President Barack Obama conceded Wednesday that a two-state solution to bring peace between the Israelis and the Palestinian Authority won’t happen under his administration — and claimed that the failure was, at least in part, due to Israel’s continued economic success.
The admission came during a town hall forum in Argentina, when Obama told the crowd that “because Israeli society has been so successful economically, it has, I think, from a position of strength, been less willing to make concessions” to the Palestinians.
“On the other hand, the Palestinians, because of weakness, have not the political cohesion and organization to enter into negotiations and feel like they can get what they need — and so both sides just go to their separate corners,” Obama continued.
He said his administration has worked hard for a negotiated peace, particularly Secretary of State John Kerry.
“We have worked and worked and worked. Last year and the year before that, John Kerry, that poor man, he was flying back and forth and taking messages back and forth. I was making phone calls,” Obama said. “Ultimately, we can’t do it for them. The tragedy of the situation there is until the population of both people recognize the truth, which is they are going to be living together one way or another. The question is, are you going to be living together with check points and people being stabbed in hatred, or are you going to be living together in a way that creates hope and optimism for your children?”
He admitted it won’t be one of his accomplishments: “It’s been 60 years it’s not going to happen in the next nine months.”