Windows and Doors

Windows and Doors

President Obama on Israel and the Middle East

President Obama gave a much anticipate address this afternoon – one which responded to a variety of events including the so-called “Arab Spring” and to the stalemate between Israel and the Palestinians.  You can follow this link to read the entire speech, but for me, there were a few things which really stood out.

I was most struck by the President’s assertion that we don’t need to accept how things are, but can work toward how they could be – with humility.  While I am not sure that such humility about the role of history and indigenous culture was a part of all that he suggested we could achieve or help others to achieve, I appreciate the President’s commitment to what I would call hopeful realism. 


On the matter of Israel and the Palestinians, I think he addressed real concerns on both sides, appropriately discomforted some players on each of those sides, and made it absolutely clear that while peace could never be imposed by any government or other diplomatic body, both sides have a pressing responsibility to work this out sooner than later.  Playing for time is in nobody’s interest, no matter how much they may currently think it is.

Of course, asserting the dangers of procrastinating when it comes to peace is easier than overcoming the desire to procrastinate – especially given that some on both sides feel entirely justified in doing so.  I hope that we can move forward.  In fact, I know that we must, but doing so is built on a premise which the President shared in his talk – one about which I am not sure he is correct: “I’m (President Obama) convinced that the majority of Israelis and Palestinians would rather look to the future than be trapped in the past.


Is he right?  I am just not sure.  I am not sure about the percentages on either side, nor am I clear about the percentages on the two sides being close.  I even understand why a stateless people will find it much harder to let go of the past given that their present is far more tenuous.  But I also know that both sides must do this, regardless of how they assess their present circumstances,  if they really hope to live with any measure of peace and security in the future.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment marty

    Today’s announcement by the president will be met by Israeli hawks declaring Obama is the Devil for Israel for stating that the 1967 borders are appropriate. The Palestinians will say that is not enough. Hamas will continue to promote a complete end to the Jewish state in their idea of Palestine. Abbas will try to make a suitable deal for his group within the Arab community but will continue to be seen as a weak leader. Rockets will resume their journeys into Israel by militants/terrorists/freedom fighters/a rose by any other name, etc with more sound than true fury. And the poetic protests in the Arab street will go on.

    Of course romanscapegoat will, as ever, claim a jewish/lucifer/banker/communist cabal is at the heart of all this.

    And the world will go on. Until it doesn’t.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Gerald

    I listened to the president’s speech on the Middle East. Like his recent speech on immigration, it was a series of illusory promises based on false assumptions.

    Here are three passages in the speech that stood out to me:

    Obama: In the face of these challenges, too many leaders in the region tried to direct their people’s grievances elsewhere. The West was blamed as the source of all ills, a half century after the end of colonialism. Antagonism toward Israel became the only acceptable outlet for political expression. Divisions of tribe, ethnicity and religious sect were manipulated as a means of holding on to power, or taking it away from somebody else.
    Here Obama suggests that hatred of Israel and inter-tribal and inter-religious hostility are “misdirections” of the sentiments of Middle Eastern peoples, who only really want peace and freedom. In fact, these hatreds stem from the populace itself and will be expressed when they no longer have a government that suppresses them.
    Obama: Indeed, one of the broader lessons to be drawn from this period is that sectarian divides need not lead to conflict. In Iraq, we see the promise of a multi-ethnic, multi-sectarian democracy. There, the Iraqi people have rejected the perils of political violence for a democratic process, even as they have taken full responsibility for their own security.
    This, again, sounds like a classic “Bushism.” We have tens of thousands of troops in Iraq keeping a lid on that society and yet pronounce it a successful democracy.
    Obama: History shows that countries are more prosperous and peaceful when women are empowered. That is why we will continue to insist that universal rights apply to women as well as men–by focusing assistance on child and maternal health; by helping women to teach, or start a business; by standing up for the right of women to have their voices heard, and to run for office. For the region will never reach its potential when more than half its population is prevented from achieving their potential.
    Here Obama shows his disrespect for Islam, insisting that it adapt to modern Western liberal ideas of sexual equality. By what right do we do this? Just as many of us reject the introduction of sharia into Western societies, I understand that Muslim societies reject the introduction of Western feminism. They have only to look at us to see its disastrous results. What if they democratically choose not to extend full rights to women–what is our response? Also, it is foolish to suggest that the Middle East will never reach its potential until women are liberated; in fact, as European populations decline, the vacuum is being filled with the prolific offspring of those disempowered Middle Eastern women. As it successfully colonizes Europe, I would say the Middle East is well on its way to achieving its potential.
    Beyond these initial thoughts, I have to laugh when this president exhorts Middle Eastern leaders to unleash the entrepreneurial potential of their people, when he and his taxing and regulatory agencies make it so difficult for small businesses to survive in this country.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment John S

    Congressman Allen West (FL-22) released this statement today:

    “Today’s endorsement by President Barack Obama of the creation of a Hamas-led Palestinian state based on the pre-1967 borders, signals the most egregious foreign policy decision his administration has made to date, and could be the beginning of the end as we know it for the Jewish state.
    From the moment the modern day state of Israel declared statehood in 1948, to the end of the 1967 Six Day War, Jews were forbidden access to their holiest site, the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City, controlled by Jordan’s Arab army.
    The pre-1967 borders endorsed by President Obama would deny millions of the world’s Jews access to their holiest site and force Israel to return the strategically important Golan Heights to Syria, a known state-sponsor of terrorism.
    Resorting to the pre-1967 borders would mean a full withdrawal by the Israelis from the West Bank and the Jewish neighborhoods of East Jerusalem. Make no mistake, there has always been a Nation of Israel and Jerusalem has been and must always be recognized as its rightful capital.
    In short, the Hamas-run Palestinian state envisioned by President Obama would be devastating to Israel and the world’s 13.3 million Jews. It would be a Pavlovian style reward to a declared Islamic terrorist organization, and an unacceptable policy initiative.
    America should never negotiate with the Palestinian Authority- which has aligned itself with Hamas. Palestine is a region, not a people or a modern state. Based upon Roman Emperor Hadrian’s declaration in 73 AD, the original Palestinian people are the Jewish people.
    It’s time for the American people to stand by our strongest ally, the Jewish State of Israel, and reject this foreign policy blunder of epic proportions.
    While the winds of democracy may blow strong in the Middle East, history has demonstrated that gaps in leadership can lead to despotic regimes. I have questions for President Obama: ‘Who will now lead in Egypt?‘ and ’Why should American taxpayers provide foreign aid to a nation where the next chapter in their history may be the emergence of another radical Islamic state?’
    President Obama has not stood for Israel or the Jewish people and has made it clear where the United States will stand when Palestine attempts to gain recognition of statehood by the United Nations. The President should focus on the real obstacle to security- the Palestinian leadership and its ultimate goal to eliminate Israel and the Jewish people.”

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment nnmns

    Well Brad you sound reasonable this time. But I see the gutless and those who profit from the land thefts are out in force with their comments.

    His speech was somewhat courageous and generally fair. Obviously the AIPAC types can reject it and do a lot of damage but a lot of that damage would be to Jewish interests and to Israel. It really is time for a brave new start.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment eric k

    One of the curious things about the Arab-Israel conflict is that the truth behind the conflict cannot be said: The simple truth that there is no “peace process”, there never was a “peace process”, and the Arabs want Israel eliminated. It’s a testament to how off-limits this truth is that, until this Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal, for all its conservatism, never published an op-ed saying so. Perhaps Stephens’ piece is the start of something new.
    It’s impossible to enact intelligent policy when it’s based on a lie. Of course, Israel contributes to the problem by endorsing the ‘two-state solution’. Israel needs to be the first to say this is a delusion. Only then can we expect things to change.
    Mr. Netanyahu had broken through the wall of silence when he said: “My friends, the root of this conflict never was a Palestinian state, or lack thereof. The root of the conflict is, and always has been, their refusal to recognize the Jewish state. It is not a conflict over 1967, but over 1948, over the very existence of the State of Israel.”
    There it is. The cat’s out of the bag. Truth is back in style. We can now expect a drastic change of policy. The prime minister understands the nature of the conflict and, following things to their logical conclusion, will put a stop to a policy that assumes the Arab-Israel conflict is a territorial dispute.

  • Pingback: "Obama Responds to a Changing Mideast in Arab Spring Speech" and related posts » The One World Focus

  • Pingback: "Arabs not impressed with Obama speech" and related posts » Link Share: Your Guide To News On The Web

  • Pingback: "Arabs not impressed with Obama speech" and related posts » The One World Focus

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment romanscapegoat

    the jews have always denied god throughout history, feeding their need for greed-killing their messiah that threatened to weaken their controlling religion with love…god wanted jesus to explain god blesses those who let go of the world with love…jews the chosen people of god have disobeyed god since the beginning and have constantly been punished by god…jews left israel to conquer Europe in the name of greed…god used Hitler to punish the jews and send the jews back to israel…their is a cult called the RAELIANS who worship Lucifer…the raelians are building landing pads around the world for lucifer…the raelians have built a landing pad in israel, were lucifer will land in his “SPACESHIP”…the raelians will take all power away from the israelians…i am the messiah the jews killed…i am here to punish…i am god

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment nnmns

    The lack of a peace process has multiple reasons; one big one is that it’s more profitable for some Israelis to stall and stall and stall and take more land and more land and more land.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment SK

    It’s wishful thinking that money, religion, education, and let’s add land, can change UN-culture people. Palestinian leader’s don’t think Israel has a right to exist, no amount of money, religion or education is going to change them. There are what, 26 Arab/Muslims countries and only ONE Jewish one and the Palestinians say they are stateless. C’om, really, they have no country they could call their own? No Muslim Countries that are run according to their faith? Pity, pity, they have 26 to pick from, when Jewish People only have ONE! Do you see the Arab Israelis running to live in Palestine? No, they have more freedom in Israel than in Palestine Muslim rule. And the Abbas/Hamas, when Abbas’s term is way over with, that leaves Hamas. Time to put away WISHFUL thinking.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment nnmns

    This idea of everyone needing a country run according to their “faith” is a dangerous one and is baseless.

    Do we need a country run according to Methodism? Catholicism? Well a lot of the world was run according to Catholicism and happily our ancestors overcame that.

    We just need countries in which people get along. And good starts include not stealing people’s land and not committing war crimes against them.

    If I were worried about me and all my million nearest relatives being wiped out the last thing I’d do is put them all together, especially not in a place where I think I’m disliked. Also I’d try to not make enemies. But that’s just me. You do it your way and live with the results.

    But consider that you may be being manipulated by people who are very good at making you afraid and very good at stealing land for profit.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment romanscapegoat

    god is only used by governments to rally up patriotism to commit evil acts in the name of god…Jesus the messiah the jews killed wanted everyone to stay out of the politics of the world and love those around them…hate is stronger then love in this world…its a test…can you pass the test and give up your life for love…

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment SK

    When Palestine gets leaders, replacing the ones they have, to ones who does respect Israel’s right to exist, then a peace treaty can be signed. A Jewish Nation was realized that needed to exist was in 1948, and ruled by Jewish Leaders, because of what happened in Europe. Think again, if you think Jews don’t need a Nation that is their own. A Nation that doesn’t kill you off because of your religion. Europe proved such a Nation, need to exist that was ruled by Jewish people, to have the freedom to practice Judaism, needed to exist. The present Palestinian leaders don’t think that Israel has the right to exist. When the Jewish people have lived their for thousands of years,was King David’s capital, later was overtaken and ruled by non-Jewish people and Nations, and you say who is stealing land from whom?

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment romanscapegoat

    SK…Jews left Israel…finders keepers losers weepers….unless you have a Jewish conquered America as your body guard…Jews set out to conquer the world-and they have……….Jews do exactly the opposite of what their messiah wanted them to do…how can god be happy with the Jews…god will punish the Jews again…the RAELIANS are coming for the Jews…Lucifer never kills anyone…Lucifer convinces other to kill for him…GOD BLESS AMERICA???

Previous Posts

More blogs to enjoy!
Thank you for visiting Windows and Doors. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Truths You Can Use Most Recent Inspiration blog post Happy Reading!   ...

posted 1:28:03pm Aug. 02, 2012 | read full post »

Apple's "Jew or Not Jew" App -- Should It Be Legal?
An Apple application that let users guess which French politicians or celebrities are Jewish was pulled from France's App Store. but its American equivalent is still available. French activist groups said the "Jew or Not Jew?" app violated ...

posted 1:18:48am Sep. 18, 2011 | read full post »

Is God A Christian?
R. Kirby Godsey’s new book, Is God A Christian?, challenges what the author describes as the commonly held belief among many religious people that the God in whom they believe is “one of them”.  People, Mr. Kirby observes, too often ...

posted 11:59:56am Sep. 12, 2011 | read full post »

Remembering 9/11 - Part One
The tenth anniversary of 9/11 brings up many emotions and presents some very real challenges, among them how to remember the past without being imprisoned by it.  This video, filmed at St. Paul's, the church closest to the World Trade Center ...

posted 2:40:58pm Sep. 08, 2011 | read full post »

Gilad Shalit, Still A Prisoner After 1,900 Days
Below is a copy of the Statement I got from the White House, and while I appreciate the words, I can't help but also ask, "Is this the best we can do?"  United States Mission to the United Nations Office of Press and Public Diplomacy 799 ...

posted 9:04:17am Sep. 08, 2011 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.