Mackenzie Weinger
September 7, 2011 - 12:00am

President Barack Obama is the unlikely star of a new Palestinian media campaign.

Part of a speech Obama gave in 2010 to the United Nations General Assembly is featured in an ad aimed to rally support for the Palestinians upcoming bid for statehood at the United Nations on Sept. 20, Reuters reported on Wednesday.

“When we come back here next year, we can have an agreement that can lead to a new member of the United Nations, an independent, sovereign state of Palestine living in peace with Israel,” Obama said in the 2010 speech in the clip that is played in the radio ad.

The Palestinians use of the remarks is at odds with the Obama administration’s current all-out push to stop the Palestinians from pursuing their statehood bid. U.S. Special Envoy to the Middle East David Hale is set to hold talks Wednesday with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to urge him to reconsider the statehood effort and instead return to direct negotiations with Israel.

During the 36-second radio spot starring Obama, Abbas tells listeners “If he said it, he must have meant it.”

Although U.S. officials described Obama’s statement in the 2010 speech simply as an expression of hope, Abbas has called the statement the “Obama promise,” Reuters wrote.

Both the U.S. and Israel have said they strongly oppose the planned Palestinian bid, and the U.S. has said it would veto the bid at the U.N. Security Council. If the U.S. uses its veto, Palestinian officials have said they plan to apply for an upgrade in status to a nonmember U.N. state.

In addition to Obama’s remarks, the ad campaign features excerpts from speeches by the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and verses from the late national poet Mahmoud Darwish.


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