In his remarks to the UN General Assembly on September 23, Obama said:
Israel is a sovereign state, and the historic homeland of the Jewish people. It should be clear to all that efforts to chip away at Israel’s legitimacy will only be met by the unshakeable opposition of the United States. And efforts to threaten or kill Israelis will do nothing to help the Palestinian people. The slaughter of innocent Israelis is not resistance -- it’s injustice. And make no mistake: The courage of a man like President Abbas, who stands up for his people in front of the world under very difficult circumstances, is far greater than those who fire rockets at innocent women and children.[emphasis added]Aside from his warning about delegitimizing Israel, Obama's remarks are a vast improvement on his previous remarks about the history of Jews and Israel.
On May 12, 2008 in an interview with Jeffrey Goldberg there was this exchange:
JG: Do you think that justice is still on Israel’s side?A year later, on June 4, during his Cairo speech, Obama said:
BO: I think that the idea of a secure Jewish state is a fundamentally just idea, and a necessary idea, given not only world history but the active existence of anti-Semitism, the potential vulnerability that the Jewish people could still experience. I know that that there are those who would argue that in some ways America has become a safe refuge for the Jewish people, but if you’ve gone through the Holocaust, then that does not offer the same sense of confidence and security as the idea that the Jewish people can take care of themselves no matter what happens. That makes it a fundamentally just idea. [emphasis added]
America's strong bonds with Israel are well known. This bond is unbreakable. It is based upon cultural and historical ties, and the recognition that the aspiration for a Jewish homeland is rooted in a tragic history that cannot be denied. [emphasis added]Slowly but surely, Obama is beginning to get it.
Or at least his speech writer is.
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