In his speech today to the State Department, Barack Obama has gone one better than Yasser Arafat, who would routinely give one speech placating Israel to the western media, and then condemn it in material designed for internal consumption amongst the Palestianians and the rest of the Middle East. As Ace notes, Obama does it all in English — in the same speech:
Very neat article at NRO pointing out the nuances of Obama’s words for Israel — compared to his words for Palestine.
It’s all pretty neat, but these word-choices matter: These words have been chosen carefully. Including the passive/active voice and declarative or commanding tenses. This is essentially a publicly-delivered diplomatic cable.
There are other neat things, but the best observation, to me, is the fact that when Obama speaks of Israel, he speaks in terms of concrete demands that he, Obama, is laying upon Israel.
When he turns to the reciprocal concessions most urge on Palestine, however, he stops speaking in the command tense, stops speaking of demanding this or that, and simply says that Palestinians will do better if they stop killing Jews.
Not that they must stop killing Jews, mind you, like Israel must stop building settlements; just that hey, it would be better, you know? Or not, you decide.
For contrast, the writer quotes Bush, who was pretty command-tense with Palestinians: They must crack down on terror and dismantle the terror infrastructure.
Perceptive. Obama makes demands on Israel, but makes promises to the Palestinians. Tells you pretty much where he’s coming from.
Or to put it another way, “Barack Hussein Obama adopted Yasser Arafat’s staged plan for Israel’s destruction, and he is trying to force it on our prime minister.”
More at the Tatler.