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Obama urges Israel to make peace with Palestine

Editor’s note:  While it was nice to see some people getting a little closer to the truth, Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the PLO Executive Committee, told Haaretz that the United States would always stand by Israel’s side no matter what.

“Obama addressed the people of Israel by going over the heads of the leaders; he spoke about peace and next for the establishment of a Palestinian state in order to safeguard Israeli security,” she said. “True, he also spoke about the Palestinians’ right to establish a state, but he did not mention two of the main issues – one of which is the borders of the Palestinian state, which the settlements are eroding on a day to day basis. The test now is whether the people who applauded Obama’s speech will tell Netanyahu and his government to end the occupation, end the settlements and establish a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders.”

http://www.haaretz.com/news/obama-visits-israel/live-blog-obama-visits-israel-day-two-1.510931 

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President Obama delivered a speech in Jerusalem to hundreds of Israeli students. Could his effort to reach a new generation help establish peace in the future? HUFFPOST.

Not everyone was won over. US journalist for The Atlantic, Jeffrey Goldberg tweeted from the Jerusalem International Convention Centre: “Head of the settler’s council is sitting behind me at Obama’s speech and looks as if his head is going to explode.”

 

Ruth Pollard

Brisbane Times

 

Obama backs independent Palestine

The only way for Israel to endure and thrive is through the realisation of an independent and viable Palestine, says US President Barack Obama.

JERUSALEM: Appealing to Israel’s younger generation, US President Barack Obama urged them to look at the world through Palestinian eyes and push their political leaders to take a risk and make peace with their neighbours.

In the carefully crafted and well-received keynote address during his three-day trip to Israel and Palestine, Mr Obama repeatedly described the deep alliance between the two countries and his support for the Israel’s right to security.

President Barack Obama and Israeli President Shimon Peres raise their glasses in a toast after Obama received the Israeli Medal of Distinction. Photo: AP

He spoke at length about the generations-long journey of the Jewish people to Israel that involved “centuries of suffering and exile, prejudice, pogroms and even genocide”.

But he also gently confronted his audience – mostly liberal Israeli students – with the harsh reality of Palestinian life under Israel’s military occupation.

“The Palestinian people’s right to self-determination and justice must also be recognized. Put yourself in their shoes – look at the world through their eyes.

“It is not fair that a Palestinian child cannot grow up in a state of her own, and lives with the presence of a foreign army that controls the movements of her parents every single day.

“It is not just when settler violence against Palestinians goes unpunished. It is not right to prevent Palestinians from farming their lands; to restrict a student’s ability to move around the West Bank; or to displace Palestinian families from their home.”

To sustained and loud applause, he continued:

“Neither occupation nor expulsion is the answer. Just as Israelis built a state in their homeland, Palestinians have a right to be a free people in their own land.”

And after an earlier hesitant answer to a question over Israel’s continued settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, raised at a media conference following his meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, he criticised settlements.

“Israelis must recognize that continued settlement activity is counterproductive to the cause of peace, and that an independent Palestine must be viable – that real borders will have to be drawn.

“Speaking as a politician, I can promise you this: political leaders will not take risks if the people do not demand that they do. You must create the change that you want to see.”

Earlier in the day, after his two-hour meeting with President Abbas, he urged Palestinians and Israelis to put aside any pre-conditions on the resumption of peace talks, effectively dismissing the Palestinian demand for a settlement freeze before the peace process can resume.

Mr Obama spoke about children – both Palestinian and Israeli – several times during his visit, looking at their experience in the context of his own two daughters, Malia and Sasha.

“I think about children like Osher Twito, who I met in Sderot – children, the same age as my own daughters, who went to bed at night fearful that a rocket would land in their bedroom simply because of who they are and where they live.

“That’s why we have made it clear, time and again, that Israel cannot accept rocket attacks from Gaza … and that’s why Israel has a right to expect Hamas to renounce violence and recognize Israel’s right to exist.”

Announcing he was going “off script” the US President described his meeting on Thursday with a group of young Palestinians who “weren’t that different from my daughters, they weren’t that different from your daughters or sons”.

To whistles and applause he said:

“I honestly believe if any Israeli parent sat down with those kids they would say I want these kids to succeed, I want them to have opportunities just like my kids do.”

In the context of a rapidly evolving Arab world, in which dictators had been overthrown by popular uprisings, Israel could no longer seek peace with autocratic governments, Mr Obama said, noting that Arab states must also change.

“The days when they could condemn Israel to distract their people from a lack of opportunity are over. Now is the time for the Arab world to take steps toward normalized relations with Israel.”

Commentators in Israel widely praised the speech, which was conceived primarily to do one thing: win over the people of Israel so that they would pressure their leaders to work towards a “lasting peace” with the Palestinians.

“It was a deft, brilliantly conceived speech. He told Israelis how moral they are, how admirably creative they are, how smart with those 10 Nobel prizes, how democratic, how prosperous, and how mighty – the most powerful country in the region,” wrote David Horovitz in the Times of Israel.

“And having built them up, convinced them of their near-invincibility, he showed them a theoretical future that he insisted could be realized if they would only trust in their strength sufficiently to take risks for peace.”

In the left-leaning Haaretz newspaper, Bradley Burston wrote: “Four years from now, when he hands back the White House, Barack Obama should consider a change of direction, even a change of venue. Let him run here. It’s about time we knew again what a real leader was like.”

Not everyone was won over. US journalist for The Atlantic, Jeffrey Goldberg tweeted from the Jerusalem International Convention Centre: “Head of the settler’s council is sitting behind me at Obama’s speech and looks as if his head is going to explode.”

Original source: brisbanetimes.com.au

 

Editor’s note : Also see Obama Heckled During Speech To Israeli Students, when he said he had no plans to release Jonathan Pollard

 

 

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Posted by on Mar 21 2013, With 0 Reads, Filed under Civil Liberties, Corruption, Cost to the US, Editors' Picks, Expert Viewpoints, Foreign Policy, Government, Israel Lobby in Action, Israeli Spying, Legislation, Politico. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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2 Comments for “Obama urges Israel to make peace with Palestine”

  1. Great expectations from the US? Nover.

    We have heard it all before.

    How can a President who has publicly taken on the role of Peacemaker now say that it is uo to all of the University students at the speech to press your politicans for change.

    So when that fails, he cops out by saying that they didn’t press their politicians hard enough when it is clearly know that the Knesset contains more members now than ever before who have publicly stated that they want to continue the expansion into Palestinian territory and the big finger to any who objects.Just look at the4 new cabinet. Right wing zealots!

    When you know what he will say, or better still what he won’t say, you aren’t disappointed

    He is what he has always been, a rhetorical empty suit. Par for the course.
    He epitomises America.

    • @ RexW.

      I think Obama is fighting a huge battle here….and the big battle is actually within the USA.

      He’s very smart and shrewd…..

      However, I am concerned that this battle may be too big for even him

      The enemies of peace are organized, funded, and determined

      They are entrenched and do evil work.

      Amb. Chas Freeman: “What can one man do ?” He opted for the good life. Obama didn’t.

      Israel is a domestic issue and with a high price to pay, may be even life.

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