By Larry Gordon
I just finished watching the live transmission of President Barrack Obama’s speech to about 1,000 or so college students plus many others at the Jerusalem Convention Center. There is a lot to analyze and to say about the presentation. The initial thoughts are that the President is very good at what he does.
Sometimes I even feel that he has experienced a genuine transformation and departure from previous held beliefs about Israel, Jews and so on. But then he goes ahead and spoils that feeling and impression by letting the old die hard misconceptions and misperceptions seep into what he’s saying and that throws me off balance.
After listening to the President and soaking in his words and body language I think that he has really come to love and appreciate the miracle of Israel but at the same time there is so much that he just fails to understand.
Yes, he spoke beautifully about Israel’s involuntary isolation in the world and the fundamental need for security as a prerequisite for any kind of negotiated peace. Most importantly he stated succinctly that the Palestinian leadership must express openly their recognition of Israel as a Jewish state—something today’s leaders cannot do without jeopardizing their lives, so that’s a non-starter for them.
He also said that he had just come from a meeting with PA President Abbas and told him in no uncertain terms that peace, security and prosperity cannot be achieved through unilateral declarations or sneaking through the back door at the UN. It is doubtful that Abbas can or will change anything in the aftermath of hearing that message.
The President spoke to Israeli’s and the world about Security, Peace and Prosperity in that order. I’ll have much more to say about those aspects of the presentation later today.