Sunday, March 24, 2013

Yeah, What HE Said: Obama on Israel and Palestine

Per the Guardian:
"In what was billed as the most important public speech ever made by an American leader on the issue, Obama delivered a tough message to Israel."
Which basically was :
"Put yourself in their shoes - look at the world through their eyes. "
Which is what I've tried to advocate in countless debates on the issue. Understand your opponent's motivation. Find common ground. What seems self-evident to me, and I dare say most Americans, is all too frequently mocked and dismissed as psychobabble by people close to the issue. This makes me struggle to put myself in their shoes. I just don't get it. Mutually-assured misery seems like the least-best alternative, yet it is the de-facto choice by virtue of inaction. 
Obama is just as guilty as the leaders in the region and the lobbyists on the Hill. As I argued in a prior blog, lack of leadership is akin to murder in this situation. 
"Hey Bibi, Hill, Abu! Hey nationalists! Hey settlers! Hey martyrs! Hey donors-to-the-cause! Hey talking heads! You're all wrong. You're all culpable. You're all criminally negligent. Let history reflect that as your true legacy."
Perhaps he finally read my blog, because what Obama said this week was real leadership:
"You can be the generation that permanently secures the Zionist dream, or you can face growing challenges to its future … The only way for Israel to endure and thrive as a Jewish and democratic state is through the realisation of an independent and viable Palestine ... Israelis must recognise that continued settlement activity is counterproductive to the cause of peace"