By Larry Gordon
As stated previously and as expected President Obama’s presentation in Jerusalem on Thursday was both brilliant and impressive. He talked about the three essential elements of how he sees life in this region of the world. The three items he focused on and emphasized were—Security, Peace and Prosperity. My assumption is that they were presented in that sequence because under typical circumstances one generally leads to the other.
But then the President basically went ahead and stepped out of that sequence. While he concentrated his remarks on the need for ironclad security for Israel before any viable peace accord can be reached, he asked Israeli to be courageous and take a chance that peace (which he said must include the ceasing of settlement building and withdrawal to create a contiguous PA state) will come after these moves in the hope that they will be responded to and reciprocated by Palestinian leadership. The track record in Lebanon, Gaza and even the West Bank has proven the opposite but that doesn’t trouble Mr. Obama.
Here is what is troubling and what was lost in all the hoopla and words of love and affection being tossed around for the cameras in Israel this week. The White House refused to allow victims of Arab terror to attend the Convention presentation on Thursday. They wanted no reminder of the reality of what Arab terror has wrought on hundreds of Israeli families. It was an awful and difficult neglect of reality on display. Yes, it might have been painful for the Prsident to deal with, but it was real.
And then while a thousand college students from various universities were invited to attend the speech, the White House refused to include students from Ariel University in the Shomron. The statement was as clear as can be—the US does not recognize or accept the legitimacy of the necessity of the Israeli presence in lands liberated after the Six Day War in 1967.
And then once again there was the refusal to acknowledge the plight of Jonathan Pollard now in a US jail for 28-years. One has to hope that his situation was discussed in private at least with leaders and that hopefully someday soon we will see him freed.
So as you can see there was a lot accomplished by this long anticipated visit by the President. It is however, clear that while the ground covered was important the items intentionally omitted may have been clearer.