Thursday, March 21, 2013

Obama in Israel


President Barack Obama’s speech to

 Israeli students

 in Jerusalem on March 21, 2013.


“So long as there is a United States of America,

 ah-tem lo lah-vahd” (you are not alone). “



When I think about Israel’s security,
 I think about five Israelis who boarded a bus in Bulgaria, who were blown up because of where they came from; robbed of the ability to live, and love, and raise families. That’s why every country that values justice should call Hezbollah what it truly is — a terrorist organization. Because the world cannot tolerate an organization that murders innocent civilians, stockpiles rockets to shoot at cities, and supports the massacre of men and women and children in Syria right now. . .


 . . .For young Israelis, I know that these issues of security are rooted in an experience that is even more fundamental than the pressing threat of the day. You live in a neighborhood where many of your neighbors have rejected the right of your nation to exist. Your grandparents had to risk their lives and all that they had to make a place for themselves in this world. Your parents lived through war after war to ensure the survival of the Jewish state. Your children grow up knowing that people they’ve never met may hate them because of who they are, in a region that is full of turmoil and changing underneath your feet. . .

But the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination, their right to 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 their own. Living their entire lives with the presence of a foreign army that controls the movements not just of those young people but their parents, their grandparents, every single day. It’s not just when settler violence against Palestinians goes unpunished. It’s not right to prevent Palestinians from farming their lands; or restricting a student’s ability to move around the West Bank; or displace Palestinian families from their homes 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.




I’m going off script here for a second, but before I came here, I met with a group of young Palestinians from the age of 15 to 22. And talking to them, they weren’t that different from my daughters. They weren’t that different from your daughters or sons. I honestly believe that if any Israeli parent sat down with those kids, they’d say,




I want these kids to succeed; I want them to prosper. I want them to have opportunities just like my kids do. I believe that’s what Israeli parents would want for these kids if they had a chance to listen to them and talk to them. I believe that. . . .





The President's words
touched me deeply.


All I can say:


AMEN





15 comments:

Teresa said...

Me, too. Thanks for sharing.

Pierre BOYER said...

I hope they'll find peace....

Pierre

Brian Miller said...

they are moving words...i hope they are heard...and i hope they find peace as well...i think we should all want that of our children...all our children...

aloha from va

Karen S. said...

I do too, thanks for posting this Cloudia, it's very honest and heartfelt.

Cloudia said...

i love you guys!

g-man said...

Cloudia Dear...
You are a sweet hippie at heart.
Pax Vobiscum Baby!!!

Spare Parts and Pics said...

Powerful, insightful thoughts!!

The Elephant's Child said...

Yes. A thousand times yes.

Opal Zushaquon said...

You said what I think. The concerns of both sides need to be addressed, or there will never be peace in this troubled area.

Cloudia said...

thanks

the walking man said...

Education is the key to society but it can not be a biased education. People can handle the truth if they trust the information is truth, no matter how evil some portions are. South Africa basically erased 100+ years of apartheid with truth and forgiveness.

I think it may be time for the Israeli's to realize they have built more than enough settlements and they can now begin to build upwards for housing.

And it is well past time for the Palestinians to accept the fact that Israel is not going anywhere and the path to their own homeland is through foregoing teachings taught by them with a self interest for power. People of the same bible hating each other is just wrong, when they realize that their religions may actually become more than words on paper.

70 years of animosity and death is enough, 70 years in camps is enough and 70 years of being surrounded by enemies is enough. Someone can make the peace but it has to be them directly involved and they have to both be willing to want a fair and just peace defined by them not us or anyone else in the world.

Most importantly to them is that Jerusalem does not need to belong to either party, it can be a mutually governed district same as DC.

Soon the true gorilla in the room will have to be dealt with in some way and that is the GOVERNMENT of Iran.

Dina said...

And you should have heard the applause the thousands of students gave these points in the moving speech, standing ovation even!
President Obama is a man with neshama, lots of soul. He is a leader who knows how to inspire.
He has gone straight to us, the people of Israel, over the heads of our politicians. He wants and gets our love.
I'm just sorry to see him leave in four hours from now.

Adam said...

It's a shame that most of the middle east doesn't care for secularism and the separation of church and government. Hopefully Israel and Palestine can stay on the route of peace.

Betty Manousos said...

me, too.
thanks for this honest post, my friend~

Snowbrush said...

I fully support Israel's right to exist, yet I heard in Obama's speech the drums that will sound our way into yet another war that we can ill afford.