Obama & Settlements – Why No Nuance?

Posted on June 2, 2009 In Blog

(Editorial Note: To read the Orthodox Union’s own policy statements on the unity of Jerusalem, Medinat Yisrael & Kedushat Eretz Yisrael, please see the OU’s most recent resolution here which states, in part “We believe that there is no part of Eretz Yisrael in which Jews should be prevented from living, absent the most compelling of circumstances,” and Thus, while we strive for security and peace, we are skeptical of any policy that relinquishes part of Eretz Yisrael without real evidence that Israel will receive peace and security.”)

President Obama has a demonstrated record of dealing with complex issues in a complex way. He’s done that with regard to Guantanamo Bay, stem cell research, and even race relations in America. But so far, the President and his team have dealt with US policy toward Israel’s settlements with a total lack of nuance and complexity.

This is not only illogical, it’s counterproductive by the logic of those who want to see the peace process resume – as The New Republic’s Marty Peretz has astutely pointed out.

It is time for President Obama to put some constructive energy and momentum into the conversation by adjusting US policy to recognize, in a manner more immediate than President Bush did, that the US understands there’s a difference between East Jerusalem, Ma’ale Adumin and Efrat – and sparser communities elsewhere in Judea & Samaria.

Members of Congress recognize this, and the President must too.