Obama Aims To Prevent UN Vote On Palestine, Court Jewish Voters
President Barack Obama arrived in New York on Monday, ahead of a possible United Nations vote on Palestinian statehood, and his team is working to avoid a showdown over the vote while the president is also expected to try to improve his standing among Jewish American voters. NY1's Michael Herzenberg filed the following report.
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President Barack Obama arrived in New York Monday night for a meet-and-greet with the U.S. mission to the United Nations and then a Democratic fundraiser.
It was symbolic of his priorities over the next few days, where he will try to stop a UN vote on a Palestinian state and try to repair his relationship with New York's Jewish voters.
Recently, Republican Congressman Bob Turner upset his Democratic opponent David Weprin for Anthony Weiner's 9th congressional district seat. Former Mayor Ed Koch helped make that a referendum on a perception of Obama's lack of support for Israel.
"I think Obama's getting a bad rap," said Fordham University Professor John Entelis.
Entelis said the president is in a no-win situation.
In the United States, Israel's most ardent defenders said Obama is too tough on Israel, whereas others said he is not tough enough.
Internationally, the situation is even more complex. In March, Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Israel to call for the country to stop building settlements in controversial areas to kick-start the peace process, when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's administration announced more construction.
Then in May, Netanyahu lectured the president in the White House about Obama's call to return to the 1967 borders with land swaps, a policy experts said was not different from previous administrations.
“It cannot go back to the 1967 lines, because these lines are indefensible," said Netanyahu. "Because they don’t take into account certain changes that have taken place on the ground.”
Changes really blew up around that time, with the so-called "Arab Spring" revolts.
"In Egypt, in Tunisia, in Libya, in Turkey, in Syria, in Yemen, the world has changed around Israel and has required a totally new way of looking at the situation," said Entelis. "You'd never know it based on Benjamin Netanyahu's position"
The professor also called Israel the most isolated nation in the world.
In the end, the United States is expected to veto any recognition of a Palestinian state.