Obama, Netanyahu commit to peace in White House meeting

President Obama and Israeli PM Netanyahu Oval Office Meeting

U.S. President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu insist there is still a chance to find peace in the Middle East, regardless of the changing diplomatic and political environment in the region that would suggest it would be impossible to achieve before President Obama’s term ends.

“I want to make clear that we have not given up our hope for peace,” Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said. “We will never give up our hope for peace.”

“I remain committed to a vision of two states for two peoples, a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes the Jewish state,” he said.  “I don’t think that anyone should doubt Israel’s determination to protect itself and defend itself against terror and destruction. But neither should anyone doubt Israel’s willingness to make peace with any of its neighbors who want to make peace with it.”

The Israeli Prime Minister’s words were meant to reassure the U.S. that Israel is committed to achieving a two-state solution with Palestine, regardless of comments Netanyahu might have said prior to winning his reelection.

But the White House is not convinced. According to U.S. Deputy National Advisor Ben Rhodes, there is little hope of achieving a solution with the little time Obama has left.

Obama’s goal now is to ensure there is trust so that in the future a solution would be possible. He reaffirmed his commitment to Israel by saying that Israel has a right to defend itself, even against attacks from Palestine. But he also requested to find a way to lower the tensions in the region so that the goals of the Palestinian people could also be achieved.

The conflict between Israel and Palestine has been something every president has struggle with for decades now. Jimmy Carter was able to achieve a peace accords between the two rivals but that did not last long. There are also uncertainties as to who was responsible for breaking the peace, with each side pointing fingers against toward the other.