Bush's speech was made before the Arab Spring and its messy outcome, so his vision was much more hopeful. Israeli leaders were always suspicious of Bush's desire to promote democracy in the Middle East, believing that popularly elected leaders would be less likely to maintain friendly relations with Israel. Obama tries to make the case that Israel now has a more pressing need to show progress on ending the conflict with the Palestinians precisely because those elected leaders may be swayed by popular passions.
_The way ahead:
Perhaps because Bush was in the midst of peace talks, he devoted little of his speech to the peace process — except for a rosy vision of what the Middle East would look like in six decades.
But Obama's speech had a long section in which he laid out three reasons for why Israel should renew peace talks: peace is "necessary" because it provides "true security;" peace is "just;" and peace is "possible." Within that formula, he made a few shifts in diplomatic language that are worth noting:
"You made credible proposals to the Palestinians at Annapolis. You withdrew from Gaza and Lebanon, and then faced terror and rockets."
Obama here casts Israeli actions on peace in the best possible light, and suggests that Palestinians have failed to respond positively. Obama, in fact, later makes that explicit: "There is no question that Israel has faced Palestinian factions who turned to terror, leaders who missed historic opportunities." While Obama also decried some Israeli occupation tactics, his language signals a subtle shift in which he places more of the the burden on Palestinian leaders for having missed chances to forge a state.
"I've suggested principles on territory and security that I believe can be the basis for these talks. But for the moment, put aside the plans and the process."