If Obama told the Palestinian Authority that Israel was the obstacle to peace, it may represent the full shift of American foreign policy in the Middle East. There is a bit of an 'if' here because the letter has not been released. It has been confirmed by multiple sources, and I have not seen any denials from the Obama administration, so it seems legitimate. It would also seem to fit the current pattern of how Israeli-US relations have been going. Not only is such a notion foolish, but it is counter productive.
What is the endgame here; actually pushing Israel in to the waiting arms of another country? I have opined before (see this and this) on the dangers of this. Israel's technology is to the most critical eye third on the planet. Most consider them tied for first with the United States. Some even think they might be slightly ahead. What they do not have is a substantial population or resource base. We have had a deal with them for years; we give them money and political backing, they give us technology. Could we develop everything on our own, almost certainly. Could we do it as fast as without working with Israel, I hope we do not have to find out.
One of my biggest geopolitical concerns is that Obama tries to isolate Israel to force them into some agreement. China senses the opportunity, and makes Israel a tempting offer; five billion dollars a year plus vetoing any UN resolution they want, in exchange for modernizing China (and China's military) and future development. Right now Israel is allied with the United states. We provide that veto and send them around three billion dollars in exchange for that technology. If we stop backing them politically, and continue attacking them, why not take the deal? The Chinese outnumber us 5-to-1. It is our technological edge that gives us our advantage. Israel could significantly reduce that edge. Then where would we be?
"US President Barack Obama made clear in a recent letter to the Palestinians that he views Israel as the obstacle to peace and will approach further peace efforts from that point of view, according to senior Palestinian Authority officials.
Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat confirmed for the Bethlehem-based Ma'an news agency that such a letter was sent, and that in it Obama "clarified the US stance on the peace process and Israel's intransigence on the issue of settlements."
Erekat said that the letter contained several assurances to the Palestinians, but refused to go into detail.
A day earlier, London newspaper The Guardian reported on what one of those assurances may be - a proposal to start backing official UN condemnation of any and all Israeli "settlement activity."
That report would seem to fit with the more vague account of assurances another Palestinian official said the letter contained.
PA secretary general Tayeb Abdel Rahim on Sunday told reporters that the letter made the usual commitments to an independent Palestinian state with territorial continuity. Rahim also said that Obama promised to start publicly assigning blame to those he sees holding up peace and to force Israel into indefinitely extending its temporary settlement freeze."