Barack Obama’s $200 million “two speeches to two people” trip to Palestine and Israel was largely political. He was quick to blame Israel for the lack of peace in the region. Speaking to a hand-picked audience of Israeli university students rather than the elected Knesset, Obama spoke softly off-camera in what could be a J Street, Rabbis for Human Rights or Americans for Peace Now commercial. These radical, Jewish-led groups of Palestinian supporters are all hard-core Democratic supporters.
Obama was unabashed in stating the case for the Palestinians.
“Put yourself in their shoes. Look at the world through their eyes,” he said. “It is not fair that a Palestinian child cannot grow up in a state of their own. Living their entire lives with the presence of a foreign army that controls the movements not just of those young people but of their parents, their grandparents, every single day. It’s not just when settler violence against Palestinians goes unpunished. It’s not right to prevent Palestinians from farming their lands; or restricting a student’s ability to move around the west bank; or displace Palestinian families from their homes. Neither occupation nor expulsions 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.”
Obama cried crocodile tears for a Palestinian people and their terrorist leadership, who would without a second’s hesitation treat each and every audience member like the massacred Fogel family. The president had no words of condemnation, of course, of that slaughter when speaking to his Palestinian audience. But damning Israel for blocking Palestinians’ right to an ordinary life was the paramount message to both groups. In front of a Palestinian audience, he stoked up passion against Israel.
“The Palestinian people deserve an end to occupation and the daily indignities that come with it,” he said. “Palestinians deserve to move and travel freely and to feel secure in their communities. Like people everywhere, Palestinians deserve a future of hope — that their rights will be respected — that their rights will be respected, that tomorrow will be better than today and that they can give their children a life of dignity and opportunity. Put simply, Palestinians deserve a state of their own.”
Obama never spoke to his Palestinian audience about the Israelis, who, despite an overpowering military force capable of wiping them out, still huddle in bomb shelters, trying to avoid the shelling of Palestinians. He didn’t tell Arab mothers to love their kids rather than outfit them with suicide vests. He called on Israel to accommodate these terrorists and to put themselves “in the shoes” of Palestinians. Were the Israelis as bloodthirsty as their devoted enemies, there would be no Palestinian people left to fit in these shoes. Perhaps that is the solution.
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