June 4th, 2009
05:55 PM ET
13 years ago

GOP chastises Obama's speech over Israeli-Palestinian issue

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama's speech to the Muslim world on Thursday faced mixed reaction abroad - and a very clear directive at home from Republicans and conservatives: The United States cannot ruin its relationship with Israel.

Speaking in Cairo, Egypt, the president took on the heated and controversial Palestinian-Israeli conflict by endorsing a two-state solution and urging compromise between "two peoples with legitimate aspirations."

The United States, he said, "does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements."

Those Jewish settlements are spread throughout the Palestinian-controlled West Bank. Israel maintains the settlements are needed, while Palestinians say they are an obstacle to the peace process.

Calling America's "strong bond" with Israel "unbreakable," he said, "It is based upon cultural and historical ties and the recognition that the aspiration for a Jewish homeland is rooted in a tragic history that cannot be denied."

House Minority Leader John Boehner on Thursday blasted Obama's approach to the Israeli-Palestinian question.

"He seemed to ... place equal blame on the Israelis and the Palestinians. I have concerns about this," the Ohio Republican said. "The Israelis have the right to defend themselves."

Boehner's Republican colleague, Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana, added that "there was a sense in here of a moral equivalency between those who are driving for a Palestinian state and the state of Israel."

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Filed under: President Obama • Republican
soundoff (161 Responses)
  1. awol

    Republicans are so stupid and unwise bunch. no politician can criticize Isreal, but they criticize US. until America play fair in the palestine and Isreal conflict, they will never be peace in the middle East. Europe, Asia and Africa are all fed up the way America blantantly side with Isreal even when they wrong. its about time somebody has some sense!

    June 4, 2009 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  2. YBM

    Muslims need to be done away with. Allah is not the same as God, all these muslims are going to get a surprise when they get to see Allah and he greets them with his horns, pitchfork and spiked tail.

    June 4, 2009 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  3. Adrian

    This delusion that Israel is exonerated in all of its dealings with its neighbors is appalling. I wish they would try to get along, but for two decades, I've mostly seen a sovereign nation (Israel) bully and brutalize all those who oppose them. Yes, Hamas and other groups lash out at them, but it's a Pop Warner league team vs. the NFL. Israel has at least the U.S. always in its corner. It has all the necessary weaponry, tools, money and influence to create peace. They don't want it, I feel. See, when everyone thinks you're the victim, it feels better.

    June 4, 2009 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  4. lkb

    PLease tell me what country and what people Obama represents? On one hand he was courting his fellow Muslims and on the other, he was imposing his directives for his "change" upon Egypt. It appeared he offended Egypt and I could understandMubarack's son...the next pres of Egypt...retort.. Can we not chain this guy to the Oval Office before he ndoes any more damage abroad!

    June 4, 2009 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  5. The Broker.

    Sorta Dictator... You should watch the DVD's. Germany WWll.
    Then there were Eagles. Sounds so German..

    June 4, 2009 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  6. Shut up GOPs

    As usual, Obama is right and the GOPS are wrong.

    Go Mr. President!

    June 4, 2009 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  7. Purple Spider

    How dare this man put down America again and he apologizes every time he does a speech in another state or another country! If he is so ashamed of the United States, why doesn't he go elsewhere. He not only insulted Americans, but he couldn't even give credit to the Armed Services who fought and died for us. It appeared that Obama was impressing the Islam World , but at the same time he showed no respect to America!

    June 4, 2009 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  8. Peter

    The current statements spreading from the GOP is "We will help the white, christian men. If your a woman, a minority, or any other religion *catholic counts as christianity* then you can go to hell." This won't work, 2010 elections give Dems major majorities in the House and Senate.

    June 4, 2009 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  9. Doug

    President O gets the gold medal in Saudi Arabia from the King and then goes to Egypt to lecture Israel before the Muslims. Huh, what good can possibly come from this? I would sure like to know just what the game plan is when O says we can bring our troops home....I think he should bring them all home now, immediately, so they know we are serious.

    June 4, 2009 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  10. Mike in Oahu

    What else do we expect from the GOP. It shows that even thought the GOP tried to distance themselves from Bush during the last election cycle, many of them agree with his "biblically oriented" policies towards the middle east. What Obama is offering is a rational way forward. The GOP is busy pandering to regain the jewish vote for the next election cycle. They really have no moral convictions, only electoral convictions.

    June 4, 2009 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  11. Lesley Anne

    It's interesting how many Muslims who listened to the speech criticized him for not aplogizing over American policies and how some GOPers like Romney called his trip an apology tour. Maybe Mitt was listening to the speech in Arabic and got the translation wrong?

    June 4, 2009 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  12. malclave

    Obama is trying to make nice with people who don't want to make nice back.

    But, I'm sure he'll happily come back waving a paper saying "peace in our time".

    June 4, 2009 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  13. Vietnam Vet.

    Those Republican drinking the kool aide again, How can we ruin our relationship with Israel. Israel continued exitence is result of the unlimited financial, intellegence, weapons, training and protection by America. Isreal needs America, America would survive very well without Israel . However, if you listen to the Republican who are trying to revive a dying party, only the uneducated don't know the difference.

    June 4, 2009 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  14. Judith

    Anything President Obama does the GOPs always have negative things to say and if they don't they have Cheney,Rush L,Rove or Newt.
    Seems to me all of the above act like trouble makers who want to keep trouble going

    June 4, 2009 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  15. ib

    Another slap in the face of Christians and conservatives. Will Donkey Ears ever stop; I guess not until we have another attack on our home soil then maybe people will see him for he really is; but I wonder if they will then; I really do.

    June 4, 2009 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  16. danel

    That is rather very telling where his loyalty is: Israel. Does he want peace in the ME? Or stay with the status quo?

    June 4, 2009 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  17. Dawn in Pa

    Is that all that the GOP had got out of his speech? Instead of being suspicious all the time. Reaching out to someone who distrust the Western world, but oh we want their oil. Insulting the Saudi's or anyone who has oil, well, embargo comes to mind.

    June 4, 2009 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  18. Obama is a Mistake

    Obama does not know the meaning of loyalty.

    June 4, 2009 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  19. bozo obama

    this clown wants to be President of the World. and he really thinks he is the second coming of Jimmy Carter.

    June 4, 2009 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  20. jared

    blessed are the peace makers; gop the party of pathetic and contrary losers. you will find any and every thing to find fault. to drive a wedge bwt the prez and the jewish voters in the US. what did the republicans do when you folks had the chance to address these human beings we call muslims NOTHING so sit back quit undermining AND backstabbing everything the prez does. its a amazing how barack pays little attn; to you underminers and presses on. may god bless and continue to guide him while you and your ilk sit back and hate. peace be un to you. trying to start some mess w/ the jews. "haters"

    June 4, 2009 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  21. The Party of NO stood calmly by for 8 year while the shrub raped and pillaged America, so, why would we listen to you now?

    Uh, Ed, you act like the Party of No criticizing the President is news, it is not, just the tedious day to day talking points of clueless neo-cons, that no one but the base even hears let alone listens to.

    June 4, 2009 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  22. big papa

    Concerted right wing talking points, full of pomposity and posturing...

    ...for their Israeli masters...

    ...the GOP NOW works for and represents Israel, go figure...

    ...well then, shouldn't we send them to Israel?

    ...Barack Obama is OUR President, NOT Benjamin Netanyahu...

    ...call Boehner and Pence and let them know that...

    ...I already did...

    June 4, 2009 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  23. Tubby The Tuba Texas

    The Republicans and Conservatives are simply ignorant compared to Barrack Obama. He is brilliant, and the Repbulicans and the Conservatives have NO CLUE, perhaps they should all go to Wal-Mart and buy a clue! We tried bullying the world for eight years, talking down to the world, and acting magnanimous, but what they haven't relalized is that it simply doesn't work. Case closed.

    June 4, 2009 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  24. bimmer

    Obama is Muslim by birth. So no one should be surprised if he sides with Muslims. Many Muslim friends of mine voted for him knowing taht.

    June 4, 2009 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    It seems a real mistake to invite liz Cheney to comment on any event or situation. She is rude! She does allow anyone appearing with her to speak. She interupts the other person's comments and continually interjects her own ideas without permitting the other person to complete his. I find this very upsetting and impossible to follow the line of thought. Anchors attempt to control the comments but she has poorTV ettiquette and ignores them.

    June 4, 2009 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
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