetuated. Sound familiar? Anytime Gingrich, McCain or Romney try to do, or say something reasonable that challenges the simplistic maxims of the party – they are humiliated.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
  238. Jeff

    Well, asking the Israelis to give back land they took, during a war, is not going to make relations any better. Let's be honest here, how can we ever truly make it right with the native peoples of North America, didn't we TAKE their land? I don't see us giving that back any time soon. Israel is a proud nation and peoples, that is a slap in the face asking them to give away territory gained during a war by the blood of their people.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
  239. MikeInSA

    So who's surprised by this? ....hands?....anyone?

    Ummm...you say worse but I didn't think our relations were all that bad until 2009. I knew it was going to be all downhill from then until the next administration. Not sure why people are acting surprised. Anybody who who paid attention throughout the 2008 campaign should have seen this coming a mile away.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
  240. Pierre Rovani

    Perhaps he is, in the short-term, but it is for Israel's and the US's own good. Being honest and talking straight is what is needed now, time is of the essence. Netanyahu has done all he can to put off peace talks for internal political reasons but he needs to be nudged to the table as doing nothing is a recipe for disaster. If the Palestinians take to the streets for non-violent protests demanding human and civil rights, as the Arab Street has done of late in numerous countries, it will harm Israel's standing in the world immensely. The time to act is NOW. Israel must be safe and the only way to do that is to pursue peace honestly and quickly. Thank you Mr. President!

    May 23, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  241. Michael

    To be honest I love both my Israeli and Palestinian brothers and sisters but neither are serious about finding resolution to this 60 year old problem.
    Obama is not going to make a difference these people have taken valuable time up of every President since Reagan and still zip?

    It's like my kids developmentally they are two going three year old's and
    they keep pupping in there pants. Our President needs to focus on the delusion in our country right now you know like jobs, economy, a chicken in my pot.

    If Israel can not see what President Obama is saying about the Arab Spring then what can he do. No one knows what is going to spring from this mystery of Human Revolution.

    We can still be Israel's ally without spitting in the Muslims Worlds eye can't we?

    They should go back to the children's table until they can act like adults

    (Hebrew pronunciation: [mi kəmo ʔelohim]) meaning "Who is like God?"
    Ok TMI 🙂

    May 23, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  242. jean2009

    No, he stated the same position in the Oslo Accord drafted in 1993. Which was the position of the last 5 presidents, Reagan, Bush 1, Clinton and Bush 2. The fact that he didn't mince words, and stated that position clearly should point out that maybe for once we mean for them to start something toward making a settlement. Sixty plus years of both sides holding their hands out for our aid is absolutely enough. It is getting old for the American tax payer.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  243. KTV

    Frankly, I don't see why the situation between Israel and its neighbors is any of our business (or financial responsibility). I think we should simply be neutral and keep our nose out of it.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
  244. Jay

    No, Israel is making US-Israeli relations worse, by being completely stubborn about how to make peace not only in the immediate are, but all over the globe. It’s just sad how that strip of sand that God dumped on the shores of the Mediterranean that is smaller than New Jersey has so much to do with determining the world’s future.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
  245. Ed from Sparta NJ

    Obama is showing how clueless he really is in international affairs. Perhaps somebody should give this guy a cheat sheet showing 2-columns: 1 column showing a list of our enemies and 1 column showing a list of our allies. Unfortunately the list of allies is getting pretty slim after the "Train-wreck-in-Chief" gets through with his skewed thinking and decisions.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  246. Kathleen Murphy

    As an American, I strongly disagree with President Netenyahu's behavior. I personally am insulted that Netenyahu believes it is perfectly OK to publicly treat the American President with scorn. The US provides huge financial support to Israel and a little graciousness is called for in this situation.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  247. Rick from Los Angeles

    Hello Jack,

    If he is so be it. Our unwavering support in everything they do is one of the main reasons why we have become the targets of extremists. We ask Isreal to negotiate, they spit in our face and build more settlements in hotly contested areas. I say cut ties and leave them to their fate. They have a right to exist but we do not have a reason to be their guard dog. Let them deal with the what is in store for them during this upcoming Arab Summer. Perhaps Egypt would be a better strategic partner.

    – Rick from Los Angeles

    May 23, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  248. Cee, La

    No Jack, he is not making them worse...... he stands by what he said, with clarification...

    May 23, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
  249. ED , Houston , TX

    NO . The president did not say any thing new to Upset Israel !!!.
    On the other hand , President Obama Is the only president to mention a DEMILITARIZED STATE in support of Netanyahu's insistence to keep the Palestinians in Jail .
    Unfortunately, Netanyahoo will have it his way as long as the US is willing to use the Veto in the UN .
    Congratulations BIBI .

    "Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth." –

    Abraham Lincoln

    May 23, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
  250. Christine- Thousand Oaks Ca

    Israel is the bully here. It's ironic that a nation whose people are there for the most part to escape oppression, have now become the oppressor of the Palestinians. Obama is just trying to clean up another mess.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
  251. Billy Ray

    No. He is being realistic. Israel has responded to Palestinian aggression with even worse violations of human rights. Israel should be held responsible for their actions, and the U.S. should not keeping sweeping everything under the rug, and patting the Israelis on the back.
    Billy Ray – Alberta, Canada

    May 23, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
  252. Richard Click

    Double-Speak on both of their parts. Tell the media what you think will gain the most political points yet have an agreement like – ignore what I say in Public – it's just a sham."

    I believe in a mutual-relationship with Israel but where in the world does the Prez. think his job is tell the world "what to do and how to do it." The Chinese ignore him yet our national debt increases every day we are in Iraq and Afghanstan. Putin tells Obama to bacically "stick-it" and stay our of Russian concerns.

    Our polititicians can't ever run our own government – what makes any of them think they know what is best for the rest of the world?

    May 23, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
  253. Norm M.

    Come on Jack , you almost said the answer many times , shut of the money and bullets until there is a deal. 2 states 40 years later Jack with our economy is a bit much . Shut off the money and end it , enough is enough

    May 23, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  254. Carol

    Yes. I am concerned that Obama is playing to the crowds in the Mideast.

    What I see in my many years of following this issue is that Israel has accomodated (either by giving land or assets such as greenhouses to the Palestinians) and has reaped nothing positive for it's compromises – not even a recognition of its existence. Unless I see some substantive change of position from our President, I will not vote for him again... and I know that I am not alone on this.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  255. Eardley Ham Woodbury, MN

    The problem must be solved by Israel and the Palestinian people. Outside intervention can only suggest ways to achieve an equitable settlement. To that end, Obama's comments are valid. If the Israelis don't move toward a solution, neither will the Palestinians.

    I wish Obama luck, but the Israeli government is now led by a most recalcitrant fellow.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
  256. Julie of Tucson

    Prior to Obama, no other president described what a future Palestine state would look like, i.e. with borders that were essentially a return to the 1949 Armistice Lines. Both Clinton and Bush made it clear that these lines would never suffice for a permanent border. Obama's statement of what the final outcome should look like removes a bargaining chip from Israel. It's as if Obama has decided the end result of negotiations that should be between the Israelis and the Palestinians–one that favors the Palestinians. Unlike previous presidents, he also did not object to the so-called Palestinian right of return, which essentially means flooding Israel with millions of Palestinians in order to change Israel from a Jewish state to an Arab one. It's not surprising that Netanyahu was incensed.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
  257. Joe Sixpack

    For 60+ years the US has blindly supported the Zionist regime militarily, economically and veto any UNSC resolution calling on Israel to follow the rule of law... and the US has got in return is headache and slap in the face by this regime who doesn't want peace..

    May 23, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
  258. Brad, Portland, OR

    Obama keeps pushing the Israelis to make concessions, but what concessions is he pushing the Palestinians to make?

    Is he pushing them to drop their "right of return" plan to flood Israel with millions of Palestinians?

    Is he pushing them to give up East Jerusalem if the Israelis give up nearly all of the West Bank?

    What he is asking the Palestinians to do for peace?

    May 23, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
  259. HardFacts

    I really do not understand why Obama's position on this matter has generated such a storm...Obama's position has been no different to that of previous presidents that have been in office...And sorry to say its mostly theatrical; Obama does not have the authority or the ability to take any action that would upset Israel. One question though, Why is media so afraid of upsetting israel even when it is clear they are the wrong do-ers?

    May 23, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  260. Jack Rumsford

    Yes and he is a foolish man to do so.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  261. Loretta Suzuki

    How can it get worse? Palestinians need a voice and the Jewish people need peace. Sometimes tough love is needed.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  262. Terry

    At the end of the day, Israel is still the root cause of all the issues in the Middle East. How would you feel if the people of Canada or Mexico just took our border lands for settlements?

    May 23, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  263. Ron

    Of course he is. And, I believe, intentionally. Considering where he grew up, where would you expect his loyalty to lie?

    May 23, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  264. Oscar

    We need not shy away from the subject that everyone wants to ignore.
    Isreal needs to stand down and Help us work with the world. We have much larger problems over the hill and we need to focus together.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
  265. Vojko / New York City

    Obama has it correct and is making things better. Israel's "Heads I win, Tails you lose" approach to diplomacy is not going to work over the next few decades with everything we see happening in that part of the world. Israel has abused it's friendship with the US and is acting like a spoiled child again. Compromise has to be on both sides and Obama has it right.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:59 pm |