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Xbox, [Read the rest of .Related links: (VIDEO) (March 22.Sept 23 2009"Israels settlement moratorium has made a difference on the ground and improved the atmosphere for talks And our position on this issue is well known We believe that the moratorium should be extended" President Obama Sept 23 2010"Peace is hard work Peace will not come through statements and resolutions at the United Nations if it were that easy it would have been accomplished by now" President Obama Sept 21 2011Call it the education of President Obama Every year he has gone before the United Nations and spoken on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict Every year his vision has gotten narrower and his language less sweeping Now he is no longer just trying to forge peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians but trying to stave off diplomatic disaster as the Palestinians pursue a statehood bidIn diplomacy words have meaning and consequences Lets look at the full arc of the presidents statements from criticizing Israeli settlements in 2009 to not even mentioning the issue this yearThe 2009 speech Obama was still an international rock star when he gave his maiden speech and so somewhat unusual for a speech from the UN podium his remarks on Israel and the Palestinians were interrupted frequently by applause including the sentence on Jewish settlements on the West Bank But Obamas policy on the Middle East even before he first stood before world leaders An by the administration that Israel halt all settlement activity had led the Palestinians to balk at any direct talks with Israel until settlement expansion was actually ended In order to have something positive to say Obama had pushed Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to attend at the United Nations with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the day before giving the speech "Yesterday I had a constructive meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Abbas" Obama announced "We have made some progress"This was actually untrue Obamas point was that it was time to start negotiations "permanent status negotiations must begin and begin soon" but he had little leverage to persuade either the Israelis to immediately freeze settlement growth or the Palestinians to return to the talks A few months later the Israelis agreed to a nine-month partial moratorium on settlements but the Palestinians rejected it as too little and too lateThe 2009 speech was noteworthy for other reasonsObama repeatedly balanced the two sides against each other George W Bush did this also especially in his but Obamas language was unique for its length and detail including a critique of past US diplomacy For instance:"To break the old patterns to break the cycle of insecurity and despair all of us must say publicly what we would acknowledge in private The United States does Israel no favors when we fail to couple an unwavering commitment to its security with an insistence that Israel respect the legitimate claims and rights of the Palestinians And nations within this body do the Palestinians no favors when they choose vitriolic attacks against Israel over constructive willingness to recognize Israel's legitimacy and its right to exist in peace and security"Obama ended his remarks with an image of an "Israeli girl in Sderot" and a "Palestinian boy in Gaza" saying "these are all Gods children"The 2010 speechOnce again the president tried to rearrange the diplomatic chairs so he could have something to announce at the United Nations Just weeks before the General Assembly meeting the president to launch direct talks between the partiesBut the negotiations were already in deep trouble because Israel planned to lift its settlement moratorium at the end of the month and the Palestinians had made it clear they would end the talks if the moratorium ended The administration had tried to keep the talks going with happy talk US envoy George Mitchell that "the two leaders are not leaving the tough issues to the end of their discussions" but it was clear the talks were doomed unless a way around the impasse over settlements was foundObama put his prestige on the line when he spoke to world leaders essentially demanding that Israel extend the moratorium"We believe that the moratorium should be extended We also believe that talks should press on until completed Now is the time for the parties to help each other overcome this obstacle Now is the time to build the trust and provide the time for substantial progress to be made Now is the time for this opportunity to be seized so that it does not slip away"Obama added that "true security for the Jewish state requires an independent Palestine" But he also said: "It should be clear to all that efforts to chip away at Israels legitimacy will only be met by the unshakable opposition of the United States"This time Obama concluded with an image of "a young girl in Gaza" and a "young boy in Sderot" reversing the sexes but not the cities mentioned in the 2009 speechThen in an expression of hope that would come to haunt him the president declared: "This time we should reach for whats best within ourselves If we do when we come back here next year we can have an agreement that will lead to a new member of the United Nations an independent sovereign state of Palestine living in peace with Israel"Five days after Obama spoke Israel to maintain the settlement moratorium and the direct talks the president had touted The 2011 speech This time there were no announcements to be made only a diplomatic fumble to be avoidedAbbas stung by what he viewed as Obamas inability to make progress earlier this year announced he would pursue a vote on statehood at the United Nations He Obamas 2010 address as inspiration calling it the "Obama promise" and saying: "if he said it he must have meant it"Abbas was particularly angered by the of a UN Security Council resolution denouncing Israeli settlements as illegal since he believed it was Obama who had made the settlements an issue in the first place"It was Obama who suggested a full settlement freeze" Abbas noting he had agreed to the presidents plan "We both went up the tree After that he came down with a ladder and he removed the ladder and said to me jump Three times he did it"But facing declining approval ratings and by Republican presidential rivals for supposedly abandoning Israel the president apparently decided there was little he could offer the Palestinians in this speech The administration has already pledged to veto a statehood bid at the Security CouncilMost strikingly in this speech there is not even a glancing mention of settlements This time Obama also did not bury a reference to an "unwavering commitment" to Israels security in a jab at its "failure to respect legitimate claims" of Palestinians (2009) or say that "true security" for Israel required a Palestinian state (2010) Instead he delivered a full-throated endorsement of Israels security needs without any caveats"Americas commitment to Israels security is unshakableOur friendship with Israel is deep and enduringAnd so we believe that any lasting peace must acknowledge the very real security concerns that Israel faces every single day"Indeed the balance between the Palestinians and the Israelis that Obama had sought in his previous speeches is missing this year Obama followed the statement on Israels security with a long paragraph describing Israels dangerous neighborhood and the "centuries of exile and persecution" of the Jewish people There was no equivalent section in the speech for the Palestinians Obama ended with yet another reference to children though this time he did not mention any cities: "The measure of our actions must always be whether they advance the right of Israeli and Palestinian children to live lives of peace and security and dignity and opportunity"Finally this years address also included recognition that the White Houses focus on bringing a "deliverable" every year to the United Nations may have been misguided "Now I know that many are frustrated by the lack of progress I assure you so am I" Obama said "Peace is hard work Peace will not come through statements and resolutions at the United Nations if it were that easy it would have been accomplished by now"Usually in speeches before the UN General Assembly US presidents have kept the section of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict confined to a few sentences Obama might be tempted to do that next year Follow the Fact Checker on and friend us on Watch Obama speak on the Middle East (People).