Response to Question on President Obama’s Speech on the Middle East

Was President Obama’s speech on the Middle East of May 19, 2011, too tough on Israel (or the Palestinians), not tough enough, or just right? If you disagree with him, what should he have said?

Sam Fox (Ambassador to Belgium, 2007-2009) responded:

Obama caused serious harm to the negotiations [on May 19].  People hear what they want to hear.  His comments were not necessary and were counter-productive.  He could have said a number of very positive things that would have moved negotiations forward, but the United States delving into the particulars, especially at a time when matters are most delicate, should not have taken place.