Day Two of Obama in Israel/Palestine — Obama visits Ramallah and addresses the Israeli people

Israel/PalestineUS Politics
on 89 Comments

Watch President Obama’s speech to students at the Jerusalem International Convention Center:

Here is the segment of Obama’s talk that focused on the peace process from his prepared remarks. He went off script a bit to talk about how Palestinian children he met with remind him of his daughters:

Today, Israel is at a crossroads. It can be tempting to put aside the frustrations and sacrifices that come with the pursuit of peace – particularly when an Iron Dome repels rockets, barriers keep out suicide bombers, and so many other pressing issues demand your attention. And I know that only Israelis can make the fundamental decisions about your country’s future.

I also know that not everyone in this hall will agree with what I have to say about peace. I recognize that there are those who are not simply skeptical about peace, but question its underlying premise, and that’s a part of democracy and the discourse between our two countries. But it is important to be open and honest with one another. Politically, given the strong bipartisan support for Israel in America, the easiest thing for me to do would be to put this issue aside, and express unconditional support for whatever Israel decides to do. But I want you to know that I speak to you as a friend who is deeply concerned and committed to your future, and I ask you to consider three points.

First, peace is necessary. Indeed, it is the only path to true security. You can be the generation that permanently secures the Zionist dream, or you can face a growing challenge to its future. Given the demographics west of the Jordan River, the only way for Israel to endure and thrive as a Jewish and democratic state is through the realization of an independent and viable Palestine. Given the frustration in the international community, Israel must reverse an undertow of isolation. And given the march of technology, the only way to truly protect the Israeli people is through the absence of war – because no wall is high enough, and no Iron Dome is strong enough, to stop every enemy from inflicting harm.

This truth is more pronounced given the changes sweeping the Arab World. I recognize that with the uncertainty in the region – people in the streets, changes in leadership, the rise of non-secular parties in politics –it is tempting to turn inward. But this is precisely the time to respond to the wave of revolution with a resolve for peace. As more governments respond to popular will, the days when Israel could seek peace with a handful of autocratic leaders are over. Peace must be made among peoples, not just governments. No one step can change overnight what lies in the hearts and minds of millions. But progress with the Palestinians is a powerful way to begin, while sidelining extremists who thrive on conflict and division.

Second, peace is just. There is no question that Israel has faced Palestinian factions who turned to terror, and leaders who missed historic opportunities. That is why security must be at the center of any agreement. And there is no question that the only path to peace is through negotiation. That is why, despite the criticism we’ve received, the United States will oppose unilateral efforts to bypass negotiations through the United Nations.

But 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. 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.

Only you can determine what kind of democracy you will have. But remember that as you make these decisions, you will define not simply the future of your relationship with the Palestinians – you will define the future of Israel as well. As Ariel Sharon said, “It is impossible to have a Jewish, democratic state and at the same time to control all of Eretz Israel. If we insist on fulfilling the dream in its entirety, we are liable to lose it all.” Or, from a different perspective, think of what David Grossman said shortly after losing his son, as he described the necessity of peace – “a peace of no choice” he said, “must be approached with the same determination and creativity as one approaches a war of no choice.”

Of course, Israel cannot be expected to negotiate with anyone who is dedicated to its destruction. But while I know you have had differences with the Palestinian Authority, I believe that you do have a true partner in President Abbas and Prime Minister Fayyad. Over the last few years, they have built institutions and maintained security on the West Bank in ways that few would have imagined a decade ago. So many Palestinians – including young people – have rejected violence as a means of achieving their aspirations.

Which leads to my third point: peace is possible. I know it doesn’t seem that way. There will always be a reason to avoid risk, and there’s a cost for failure. There will always be extremists who provide an excuse to not act. And there is something exhausting about endless talks about talks; the daily controversies, and grinding status quo.

Negotiations will be necessary, but there is little secret about where they must lead – two states for two peoples. There will be differences about how to get there, and hard choices along the way. Arab States must adapt to a world that has changed. 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. Meanwhile, Palestinians must recognize that Israel will be a Jewish state, and that Israelis have the right to insist upon their security. 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. I’ve suggested principles on territory and security that I believe can be the basis for talks. But for the moment, put aside the plans and process. I ask you, instead, to think about what can be done to build trust between people.

Four years ago, I stood in Cairo in front of an audience of young people. Politically, religiously, they must seem a world away. But the things they want – they’re not so different from you. The ability to make their own decisions; to get an education and a good job; to worship God in their own way; to get married and have a family. The same is true of the young Palestinians that I met in Ramallah this morning, and of young Palestinians who yearn for a better life in Gaza.

That is where peace begins – not just in the plans of leaders, but in the hearts of people; not just in a carefully designed process, but in the daily connections that take place among those who live together in this land, and in this sacred city of Jerusalem. 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.

I know this is possible. Look to the bridges being built in business and civil society by some of you here today. Look at young people who have not yet learned a reason to mistrust, and those who have learned to overcome a legacy of mistrust that they inherited from their parents because of the simple recognition that we hold more hopes in common than the fear that drives us apart. Your voices must be louder than the extremists who would drown them out. Your hopes must light the way forward. Look to a future in which Jews, Muslims and Christians can all live in peace and greater prosperity in this Holy Land. Look to the future that you want for your own children – a future in which a Jewish, democratic state is protected and accepted, for this time and for all time.

There will be many voices that say this change is not possible. But remember this: Israel is the most powerful country in this region. Israel has the unshakeable support of the most powerful country in the world. Israel has the wisdom to see the world as it is, but also the courage to see the world as it should be. Ben Gurion once said, “In Israel, in order to be a realist you must believe in miracles.” Sometimes, the greatest miracle is recognizing that the world can change. After all, that is a lesson that the world learned from the Jewish people.

There was a heckler during Obama’s speech:

White House press pool reports say the shouting was about Jonathan Pollard:

There was a heckler about 15 minutes into remarks. Man standing to Obama’s left back near center press platform began shouting in Hebrew. A reliable Hebrew speaker seated near pool says the shouting was about Pollard. We presume calling for his release. Pool couldn’t see what happened to the heckler.

Here are some responses to Obama’s speech circulated by the Institute for Middle East Understanding -

Diana Buttu, Ramallah-based analyst, former legal advisor to President Abbas and Palestinian negotiators and former PLO spokesperson:

“It was clear from the outset that President Obama was coming to the region with absolutely nothing. His demand that Palestinians start negotiations without the minimum of a settlement freeze and while Israel continues to eat up Palestinian land flies in the face of logic and demonstrates that he is not interested in challenging Israel, but instead interested in allowing it to remain a rogue state.”

Yousef Munayyer, Executive Director of the Jerusalem Fund and the Palestine Center in Washington, DC:

“President Obama’s speech was important for both who it was delivered to and its content. By speaking to Israeli youth about the future, he signaled clearly that he doesn’t believe progress is possible with the current generation of Israeli leadership. But he also, very problematically, presented a future of peace as a choice Israelis might make instead of an obligation they must fulfill. The freedom, dignity and rights of Palestinians in refugee camps and under Israeli military occupation should not be subject to Israeli choices but rather be demanded by an international community appalled by their continued subjugation. That the President of the United States, the ostensible even-handed mediator between Israelis and Palestinians, frames the matter in this way is indicative of just how resigned he has become.

“Reading between the lines, this speech suggests that President Obama will do little more than pay lip service to an outcome he refuses to put the muscle of his office behind. Rather, what he has told Israelis is that the US will stand by Israel regardless of what choices it makes – even if that choice continues to be perpetual occupation. That is, to say the least, unbecoming of the leader of the free world.

“He has, however, signaled a warning to Israelis that international isolation in response to its apartheid system is growing. Years from now, as international pressure mounts to end Israeli apartheid, this speech will be noted for its Cassandra-like warnings that came several decades too late.”

Noura Erakat, co-editor of Jadaliyya, and member of the legal support network of the Badil Resource Center for Palestinian Refugee and Residency Rights:

“President Obama’s speech makes clear that whether or not Palestinians enjoy freedom is a choice for Israelis to make. He offers that they should do that based on either their empathy for Palestinians, and if not, for strategic and self-interested reasons. Rather than reaffirm the equality and dignity of both peoples, President Obama perpetuates that Palestinian freedom is secondary to Israeli concerns and contingent upon their preference. This is quite a disappointing message when Israel’s behavior for the past two decades has destroyed the possibility of the two-state solution.”

Ali Abunimah, co-founder of the Electronic Intifada:

“Obama’s speech offered a vision of a two-state solution that will sound attractive to many people and even paid lip service to ‘justice’ and ‘self-determination’ for Palestinians. But no one should allow themselves to be taken too far aloft by this language. The hard reality remains that Obama will do nothing to bring even this limited vision about and in fact is doing much to block it. While he mildly criticized settlements, on Monday the US delegation boycotted an important debate in the UN Human Rights Council on Israeli settlements. Obama’s speech may be seen as a last gasp for a ‘two-state solution’ that has no chance of being implemented. It’s time for us to do what Obama won’t do, which is to look beyond a narrow vision of apartheid-like segregation dressed up in the slogan ‘two states for two peoples.’ There is already one state on the ground. It’s time to make it democratic.”

Earlier today Obama visited Ramallah:

nobama
Graffiti against the visit of the US President Barack Obama to the West Bank, Ramallah, March 21, 2013. (Photo: Keren Manor/ Activestills.org)

The following is a press pool report of Obama’s visit with Mahmoud Abbas:

WH Pool Report No. 4 – Bilat with POTUS, Abbas

About 11: 10 A.M., pool was led in to an austere room with POTUS and President Mahmoud Abbas seated under U.S. and Palestinian flags. Some conversation was underway as we entered, but could not hear.

Principals were asked to shake hands. They stood and did so with POTUS wearing a big grin. Delegations were seated in fairly low wooden chairs on either side of the room. At quick glance, U.S. delegation included John Kerry, Pete Rouse, Valerie Jarrett, Tom Donilon, Ben Rhodes, Dan Pfeiffer, Jay Carney and one or two others. Awaiting names on Palestinian delegation.

There were no words of substance, but Obama and some staff seemed puzzled when not all press immediately cleared. It was explained that another wave was coming in. The handshake was done again.

During the wait, Kerry said to Abbas who was wearing a blue tie: “Nice tie, Mr. President.”

It appeared to pooler that POTUS was chewing gum. Also appeared that way at tech tour earlier, which is still forthcoming.

Pool was cleared from room after about 5 minutes and is now holding again awaiting presser.

And another:

President Obama and the white haired Abbas walked along the red carpet, the US leader smiling and waving to the press, to a shaded wooden stage in the compound.

Secret Service agents trailed the president, holding open the door of one of his Washington DC – plated limousines, from which fluttered US and Palestinian flags.

The leaders stood to attention as a military band first played the US national anthem and then the Palestinian anthem.

Then they stepped off the stage and followed a moustachioed senior officer with a sword to his lips, to inspect an honor guard.

POTUS and Abbas then turned on their heels and disappeared out of view into PA buildings for their talks.

Also spotted walking through the warm sunshine were Secretary of State John Kerry and National Security advisor Tom Donilon.

The courtyard had earlier resounded to the skirl of bagpipes as the band marched in to set up. Armed security agents watched over the compound from surrounding buildings.

On the wall to the left of the stage was a large mural picturing Abbas and late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

You can read the full text of Obama and Abbas’s remarks here.

BF56SdbCQAA0pIu jpg large
President Obama meets Palestinian girls who performed dabke for him at the El-Bireh Youth Center near Ramallah. (Photo: Twitter)
About Adam Horowitz

Adam Horowitz is Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

Other posts by .


Posted In:

89 Responses

  1. Woody Tanaka
    March 21, 2013, 11:07 am

    “‘It’s good to be back in the land of Israel,’ Obama says in Hebrew”

    Let me guess, when he went to Ramallah, the meat puppet never quite got around to saying, “It’s good to be back in the land of Palestine” in Arabic.

  2. FreddyV
    March 21, 2013, 11:20 am

    I wish they’d stop applauding everything he says……..

    • Koshiro
      March 21, 2013, 11:33 am

      The Audience was likely hand-picked, possibly even instructed, to applaud his vapid motherhood statements.

      • Reds
        March 22, 2013, 11:40 am

        Even still, it was only around half the audiences that did so.

    • kalithea
      March 21, 2013, 1:06 pm

      You musn’t have been paying attention when they actually showed the audience. Many were not clapping and these were selected. Which kind of tells you that the rest of the Israeli population wouldn’t have been receptive at all.

      • Taxi
        March 21, 2013, 5:01 pm

        Of course the audience was “carefully” selected.

        No one in their right mind would for a second think that an israeli settler or right-winger would give Obama the time of day. They have a pathological contempt for him – well, outright hatred really.

        Didn’t they poll Obama’s popularity in israel before his visit? Aren’t they gonna poll after his visit?

        Just to see if the expensive Hollywood PR production worked or not?

  3. kalithea
    March 21, 2013, 11:40 am

    The heavens did not open and cherubims didn’t spill out because Obama has confirmed he is just as delusional as Zionists. How many times did he mention JEWISH STATE??? And exactly how is this state supposed to remain a “Jewish” state? The Jewish State is in Obama’s parallel universe; in this universe THE FACTS ON THE GROUND RULE which way this is going.

    Half the audience didn’t clap; that says alot, and they were selected! So right there you know this whole exercise is DELUSIONAL. Obama thinks that handing out hopey-changey candy to children will make them play nice. But then he turns around and gives them weapons and turns his back while the Zionist bullies grab everything for themselves.

    The blitz on CNN continues; Wolfie thinks Obama just invented the wheel and he’s about to have an orgasm. Meanwhile APARTHEID LIVES ANOTHER DAY because OBAMA LEGITIMIZED APARTHEID repeatedly in Israel.

    • EUR1069
      March 21, 2013, 2:21 pm

      @ kalithea: watch this retro flick of Wolfie being creamed by my man Norm Finkelstein back in 1989. Just to cheer you up :)

  4. pabelmont
    March 21, 2013, 11:47 am

    Obama’s (above excerpt) was a good and necessary speech. The “NO BAMA” is also a good and necessary speech.

    In secret adn in private he really must invite all the nations to put pressure on Israel to remove the settlers, the wall, and maybe (as I believe necessary) the settlement buildings. Because as long as a powerful blok of Israelis believe that history or God or whatever else favors their usurpation of all of Palestine as their right and proper Israeli territory — which is how they behave and what they seem to believe — they will continue doing what it appears that God and History favor.

    That favor (at least History’s) must stop, and must stop with sufficient definition that all can see that the nations are determined to return Israel to the status quo ante 1967. Obama can invite the other nations to act. silenmetly, as he must, noisily if he dares. There is no other way.

    • Koshiro
      March 21, 2013, 12:07 pm

      Obama’s (above excerpt) was a good and necessary speech.

      Are you kidding? The speech could have been held by Mr. Mackey from South Park. “It’s important to be nice to other people, m’kay? Even if they are Palestinians, m’kay?”
      No political principles, no recognition of the allegedly universally known outlines of a “deal”, no indication of the US role in this, nothing. This speech literally had no content.

      • kalithea
        March 21, 2013, 1:08 pm

        Exactly, no substance whatsoever. In other words; the usual Obama fare.

  5. Ira Glunts
    March 21, 2013, 11:53 am

    No mention of Jerusalem as a shared capital. No mention of the removal of settlements. No mention that the US will play a significant role. And a bunch of other things. This is not good.

    I thought the speech was very carefully structured and clever. It had enough to make Obama appear sympathetic to the Palestinian cause. Interestingly, the Pres. indicated that he was not sure that Israeli efforts even have a 50% chance of success. I thought this was a very slick way to show the Israelis his bias toward them, i.e., I know the Palestinians are hard to make peace with. And that he is not expecting much, i.e., low expectations.

    The bottom line is, I think, this trip shows that Obama is backing away from involvement in the conflict and will support the old policy of endless talks which go nowhere. He will not pressure the Israelis and will basically support the Israeli tough bargaining positions which will lead nowhere or at best to a truncated Palestinian state on 60% of the West Bank.

    This is sad but not unexpected. The fight for justice for the Palestinians and peace in the region will continue with him. Tomorrow is another day.

    I look forward to the reactions of those that post about the speech.

    P.S. All the talk about share concerns in the regions coupled the use of military force, in Iran and now in Syria between Barack and Bibi makes me very nervous.

    • seafoid
      March 21, 2013, 11:59 am

      If he had spoken to the Palestinians in East Jerusalem it would have meant something.

      Imagine Obama quoting “Zahrat al Madaen” from Orient House.

      link to youtube.com
      But he’s not that kind of transformative leader. He is more into fluff.

      • Kathleen
        March 21, 2013, 12:10 pm

        Hey he did not reference Jerusalem belonging to the state of Israel. a good thing

      • kalithea
        March 21, 2013, 1:26 pm

        Obama’s a lawyer by profession. Omission is better than admission. And while ethnic cleansing is happening in Jerusalem he knows one day in the distant (or hopefully not-so-distant) future, should justice catch up with this crime, history will judge him in a harsh light as complicit or condoning.

        No doubt on this issue he should have advocated for justice; but he’s a coward.

    • W.Jones
      March 21, 2013, 12:35 pm

      “P.S. All the talk about share concerns in the regions coupled the use of military force, in Iran and now in Syria between Barack and Bibi makes me very nervous.”
      Of course they talk this way. Barack is the Minister of Defense.

    • Blownaway
      March 21, 2013, 2:36 pm

      For decades the palestinians have counted on Amerrica to ultimatly do what is right and deliever them from oppression. Obama was their last great hope. Now they know once and for all that Amrica will never free them and that they must take their fate into their own hands. Abbas is a eunich who is incapable of achieveing anything. Listening to Peres lecture on America and Israel the bastion of freedom for all except palestiinas . Does he not see the irony of his own words?

      • thankgodimatheist
        March 22, 2013, 4:05 am

        “For decades the palestinians have counted on Amerrica to ultimatly do what is right and deliever them from oppression.”

        Edward Said once wrote that the biggest mistake the Palestinians ever did was to accept the idea of the US as a broker in this conflict. America cannot be an honest broker, he said, because it’s entirely favorable to the Israeli side. Nothing good can be expected of the US.

  6. Don
    March 21, 2013, 11:57 am

    I don’t know about anyone else, but I think it pretty damn impressive when the President of the United States of America, a BLACK man, talks about “demographic threats”…

    “Given the demographics west of the Jordan River, the only way for Israel to endure and thrive as a Jewish and democratic state…”

    Truly unbelievable.

    • Brown-Eyed Girl
      March 21, 2013, 1:11 pm

      Excellent point. I wish Abbas had taken him on a “walk,” around the apartheid wall or to a segregated bus stop. Now that would have been brilliant.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      March 21, 2013, 1:22 pm

      I had to scroll up the page to check that he actually said that. He did. Absolutely disgusting. He is essentially saying that the birth of babies of the ‘wrong’ ethnicity is a threat to the ‘Zionist dream’. Which sounds more like a nightmare. Unbelievable. And yet… not.

    • kalithea
      March 21, 2013, 1:34 pm

      Yes, what is truly threatening is defining demographic reality as a “threat”. The man is off his rocker and MLK is turning over in his grave. Obama the supreme beneficiary of civil rights INDULGING RACISM.

    • Donald
      March 21, 2013, 3:32 pm

      “I don’t know about anyone else, but I think it pretty damn impressive when the President of the United States of America, a BLACK man, talks about “demographic threats”…

      Good catch. I don’t know if it was this speech, but I was also impressed (in the same sick sort of way) by how he compared Israel to America by saying we shared this background of being pioneers. Well, yeah, and who was living in America/Palestine before these “pioneers” came? He really does seem to go out of his way to sound like a white politician speaking around 1950, before the 60’s movements pushed back against a white-centered racist telling of our history.

      • Don
        March 21, 2013, 8:50 pm

        What I really don’t understand, Donald (and can there be any doubt Obama knows very well what he is doing?)…maybe its a question…are American Jews angry about this sort of pandering?

        He enables and empowers Israeli self-destruction…and then asks Israelis to “be nice” (so to speak) and let Palestinians have a state. It is idiocy.

        First, behave with great injustice…and then ask for justice. What a wasted presidency.

      • EUR1069
        March 22, 2013, 9:14 am

        “He enables and empowers Israeli self-destruction..”

        Right on! Zionism is destined to self-destruct. They think their voracious land grab is the solution to their problems, but in fact they are painting themselves into a corner with eventually a one-state solution as the only option. Ehud Olmert was right on that one.

      • Donald
        March 22, 2013, 10:56 am

        A lot of people like pandering–otherwise politicians wouldn’t pander so much.

        As for Obama, I don’t know what he thinks he’s doing. He might just be writing the Palestinians off and trying to strengthen ties with the Israelis so they will coordinate better on whatever they end up doing to Iran. Plus he presumably knows Congress won’t back him up if he really were to get tough with Israel. Or one could take the view some have, that this is really a clever way to get some of the Israelis on his side before he pushes for peace. I don’t believe it and don’t think that the one-sided rhetoric that most so-called advocates of the 2SS use will get anywhere, but we’ll see.

      • Reds
        March 22, 2013, 11:44 am

        Let me pose this Scenario to you?

        So the Israeli right knows that there actions will force a One-State Solution so they help create so much opression on the palestinans that the palestinians explode and the IDF of course siding with these settlers expels large # from most of the west bank and baring them from returning. This can be agrued not as ethich cleansing but to save Israel from another holocaust by those_______ people who want to ______ to all Jews.

        All in the name of self-defense btw.

      • Joe Ed
        March 22, 2013, 9:12 am

        Obama was mouthing the words that his Zionist Jewish handlers wrote for him. Demographic threat is their perverse view of what the Palestians are. They cannot see their own sickness any more than Southern white could see theirs in the 1930s. The big difference here is that Washington DC was not owned and operated by Southern whites.

        I am very pessimistic. The Zionist machine grows stronger every year in our power centers. I fear it will only cease to exist after it has done us tremendous further damage. Maybe via wars in Syria and Iran? But even then, they have such control of the mass media, they may be able to spin their messes onto someone else — Muslims is their usual scapegoat

  7. amigo
    March 21, 2013, 11:58 am

    “You can be the generation that permanently secures the Zionist dream”.

    Geez; I was hoping no one would ever achieve that nightmare.

  8. MRW
    March 21, 2013, 11:58 am

    I’m not watching any of this. HuffPo is headlining that Obama is asking for two states and that Palestinian kids are entitled to a life.

    “‘It Is Not Fair That A Palestinian Child Cannot Grow Up In A State Of Her Own’…
    Settlement Activity ‘Counterproductive’… Palestinian State ‘Must Be Viable’…”

    So what gives?

    • American
      March 21, 2013, 1:20 pm

      “So what gives?”…MRW

      Nothing gives…all this is crap. Thought up by O’s “assistant national security advisor” Ben Rhodes, who has no national security or FP or strategic policy experience and was O’s “speech writer”. But Rhodes does have a brother who is president of CBS…so I guess that makes him qualified..and he does have a Jewish mother…so there’s another qualification.
      Rhodes tells Obama he has to convince Israel how much the US luvs, luvs, luvs them and they will make peace.
      Gawd…beam me up Scotty!

    • thankgodimatheist
      March 22, 2013, 4:10 am

      “I’m not watching any of this.”
      Me neither. Delicate stomach sucks..

  9. FreddyV
    March 21, 2013, 12:03 pm

    @Ira,

    He wouldn’t speak out against settlements when in Ramallah. He basically spoke about there being no preconditions. Abbas came straight out and corrected that one.

    • Ira Glunts
      March 21, 2013, 12:19 pm

      @FreddyV I did not hear the conference from Ramallah. I am glad Abbas corrected him on the settlements. I will have to watch that.

  10. FreddyV
    March 21, 2013, 12:07 pm

    I was more convinced by Rocky’s speech for change in front of the Soviet Polit Bureau after he defeated Ivan Drago.

    ‘If I can change. And you can change. Everybody can change!!!’

    • seafoid
      March 21, 2013, 12:57 pm

      LOL

      The bots can’t change that easily. All that indoctrination and they have a sort of Fox bubble alternative Hebrew we make our own reality thing going on.

  11. Kathleen
    March 21, 2013, 12:09 pm

    Well Obama tried to put his foot in the way of the two state solution door closing completely. But many experts believe it is solidly sealed shut. Obama trying to pry it open. But no grit behind the great words.

    Obama: “But 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. 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”

    Not bad

    Obama: ” As Ariel Sharon said, “It is impossible to have a Jewish, democratic state and at the same time to control all of Eretz Israel. If we insist on fulfilling the dream in its entirety, we are liable to lose it all.”

    The truth….”we are able to lost it all.” One state one person, one vote. Coming eventually if Israel does not stop building and expanding illegal settlements.

    Hey is did not say that all of Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.
    “The courtyard had earlier resounded to the skirl of bagpipes as the band marched in to set up.” Bagpipes? What is up with bagpipes being played?
    And what is with bagpipes playing in the background?

    • seafoid
      March 21, 2013, 1:12 pm

      “And what is with bagpipes playing in the background?”

      Netanyahu is a wind- and douchebag . I think the bagpipes were the closest musical instrument.

    • kalithea
      March 21, 2013, 1:43 pm

      NOT BAD???

      “It is not right…to displace Palestinian families from their home.” Not riiiight???

      It’s a CRIME for God’s sakes; it’s called ETHNIC CLEANSING!

      “Not right”…you’d think he was sending a two-year old to the corner for being naughty!

      Ethnic cleansing is a crime and he’s mollycoddling those committing that crime and I can only hope and pray that all his delusional bias comes back to bite him.

  12. Brown-Eyed Girl
    March 21, 2013, 12:53 pm

    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.

    I am struck by this comment. Israelis did not build a state in THEIR homeland, they built a state in Palestine, in someone else s’ homeland. Surely Obama must know that.

    • AlGhorear
      March 21, 2013, 8:22 pm

      “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.

      I am struck by this comment. Israelis did not build a state in THEIR homeland, they built a state in Palestine, in someone else s’ homeland. Surely Obama must know that.”

      Spot-on brown-eyed girl. Glad to see you join this wonderful group of commentators here on Mondoweiss.

  13. Jeff Klein
    March 21, 2013, 1:03 pm

    It’s funny, but bagpipes are part of the scout (as is Boy Scouts) culture in Palestine and are commonly heard during parades in Ramallah. I imagine the tradition goes back to the British Mandate, maybe further. . .

    • libra
      March 21, 2013, 1:43 pm

      JK: I imagine the tradition goes back to the British Mandate, maybe further. .

      In fact a lot further. Indeed, bagpipes would seem to be as indigenous as hummus. Though perhaps similarly fated to become an Israeli invention.

    • kalithea
      March 21, 2013, 1:52 pm

      It’s ironic and sad. It’s as if occupation has become part of their culture, since they’ve hardly known freedom at all. I prefer the Arab influence on Greek music and food and on flamenco music and the majestry of the Alhambra to “bagpipes”. Oh lord! Palestinians need their freedom nowww.

      • RudyM
        March 21, 2013, 4:33 pm

        I’ve got some great Palestinian bagpipe music on cassette, and there is plenty of unequivocally Arab bagpipe music out there. Maybe what I’m hearing is not technically a bagpipe but something closely related, but that’s what it sounds like to me.

        Also see comment above that the instrument probably goes back to the Middle East to begin with.

    • ckg
      March 21, 2013, 2:07 pm

      Yes. From a Easter 2010 BBC audio slideshow on Palestinian bagpipes:

      Across the West Bank on public holidays, thousands of Palestinian scouts march through the streets twirling batons, banging drums and playing bagpipes.

      The scouts and marching bands are a legacy of the British mandate from 1920 to 1948, but it is the Scottish cultural connection that now resonates with some Palestinians, who see historical parallels with their own struggle against Israeli occupation.

  14. Brown-Eyed Girl
    March 21, 2013, 1:07 pm

    We here openly talk about apartheid, in Israel they talk about apartheid. However, I cannot help but wonder how Israeli people feel. How do they feel about building a state on another people’s land? How do they feel enjoying the fruits of what they stole? How do they feel living with their lies and illusions? It must be a truly schizophrenic existence. I wonder if Israeli’s feel like the whites of South Africa did because they are exactly like them? They believe they are God’s people in a land God gave them. Coming back to Eretz Israel after 2,000 “years of longing.” I suppose like the whites of South Africa who felt no guilt over throwing blacks out, Israeli’s justify displacing the Palestinians—to the extent they admit Palestinians exist. Remember the whites of South Africa said there were no blacks there, it was empty when they arrived and the blacks came only when they–the superior people, developed it. Kinda of like “we made the desert bloom.” I wonder how Israeli’s live knowing they are on borrowed time. Obama probably made them feel better. I only wish he had had the guts to tell them the truth.

    • kalithea
      March 21, 2013, 2:00 pm

      Apathy and a sense of superior entitlement separates them from their conscience. They’re delusional and creating evil and Obama indulges that hateful illusion for political gain. He’s a coward and one day history will judge him.

    • German Lefty
      March 21, 2013, 2:37 pm

      @ Brown-Eyed Girl:
      I cannot help but wonder how Israeli people feel. How do they feel about building a state on another people’s land? How do they feel enjoying the fruits of what they stole? How do they feel living with their lies and illusions?

      There is an interesting YouTube channel dedicated to that topic:
      link to youtube.com
      “Ask an Israeli/Ask a Palestinian Project: Want to know what Israelis and Palestinians in the Middle East really think about the conflict? Ask a question and I will get answers.”
      The creator of the project is a “liberal” Zionist. He believes that everything is fine within the Green Line.
      I watched several of his videos. The answers given by Israeli Jews are quite shocking and disheartening.

      • Brown-Eyed Girl
        March 21, 2013, 9:36 pm

        I watched many of the videos and they are amazing. Israeli’s know they stole land, displaced another people, and committed an injustice. From the videos most are OK with it; they enjoy their lives and don’t care about the “natives.” One man gave the Bible as an answer to the question about the Jewish vs. Palestinian right of return. The comparison with white South Africans in the era of apartheid is more accurate than I thought. Now I am even more embarrassed that the first black president went to praise Israel and treated and spoke of Palestinians as dismissively as Netanyahu does.

      • K Renner
        March 22, 2013, 9:26 am

        Corey himself is also a hypocritical POS.

      • German Lefty
        March 22, 2013, 5:00 pm

        Corey himself is also a hypocritical POS.

        Well, I wouldn’t call anyone a piece of shit. However, he is definitely a hypocrite, just like all other “liberal” Zionists.
        When I discovered his YouTube channel last October, I sent him an e-mail with a few questions. He replied that it will take him a few months to collect the answers. Apparently, he receives a lot of questions.

    • jon s
      March 21, 2013, 5:49 pm

      Brown Eyed Girl, I’ll try to answer you honestly, as an Israeli.
      By and large, we think of this of this land as our historic homeland , not land we “stole”. (The Whites who emigrated to SouthAfrica weren’t reconnecting to their historic homeland). So we feel quite at home here, and don’t forget that by now, after over 100 years of Zionism and 65 years of Israel, a large portion of the population is native-born, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th generation Israelis, who know no other reality.
      No one denies the Palestinians exist. I, for one, believe in the urgent need to achieve peace through a two-state solution.

      • thankgodimatheist
        March 22, 2013, 4:19 am

        “we think of this of this land as our historic homeland, not land we “stole””

        Obviously, you haven’t been reading your own historians who now admit to have taken the land by force. In “The Scars of War” Shlomo Ben-Ami, historian but also an ex foreign minister under Barack wrote that only 6 to 7% of the land was bought. The rest was taken by force.
        Here:
        “…as a whole, I think that not more than 6 or 7% of the entire surface of the state of Israel was bought. The rest of it was either taken over or won during the war.”
        link to normanfinkelstein.com

        Time for an update, Zionist.

      • thankgodimatheist
        March 22, 2013, 4:30 am

        And this is not even new. It’s been a while that the “New Historians” in Israel have been stressing this point out. You should know this! Educated Israelis know of this fact! Unless you’re a recent immigrant of course which is a plausible explanation. Or you live in a pathological state of denial which is also very common among your folk..

      • German Lefty
        March 22, 2013, 6:46 am

        By and large, we think of this of this land as our historic homeland , not land we “stole”. (The Whites who emigrated to SouthAfrica weren’t reconnecting to their historic homeland)

        Reconnecting? Oh, please! The Zionists who invaded Palestine did NOT have any legal documents which proved that their ancestors owned land there and were dispossessed. Therefore, this can’t be considered a reconnection with your historic homeland.
        Palestinian refugees, however, have evidence that they are the rightful owners.

        don’t forget that by now, after over 100 years of Zionism and 65 years of Israel, a large portion of the population is native-born, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th generation Israelis, who know no other reality.

        Nobody denies that the children and grandchildren of the illegal Zionist immigrants are native-born. And nobody wants to kick them out. The problem is that the illegal Zionist immigrants and their offspring oppress the actual indigenous people, kick them out and/or deny them their right of return – with the objective of creating, preserving and expanding the Jewish supremacist state.

        No one denies the Palestinians exist.

        That’s a lie!
        “A land without a people for a people without a land”
        link to en.wikipedia.org

        I believe in the urgent need to achieve peace through a two-state solution.

        Peace? What about justice? Why should Palestinians give up 78% of their homeland and their right of return?

      • Joe Ed
        March 22, 2013, 9:25 am

        The Middle East is not the homeland of people from Moscow, Krakow, Brooklyn. This is mass delusion. Isreal is the last vestige of full on European colonialism. Just as the Americas had to be “cleared” of the natives to make way for the entitled by God whites of Europe — who also had all sorts of skewed rationalizations as to why they were entitled to the land — Israel has engaged in and is engaging in mass murder and massive land theft among other crimes against the natives of Palestine in order to secure their imaginary homeland

      • K Renner
        March 22, 2013, 9:29 am

        So you believe in stagnant “talks” that achieve nothing because you won’t go back to the 1967 borders and won’t allow the displaced Palestinians back into their homes and won’t allow equal rights for Palestinians living within the ’67 borders.

        I like the “two-state delusion” or the “two-state distraction” better as names for your idea of solutions.

      • EUR1069
        March 22, 2013, 11:58 am

        “I, for one, believe in the urgent need to achieve peace through a two-state solution.”

        There won’t be a two-state solution – it’s way too late for that. You guys wasted precious time by being too busy anschlussing large portions of the WB. Now you either include Gaza & the WB into a Greater Israel and give Palestinians full Israeli citizenship, or refuse to do so & end up as an international pariah & a despised apartheid state that won’t last another 65 years. The 4th largest army & the 200+ nukes under the Negev won’t help you. Good thing is that in about two generations Palestinians will be residing in those nifty housing complexes in the WB. Time to wake up n smell the coffee.

      • MK_Ultra
        March 22, 2013, 5:41 pm

        Since you seem to subscribe (even if hypocritically and as a matter of convenience) to the “historical ties to the land” theory of voodoo and fanaticism, you should be aware that you’re pissing off your god a great deal, trying his patience & forcing her to smite you out of frustration one day soon. The Talmud says that ever since the beginning of exile, Jews are forbidden to conquer the Holy Land, or to fight wars against the non-Jewish nations. You are also forbidden to take physical action toward your redemption. Thus, according to Jewish law, a Jewish state is forbidden to exist. It must be dismantled and the land must be ruled by a non-Jewish government. Y’all are playing Russian roulette with your deity and acting against her expressed will and you will have to suffer the consequences accordingly. Even your Sugar Daddy won’t be able to get you out of that jam.

      • German Lefty
        March 24, 2013, 5:24 pm

        @ jon s:

        I, for one, believe in the urgent need to achieve peace through a two-state solution.

        I just discovered this article, which perfectly explains the three problems with the two-state solution:
        link to aljazeera.com

        I wonder if this piece can convince you.

      • eljay
        March 24, 2013, 7:06 pm

        >> By and large, we think of this of this land as our historic homeland , not land we “stole”.

        Thinking the land is yours:
        – doesn’t make it yours;
        – doesn’t give you the right to ethnically cleanse any part of the indigenous population; and
        – doesn’t give you the right to set up was is, among other things, an oppressive and supremacist state.

        If you didn’t buy it or have it willingly given to you, you stole it.

    • MK_Ultra
      March 22, 2013, 5:44 pm

      The ISrealites feel exactly the same way “Americans” feel about building a nation on the genocide of the native population and their stolen land. People are people everywhere. When Mother Nature let us come down from the trees, she’s screwed up. Hopefully, she’ll correct that mistake soon and, next time, will leave us all on the trees.

  15. ToivoS
    March 21, 2013, 2:55 pm

    The good news is that there is nothing new. Obama came close when he urged Abbas to return to negotiations by dropping its demand for a settlement freeze: “If the expectation is that we can only have direct negotiations when everything is settled ahead of time, then there is no point for negotiations.”

    Except this was already stated US position and it does not sound like the US is insisting on this point with respect to a settlement freeze. If the Palestinians ever concede on this point then any such negotiations would undermine the political movement in Europe on sanctions against Israel. At this point that is the Palestinians best hope in putting pressure on Israel.

  16. DICKERSON3870
    March 21, 2013, 4:10 pm

    RE: “Rather, what he [Obama] has told Israelis is that the US will stand by Israel regardless of what choices it makes – even if that choice continues to be perpetual occupation.” ~ Yousef Munayyer

    MY COMMENT: So, once again the U.S. acts as the “Great Enabler” of Israel’s occupation.

    JACLYN FRIEDMAN (from “It’s Time for Some Israel Real Talk”):

    [EXCERPT] . . . I love Israel. As an American Jew, the dream of Israel has held me in thrall since I was a small child. The day I wept at the Wailing Wall was one of the most transcendent and emotional of my life. But loving someone doesn’t mean helping them do whatever destructive thing they want. Call that enabling or co-dependence, but it’s not love. I love Israel like I’d love a drunk friend who wants their car keys. . .

    SOURCE – link to prospect.org

    • DICKERSON3870
      March 21, 2013, 4:14 pm

      P.S. ALSO SEE: “How Israel Is Like an Alcoholic Mother”, by Megan McArdle, The Atlantic, 3/22/12

      [EXCERPTS] . . . What is it Alex Portnoy overhears his mother say to her friends, apropos of the lengths she has to go to to get him to eat? “I have to stand over him with a knife!”
      To be a bit more serious for a moment, though, Chesterton famously quipped: “My country, right or wrong is a thing that no patriot would think of saying except in a desperate case. It is like saying: “My mother, drunk or sober.” Well, yes, but she is your mother, drunk or sober, right? Similarly, it is your country, whether your country is right or wrong. The question is what that entails. If your mother is a drunk, and begs for another drink, are you obliged to give it to her? Presumably not.
      But are you obliged to devote yourself to getting her to dry out? That, it seems to me is the real heart of the question. I think many of Beinart’s critics — like Jeffrey Goldberg — would say: that’s exactly how they think about Israel and the settlements. They are against them. . . They think they were and are a grave and historic mistake…
      . . . So they are doing what they can to convince their mother to check herself in and dry out. But she’s their mother. If it takes her a long time to convince, they’ll keep trying. If she slips a drink on the sly, they’ll try to hide the liquor better, but they’ll forgive her. [In other words, they will act as "enablers". ~ J.L.D.] And, whatever she does, they certainly aren’t going to call the cops on her, and give the neighbors (who never liked her, even have tried to get her evicted) the satisfaction of seeing her humiliated by her own son in public. After all, she’s their mother. [Let's call this "constructive engagement"! ~ J.L.D.]
      Well, talk to a few children of alcoholics, and you’ll discover that “my mother, drunk or sober” is not always a tenable proposition. Sometimes, for some people, the sense of obligation to one’s mother is trumped by a sense of obligation to oneself, and to protect oneself from her disease. And that, in a nutshell, is what Beinart is saying. She may be my mother, yes, but if she keeps carrying on, I don’t care what the neighbors say, and I don’t care if she never speaks to me again afterward: I’m going to call the cops on her. . .

      ENTIRE COMMENTARY – link to theatlantic.com

      • DICKERSON3870
        March 21, 2013, 4:16 pm

        P.P.S. ALSO SEE: “Enabling – When ‘Helping’ Doesn’t Really Help”, By Buddy T, About.com Guide, 3/05/11

        [EXCERPT] Many times when family and friends try to “help” alcoholics, they are actually making it easier for them to continue in the progression of the disease.
        This baffling phenomenon is called enabling, which takes many forms, all of which have the same effect –
        allowing the alcoholic to avoid the consequences of his actions. This in turn allows the alcoholic to continue merrily along his (or her) drinking ways, secure in the knowledge that no matter how much he screws up, somebody will always be there to rescue him from his mistakes. . .

        SOURCE – link to alcoholism.about.com

        AND SEE: “Are You an Addiction Enabler?”, By Sunrise Recovery

        [EXCERPT] The problem of alcoholism or drug addiction is often shared by two people. There is a substance abuser and there is an enabler.
        The enabler may be a spouse, life-partner, relative or friend. The substance abuser and the enabler are partners in a co-dependent relationship that encourages or overlooks the abuser’s unhealthy behavior. The enabler makes excuses for and protects the substance abuser, often out of a misplaced sense of loyalty or love. As a result, the substance abuser’s problems with addiction are prolonged. . .

        SOURCE – link to drugrehabranch.crchealth.com

  17. southernobserver
    March 21, 2013, 4:48 pm

    right action: link to icj-cij.org

    The should go there while mr obama is in the country. This is a choice for the UN’s newest observer state of course. We should not kid ourselves, things can always get worse, much worse. On the other hand, I am being to wonder, just how much worse would it be than slow motion murder and expulsion?

  18. German Lefty
    March 21, 2013, 6:42 pm

    German-language Spiegel article:
    “Middle East conflict: Obama surprises with explicit criticism of Israel”
    link to spiegel.de
    The article even refers to Obama’s mild criticism as “sweeping blow/swipe” (Rundumschlag). Ridiculous!
    The reader comments say
    – that it’s all talk and no action,
    – that Obama’s words fall on deaf ears,
    – that Obama didn’t say or criticise anything that the world doesn’t already know.
    One commenter compared the separation wall to the Berlin wall.
    Two commenters, however, praised Obama for his courage and plain talking.

    • ToivoS
      March 21, 2013, 9:39 pm

      German Lefty reports: - that it’s all talk and no action,

      That is the good news. The point about all talk is that Obama ‘s words are all part of previous US statements on the IP issue. We all know where the US stands. The danger was that he would try to offer something new like another “peace” initiative. Now that would have been bad news.

      We should recognize that the US will not support another Nakba type event that happened in 1948. The US will not support massive ethnic cleansings. We might support Israeli attacks that kill a few thousand Palestinians, but we would not support the level of genocidal actions needed to reverse the demographic threat.

      Basically Israel is seriously constrained in what it can do. And Obama’s visit has not changed that.

      As many here have mentioned, I suspect that Israel is trying to provoke a violent reaction by the Palestinians to their current policies so that they will gain US support for some of the more extreme measures they have planned. I hope that the nonviolent protests that the Palestinians can continue. I know that no American would accept that level of violence without responding in kind. But the Palestinians are held to a different standard.

      • MK_Ultra
        March 22, 2013, 5:28 pm

        Basically Israel is seriously constrained in what it can do. And Obama’s visit has not changed that.

        Wow! Could have fooled me. If for no other reason than because of the all the vetoes of UN resolutions condemning ISreal, the open-pocket policy when it comes to weapons and treasure and the unquestioned support for all things ISreal such as aggression against any sovereign nation that ISreal deems a threat for whatever the reason. But other than that, yeah, I guess you’re right, they’re seriously constrained.

        Hark!
        Hark!
        Hark!

  19. Blank State
    March 21, 2013, 8:36 pm

    I note this embarrassing fraud, Obama, made sure to mention the two bottle rockets that were allegedly fired yesterday, as well as making sure he got the ‘ol “suicide attacks” talking point inserted into his pathetic and insincere oration. Never mind that nary a day goes by that the Palestinians are not subjected to human rights abuses, criminal acts, crippling oppression, and actual murder and mayhem. Were I Palestinian, I have no doubt that I would probably consider the firing of rockets a justifiable act of defense, to say nothing about the retaliatory rationale for such an act.
    The L.A. Times has two good pieces today, one in the Opinion section, the other on page three, describing the far right nature of Israel’s Jewish youth and young adults. Obama is sorely mistaken if he thinks these young racists, (whose hatred for Arabs has been nurtured and encouraged throughout thier formulative years by the national discourse and state policies), are somehow tomorrow’s jewish peaceniks.
    These kids grew up being encouraged to actually sign bombs and missiles about to be rained upon civilian populations. They have been drafted into assisting the abrupt evictions of Palestinians from thier family homes. They have been told, from birth forward, that they are mankind’s eternal victims, and that the Arabs are inferior beings, and hell bent on eradicating the Jews.
    Good luck, Obama, you feckless idiot.

    • K Renner
      March 22, 2013, 9:33 am

      Netanyahu Youth. Or maybe Likud Youth?

    • MK_Ultra
      March 22, 2013, 5:24 pm

      When asked by Gideon Levy, Ha’aretez columnist, what he would have done if he had been born a Palestinian, Ehud Barak responded: “I would have joined a terrorist organization.”

  20. crone
    March 21, 2013, 9:32 pm

    Who would have thought the man who gave the famous “Cairo Speech” could have been such a … words actually fail me.

    I knew I was disappointed in Obama… but at this point I am disgusted, nauseated, revolted etc. by a man I twice voted for President.

  21. seafoid
    March 21, 2013, 11:15 pm

    The picture of the dabka girls is wonderful. They have the Palestinian noor al ain.
    At the end of the day that is what it is about. People in their own country with the freedom to follow their own culture.

    They don’t need legions of ideologues reading stock mantras from the same prep sheet. You can always recognise a Palestinian. They just are. Which is why Zionism has such a difficult time convincing us that they are not.

    At one level the whole Zionism thing is just ludicrous.

  22. Qualtrough
    March 21, 2013, 11:49 pm

    There must come a time when even the most die-hard Obama supporter must realize that he is the exact opposite of the man they thought they were voting for. Surely that moment must have arrived by now for anyone who had hoped that he would be some kind of game-changer in this arena. It’s over, done, and time to forget about him playing anything other than a destructive role here. Anyone know where Elizabeth Warren stands on the I-P issue?

    • Ellen
      March 22, 2013, 4:55 am

      Qualtrough, Elizabeth Warren spouts the AIPAC clap trap written for her and she has from the first day she poked her hear into the political arena. Her stand is to get elected. She will grovel and lie and disgrace herself and country just as most all our paid off and corrupted elected Congress and Senate.

      link to mondoweiss.net

      link to elizabethwarren.com

    • Donald
      March 22, 2013, 9:27 am

      “There must come a time when even the most die-hard Obama supporter must realize that he is the exact opposite of the man they thought they were voting for. ”

      You must not know any die-hard Obama supporters. There must come a time when the stars all burn out and when the last black hole in the universe decays away from Hawking radiation–you might want to ask then if any have changed their minds.

    • Joe Ed
      March 22, 2013, 9:30 am

      Ms. Warren’s run for senate was quite well funded and supported by the mainstream media.

      You want to take a guess on where she stands on I-P?

      There was a report by Max Blumenthal on Mondoweiss demonstrating just how craven the courageous Ms. Warren is on this topic @ 3 weeks ago.

      “While progressives celebrate Warren for her fight against the big banks and the financial industry’s lobbying arm, they have kept silent over the fact that she has enlisted with another powerful lobby that is willing to sabotage America’s economic recovery in order to advance its narrow interests. It is AIPAC, the key arm of the Israel lobby; a group that is openly pushing for a US war on Iran that would likely trigger a global recession, as the renowned economist Nouriel Roubini recently warned. The national security/foreign policy position page on Warren’s campaign website reads as though it was cobbled together from AIPAC memos and the website of the Israeli Foreign Ministry by the Democratic Party hacks who are advising her. It is pure boilerplate that suggests she knows about as much about the Middle East as Herman “Uzbeki-beki-stan-stan” Cain, and that she doesn’t care.

      Warren’s statement on Israel consumes far more space than any other foreign policy issue on the page (she makes no mention of China, Latin America, or Africa). To justify what she calls the “unbreakable bond” between the US and Israel, Warren repeats the thoughtless cant about “a natural partnership resting on our mutual commitment to democracy and freedom and on our shared values.” She then declares that the United States must reject any Palestinian plans to pursue statehood outside of negotiations with Israel. While the US can preach to the Palestinians about how and when to demand the end of their 45-year-long military occupation, Warren says the US “cannot dictate the terms” to Israel.

      Warren goes on to describe Iran as “a significant threat to the United States,” echoing a key talking point of fear-mongering pro-war forces. She calls for “strong sanctions” and declares that the “United States must take the necessary steps to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon” — a veiled endorsement of a military strike if Iran crosses the constantly shifting American “red lines.” Perhaps the only option Warren does not endorse or implicitly support is diplomacy. Her foreign policy views are hardly distinguishable from those of her Republican rival, who also marches in lockstep with AIPAC.”

  23. RudyM
    March 22, 2013, 1:02 am

    Just as Israelis built a state in their homeland, Palestinians have a right to be a free people in their own land.

    Unfortunately that Jewish homeland happens to be the Palestinians’ homeland (only the claims to that land of the former are vastly less convincing than the claims of the latter).

    And one other thing: Obama is unworthy of shaking the hands of children anywhere in the world. They are infinitely worthier than he is as the leader of U.S. empire.

  24. German Lefty
    March 22, 2013, 6:55 am

    Rachel Maddow:
    link to nbcnews.com

  25. kayq
    March 22, 2013, 7:12 am

    The important question to ask here is: “what would Edward Said do?”

  26. amigo
    March 22, 2013, 9:40 am

    link to electronicintifada.net

    I wonder what promises Obama made to Edward Said.

    One thing for sure. The wrong man got the Nobel Peace Prize.

    Give it back Obama, you shame the institution.

  27. amigo
    March 22, 2013, 9:47 am

    It is time for the Palestinians to go to the ICC.

    Make a new plan Stan and set yourself free.

    There will be no Palestinian State so get on with bringing Israel,s criminal leaders to the Hague for trial and imprisonment with hard labour for the rest of their miserable lives.

  28. David Doppler
    March 22, 2013, 12:17 pm

    So he speaks to the youth of Israel, those who laugh at the blustering Netanyahu, who they see as an old clown, seeking to inspire them to change. Having given his personal assurance of Israeli security, he further undermines Likud’s power-base: existential fear. He calls on their better angels. He invites them to view the world through Palestinian eyes. He labels the hand dealt the Palestinians by the Israelis “unfair.” Then this, which speaks volumes about both Israel and its leaders and Obama and US politics:

    “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.”

    This is the statement of a very cautious, risk-averse person. Not all political leaders are as risk-averse as Obama. Tim Murphy, former mayor of Pittsburgh, once said (with a little fire in his eyes), There are a lot of people who will criticize you from every direction, but, if you’re prepared to drive a stake in the ground, or lead a charge, very few have what it takes to actually stand in your way. [Not a direct quote.]

    Cautious and risk averse to the point of cravenness, and yet . . . . Few are as eloquent as Obama, and campus youth are his natural milieu, fertile ground for pre-cynical idealism. Time will tell if this speech resonates around Israel as his Cairo speech appears to have around the Arab world. One thing is certain, the political base that Likud built is as brittle and out of touch as the pre-Arab Spring autocracies, waiting for a next-generational spirit to replace it.

    And he apparently extracts an apology from Netanyahu to Turkey over the attack on the Gaza relief flotilla. (Didn’t see this in any of the coverage except on Mondoweiss – what a pathetic MSM we have.) This is a very big deal, part of what he no doubt negotiated for, but cannot trumpet because, [why????? what exactly are the rules of the tabus????].

    Thanks again Mondoweiss for the real news from the Middle East. The truth will set us all free.

  29. RudyM
    March 22, 2013, 6:27 pm

    There is a report on Electronic Intifada that the heckler during Obama’s speech was actually pro-Palestinian and raised the issue of Rachel Corrie:

    link to electronicintifada.net

    Can anyone here understand what was said by the heckler?

Leave a Reply