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Roger L. Simon

Obama Preaches to the Israeli Choir

March 22nd, 2013 - 12:01 am

It may come as a shock to readers that I rather liked Barack Obama’s speech to an audience of Israeli students at the Israel Convention Center in Jerusalem Thursday.

In a talk that lasted nearly an hour (I read it here), the president touched many familiar bases, praising Israeli democracy, technology, and entrepreneurship, and even paying homage to Zionism in a way that few expect of him. He also repeated, as he does often now, that Israeli security is paramount to the U.S. (We shall see on that one.)

But the overwhelming message of the speech, its theme, was an importuning of young Israelis to make sacrifices for peace.  Those sacrifices were, not surprisingly, unspecified, other than the usual shibboleths about settlement building being unhelpful.  Nevertheless, according to The Algemeiner, the speech was enthusiastically received.

There was only one problem: it was delivered to the wrong audience.

Israeli students are almost all ready to make some sort of compromise for peace. Indeed if peace were really a prospect, I would bet most of them would be fairly weeping for joy.

The trouble is — they don’t have anyone to make peace with. On the Palestinian side, nobody is home. To paraphrase and extend Gertrude Stein, there is less than there, there.  Hamas is a collection of religious sociopaths and the Palestinian Authority is composed of corrupt cowards who were unwilling to negotiate even after the supposedly bellicose Netanyahu suspended settlement building a couple of years ago.

Still, the Israeli students had to listen to this graph from 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.

That “walk a mile in their shoes” talk is more than a little condescending.   Most young Israelis I would wager have plenty of empathy for the Palestinians. The problem is the other way around.  Few Palestinians have demonstrated much empathy of any sort toward Israelis. (Watch their television shows.)

Now part of this of course is that Israelis are the Goliaths of the moment (though only of the moment). And few have sympathy for Goliath, even for a Goliath surrounded by hundreds of millions of enemies occupying lands hundreds of times greater than his.  And another part is shame and envy. Israel is a rapidly advancing modern state, and the Arab world in general has been a retrograde shambles for generations, successful (and then superficially) only in regions blessed with natural resources.

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Top Rated Comments   
Wait, wait, wait.

WTF?


"But the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination and justice must also be recognized."

Sure...the MINUTE that the STATE of Israel is recognized. And, while we're at it...the ELIMINATION of every vestige of dhimmihood for EVERY OTHER RELIGION ON EARTH in lands run by the "religion of peace".



" Put yourself in their shoes — look at the world through their eyes."

Ok, just as soon as I strap on a vest filled with explosives and a burqa...can't see much, but want to get the full experience.

"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.

"I felt the same way about Geogia, Barry...and the Kurds, ...but you didn't seem to agree. Then again, Rashid Khalidi didn't have a counterpart from Tibilisi or Hewler at your dining room table. Some "freedom fighters" who actually don't have freedom, are less important than others, I suppose, huh?.


"It is not just when settler violence against Palestinians goes unpunished."

What? Give me a freaking break. You want to talk about violence? Start with the Six Day War and end with...um...yesterday...AGAINST innocent Israeli civilians. Then...and ONLY then, can we BEGIN our discussion about violence. This sentence by President Forked Tongue is a load of crapology.



" 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."

Or to cut off female genitalia, stone homosexuals, rape Coptic Christians or commit any of the other barbaric atrocities NEVER seen in Haifa or Tel Aviv. They could have had peace a thousand times, but Sharia and jihad are concepts not aligned with making peace with Christians and Jews.

"Neither occupation nor expulsion is the answer."

Occupation? That's rich. YOU start a war with me, unprovoked and I kick your butt. You get your buddies and start another war and I kick your butt again. You keep starting wars and I take away your staging ability. That isn't "occupation"...it's survival.


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

The JEWS were given BACK Israel, by the world. The "Palestinians", if such a thing exists, could have any land in Jordan that they claim and could now build peace and prosperity on a number of "free" lands. But all they want is ISRAELI lands. Why? Where is the push to give them land in "Transjordan"? Because this has all been a facade all along.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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young Israelis to make sacrifices for peace.

I wish I could force OBumbler to watch - retreat from GAZA movie over and over again- young Israelis displacing other Israelis from their homes , businesses, forcing resettlement of people & animals- soldiers and settlers both crying both knowing "land for peace" is a farce and of no use ..................sorry Kahane was right - thereis no such thing as a Palestinian unless the person is quite old- Palestine died in 1948- the Arabs got 77% of the ISRAELI land as Jordan- then got Sinai a GIFT from the winners to the LOSERS in Egypt- then gaza a nice rocket launch for terrorists from Hamas- and now they want to cut ISrael in half!@!!! so ODumbo thihnks Fakestinains need contiguous land? and not ISrael?

what a piece of excrement this man and his minions--they stand for ethnic cleansing of JEWS from their own lands - they stand for collective punishment of JEWS by blaming ALL Jews for ISrael govt actions- Obummer stands with ISLAM and it's quite clear to everyone except USA Lib Jews
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The media reported O got standing ovations . That wasn't what I saw in the video. A lot of students were sitting on their hands.
1 year ago
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1 year ago
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above link is the trailer- the full version is here http://vimeo.com/46423843 have tissues nearby
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The President was extremely presidential in Israel. The press conference with P.M. Netanyahu should, and will be, referenced in the future. Especially when conservatives try and throw up the Obama-hates-Israel b.s. I know it probably wasn't as good as Mitt Romney in London but I doubt many hard right wingers could make it through to the end the press conference. It was too good, positive, American, good for the country.
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1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
There was an incident during this speech.

A Haifa University student Rabea Id, an Israeli-Arab, yelled out in Hebrew during the speech: "Have you really come to promote the peace process or to provide Israel with more weapons to kill the Palestinian people? On your way here did you see the (West Bank security) fence, or the killer of Rachel Corrie?"

Rabea Id, a Balad party activist, was escorted out of the hall at the International Convention Center after heckling the American president.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4359794,00.html

The audience begun to boo down the protester.
"No, no," Obama said. "This is part of the lively debate that we talked about. This is good."

"You know, I have to say we actually arranged for that because it made me feel at home," Obama said, laughing.

The crowd clapped and cheered.

"I wouldn't feel comfortable if I didn't have at least one heckler," Obama said. "Heh heh heh."

And now how this incident was reported in the Western media.

TPM:
http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/heckler-interrupts-obama-speech-in-jerusalem-video
"According to a White House pool report, the audience member shouted something about convicted spy Jonathan Pollard, who is currently serving a life sentence in prison for spying on the U.S. for Israel."

The Huffington Post:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/21/obama-heckled_n_2924127.html
"According to the White House pool report, a man to Obama’s left in the audience began shouting in Hebrew. "A reliable Hebrew speaker seated near pool says the shouting was about [Jonathan Jay] Pollard," the pool report said. "We presume calling for his release."

NY DAYLY NEWS:
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/obama-laughs-heckler-jerusalem-speech-article-1.1295234
"President Obama laughed off a heckler who interrupted a major speech in Jerusalem on Thursday by joking to his audience of Israeli students that the protest reminded him of home.

Obama was about 15 minutes into his well-received speech when a protester began yelling in Hebrew from the back of the audience. According to a White House pool report, the man was apparently calling for the release of the convicted spy Jonathan Pollard. Pollard has been imprisoned for 28 years for passing U.S. secrets to Israel.

The Israeli students in Obama’s audience first reacted in confusion after a man began shouting at the President during his speech."

And The Guardian (sorry for a long quote)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/mar/21/obama-speech-interrupted-heckler-debate

"The president was halfway through weaving an Obama-esque gauze of talk about peace and human dignity when a student in the crowd began shouting in Hebrew.

It's not clear exactly what the student said, and his words are barely audible in video of the incident.

The White House pool report said the heckler was calling for the release of Jonathan Pollard, though earlier reports suggested the shout was "Free Palestine". Pollard is the American caught spying for Israel and imprisoned in 1987. There is a campaign to free him.

The president deftly used the caesura to win his audience, who had begun to boo down the protester.

"No, no," Obama said. "This is part of the lively debate that we talked about. This is good."

Some in the crowd clapped.

"You know, I have to say we actually arranged for that because it made me feel at home," Obama said, laughing.

The crowd clapped and cheered.

"I wouldn't feel comfortable if I didn't have at least one heckler," Obama said. "Heh heh heh."

The crowd rose to its feet. It was another standing O for O."
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I found this quote to be a bit on the strange side. ""You know, I have to say we actually arranged for that because it made me feel at home," Obama said, laughing."

With this President, I am not so sure that the person wasn't a plant to boost the 'cred' of the President by arranging for someone to heckle him.

Look how Presidential he is, handling hecklers and shaking off his haters with such aplomb and ease!

Is he laughing because the joke is really on us? Things that make you go hmmm!!!

Ok, my paranoid conspiracy moment has passed......
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The Palestinian Muslims could have repeatedly had a state. They chose annihilationist war instead, Mr. Obama.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
obama carefully evited the knesset, the elected assembly of israel whee a patriotic majority voted for a conservative zionist government.instead of of that he tried his usual maneuver of bypassing the elected body to outreach the so-called public.Irrts speech was a very banal commmon stupidy of the left agenda.Goodwill must prevail etc..as usual the arab reaction was bland, cold and hostile.Netanyahu should have invited obama to say the same speech in Ramallah.Asusual there is no partner on the arab side so Obama prefers to ignore that basic fact and direct his scolding at Israel; same old excremetal utterance
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”


Joseph Goebbels quote
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
And the "lesson" the moral of the film, the original NOT the recent remake, of "The Manchurian Candidate". With special emphasis on the villain, villains, with the beginnings in the USA with the "revolution of the 1960s".

How to brainwash - "educate", to get control of men via the unconscious. By extension a large part of an entire "community" - nation. Tell a lie often enough with enough "important" and or glamourous people repeating it et voila the "world is yours". Important and glamourous as people in propaganda, entertainment, educational AND government . AND the sine qua non for the entire advertsing industry.

Sometimes even the liars begin to believe it. It is no mystery why the Leninists named these sort of people useful idiots. Even when they lie with motive.

Haven't we all been there, either as children or parents of children caught with their hands in the cookie jar. Think the Kennedys, especially baby Kennedy/Edward - Chappaquiddick as only the major one we know about, and Kennedy clone WJ Clinton.

Who by the way also has some rather iffy episodes in his past. Perhaps he really believes what he has been successful in getting an entire nation to accept - that his peccadilloes were insignificant - and especially the US Congress that DID impeach but fell short of removing from office. Thereby permitting to live to figiht another day now as permanent champion of his beloved, and ever-loving spouse. Long before The Woman Of The Blue Dress.

How similar to the entire public treatment, especially from the DNC, the Press - print and TV, and of course the bienpensant useful idiots we honour as "educators".
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I remember he mentioned something about the Two State Solution.

The same dealio that Czecho got at Munich. What was left was not viable and disappeared which seems to be Obama's goal.

Obama and the Left forgets that there is contributory negligence on the Arab part: a war of aggression they lost. Now for peace they want a 'status quo ante' and Israel will finally let them have it.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"I understand your objection
I grant you the problem's not small
But if you could see her through my eyes
She wouldn't look Jewish at all"

---Kander and Ebb, from "Cabaret"
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Preaches?
Nice word for just another lie.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
My read of the paragraph quoted in this article is that it is a bill of charges against Israel:

"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"
"settler violence against Palestinians goes unpunished "
"[Israel] prevents Palestinians from farming their lands...restricts a student’s ability to move around the West Bank... displaces Palestinian families from their homes..."

This is wooing the Israeli public?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
No this is more of 0bama's permanent campaign. This was for American consumption. To give large Jewish donors cover and bragging rights for forking over more $$$ to the Democrats so the they can get a Democrat/Pelosi controlled House in 2014 to pass the most radical parts of the Obama agenda.

Obama does not care about swaying the Israeli Jews by Teleprompter speeches. He screws Israel by action and in stealth. Such as surrounding them by hostile Muslim Brotherhood ruled states such as Egypt and Syria. 0bama regime supports the Muslim Brotherhood in those two and Al Qaeda in Libya

This was a bank shot (hockey)
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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