Repeatedly interrupted by applause, Mr. Obama asked his audience to recognize the Palestinian right to self-determination and justice that Israelis enjoy.
“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 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 homes.
“Neither occupation nor expulsion is the answer,” he said. “Just as Israelis built a state in their homeland, Palestinians have a right to be a free people in their own land.”
He asked the audience to consider what kind of long-term future they want for their country, invoking the words of Ariel Sharon, the former Israeli military leader and prime minister who steered the country through multiple wars with Israel’s neighbors.
“It is impossible to have a Jewish, democratic state and at the same time to control all of Eretz Israel,” Mr. Obama said, quoting Mr. Sharon. “If we insist on fulfilling the dream in its entirety, we will lose it all.”
The New York Times, “Obama Lays Out Case for Israel to Revive Peace Talks” (http://mobile.nytimes.com/2013/03/22/world/middleeast/obama-lays-out-case-for-israel-to-revive-peace-talks.xml?f=19)
I’m actually sitting here, crying as I read this. This is what I have wanted to hear from the US government for years. There is a distinct reason why almost all of Obama’s predecessors (rock on, Jimmy Carter) have failed as mediators in the Israeli peace talks: they have all taken sides with Israel. One of the big reasons why I voted for Obama was because he does not blindly support the Israeli government. He is not afraid to be critical of the Israeli government and as simple as that sounds, it’s what the region has needed for decades. This is only a start and these are only words, but I hope like hell the right people stop behaving like hawkish, douchebags and do what’s best for their people. Because enough is enough.
President Obama on the dangers of playing football, in an interview with The New Republic published today. We had an extensive discussion about the sport’s toll on its players — and the morality of being a football fan — with a former NFL player and the widow of a former player on Saturday’s Up w/ Chris. (via upwithchris)
Four years ago today, I watched President Obama take the oath of office from a hospital bed at St. Luke’s Roosevelt, exhausted and very sick. They held my procedure until after Obama’s speech and I wore my Obama t-shirt into my procedure. I remember thinking it could only get better from that moment on. And did they ever. Today, I’m sitting next to my best friend and roommate, full of optimism for the next four years. Four years on, I’m a college graduate, working for an off-Broadway theatre company and on my way to becoming a professional director. Happy Inauguration, all and here’s to another four years of President Barack Obama.