Status quo between Israelis and Palestinians ‘not sustainable,’ Obama tells U.N.

U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the U.N. General Assembly on Sept. 24. Credit: UN Photo/Mark Garten.

( In a speech at the U.N. General Assembly that focused heavily on the growing unrest in the Middle East, President Barack Obama said the ongoing status quo between the Israelis and Palestinians is not sustainable. 

“The violence engulfing the region today has made too many Israelis ready to abandon the hard work of peace,” Obama told world leaders. “That’s something worthy of reflection within Israel. Because let’s be clear: the status quo in the West Bank and Gaza is not sustainable.”

Speaking less than 48 hours after the U.S. and a coalition of Arab allies launched airstrikes on Islamic State, Obama said he is committed to dismantling the terror group’s “network of death.”

At the same time, Obama called on Arab and Muslim countries to collectively address the sources of violent extremism in the Middle East. 

“It is time for the world—especially Muslim communities—to explicitly, forcefully, and consistently reject the ideology of al-Qaeda and ISIL (Islamic State),” Obama said.

“No children anywhere should be educated to hate other people,” he said. “There should be no more tolerance of so-called clerics who call upon people to harm innocents because they are Jewish, Christian or Muslim. It is time for a new compact among civilized peoples of this world to eradicate war at its most fundamental source: the corruption of young minds by violent ideology.”

Posted on September 24, 2014 .