But I think one of the things that we forget is actions will test whether or not this thing is credible and how this is going to turn out. But Bill Clinton had a lot of great conversations with a lot of people. And had -- actually his rating among the Arab world is better than Barack Obama's. We were still attacked numerous times in the Clinton presidency and then right after Bush took office, we were attacked again, having nothing to do with Bush or his conservatism.
That's the problem is many people have shared these great words and had these great conversations, but in the end, the actions haven't stopped.
SHIPMAN: And you know, George, it's interesting, because the administration itself I think is somewhat concerned that this speech is being interpreted as a slap at Israel. And they're saying behind the scenes, we're afraid people have missed the push he was giving both to the Palestinians and the larger...
STEPHANOPOULOS: And that's why within France, yesterday, the president made sure to talk about the pressure he wanted to put on the Palestinians as well.
SHIPMAN: Well, exactly. And they're saying, look, he has put significant pressure on the Palestinians. He's asking, you know, other Arab countries to make the step, recognize Israel right away. This was not simply about pressuring the Israelis.
But I think the reason it is being interpreted that way, is this is the first time we've heard language like this since James Baker, really. I mean, let's be realistic.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And the whole run-up to the speech was all about the settlement freeze. We mean it, Israel is going to have to stop on the settlements.
SHIPMAN: It's a change.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And that is a change. And, you know, I do think that the White House, George, started to get a little concerned that it went too far. They wanted that all before the speech. They wanted to break through to the Muslim world, and now they're reeling from it, as they're sending George Mitchell to the region this week to try to actually get the deal.
WILL: Well, the settlements resulted from the '67 war where Israel was attacked and occupied territory from which aggression occurred. But hostility, implacable hostility to the existence predated 1967.
We're also ignoring the fact that when Israel was created in 1948, no Palestinian state was invaded, no Palestinian state destroyed. There was no Palestinian state. Palestine was a geographical expression from the time the Romans left to the time that the British rule came there.
And the idea that the settlements are the key to Israeli-Palestinian harmony and that that is the key to the larger regional settlement, from Pakistan through Iran and Iraq and all of the rest is...
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, there is -- we've got to unpack a lot there. That may be true. But right now, Cynthia, there's no question the Palestinians will not sit down with the Israelis unless they get Netanyahu saying, I believe in a two-state solution, and unless they get something approximating a settlement freeze, and we're not sure where there's any room for compromise or not.
TUCKER: I think President Obama was making an effort in his speech to show that U.S. had returned to its role -- traditional role, as an honest broker in the region. Throughout the Muslim world, we were believed to have only sided with Israel over the last eight years.