Can Obama Make Israelis Believe Again?

The American President poured on the charm in an effort to persuade Israelis and Palestinians to get back on the path to peace.

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Jason Reed / Reuters

President Barack Obama acknowledges the audience at the Jerusalem Convention Center, March 21, 2013.

The purpose of President Obama’s visit to Israel finally emerged on Thursday, in the ebullient afterglow of the speech that was billed as the centerpiece of his trip, and lived up to the billing. After a first term spent trying to alter the mechanics of the negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians over the land they both claim — tinkering with settlement freezes, summoning leaders to the White House — Obama decided on a new approach to Middle East peace: he’d talk them into it.

The master orator brought all his skills to the Jerusalem address, braiding emotion, history, reassurance, logic and personal charisma into a speech that did to the audience what a really good Obama speech can be relied upon to do: it lifted them out of themselves and made them think anything was possible. It was a stunning success, at least until his listeners return to the realities awaiting them right outside the auditorium (which stands behind the bus stop that was the scene of the last terror attack inside Jerusalem, a 2011 backpack bomb that killed one).

“He’s so good, I loved it even though I don’t agree with some of what he said,” says Gila Kordana, descending a staircase from the balcony in a crowd buzzing with the experience. Such as? “I’m not really for the idea of two states,” she says, not a small thing. Nor was she much taken with Obama’s take on the young Palestinians he’d seen earlier the same afternoon at the West Bank city of Al Bireh. “Talking to them,” he said, “they weren’t that different from my daughters. They weren’t that different from your daughters or sons.”

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15 comments
hindsight70
hindsight70

%s %s ......As long as the US, keeps bank rolling %s, then %s

MarcoVoigtel
MarcoVoigtel

%s %s Salto C-105 Amazonas em 06 Mar 2013 - ZL Itaguaí Grande %s6%sSCO SEMP%sO%site

peterdevineManc
peterdevineManc

@TIME No, there is no belief in yet another fence sitting speech which was largely for American consumption - no action, just more rhetoric

ViableOp
ViableOp

The concept of America and Israel working together to reduce the risk of Iran having nuclear weapons is totally unrealistic, particularly when one considers the involvement of China in Iran's nuclear program.  Here is an article that looks at the relationship between Iran's nuclear program and China:

http://viableopposition.blogspot.ca/2013/02/china-and-its-relationship-with-iran.html

It is this close relationship that makes the entire issue of sanctions against Iran and diplomacy with China so complex.


boulderfinfan
boulderfinfan

has obama taken his head out of bibi's @$$ yet?

bobcn
bobcn like.author.displayName 1 Like

"Nor was she much taken with Obama’s take on the young Palestinians he’d seen earlier the same afternoon at the West Bank city of Al Bireh. “Talking to them,” he said, “they weren’t that different from my daughters. They weren’t that different from your daughters or sons.”

It's time to stop pandering to bigots.

bobell
bobell like.author.displayName 1 Like

Ain't it great to learn that we needn't take the substance of Obana's speeches seriously -- the Israelis were just applauding his oratorical skills, not what he said.  It's all a wonderful dream, but in real life it's not gonna happen. Why bother having a president at all if all he's good for is pretty talk? It's not as if he's accomplished things domestically, after all. We could have elected McCain in 2008 or Romney in 2012 and nothing would be different.  It's all so futile ...

Did anyone happen to notice what he actually SAID that the Istaeils applauded?  Or is that too much to ask?