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A Very Israeli Take on Obama’s Speech

Ori Rosen, an Israeli student, writes in to weigh in

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One of the joys of my job is being on the receiving end of various letters and dispatches from far-flung places, ones that are often full of wisdom about matters local, regional, global, and intergalactic.

Today, I received one such note from Ori Rosen, an Israeli musician and a business student at the IDC Herzliya. Rosen had the opportunity to attend President Obama’s speech in Jerusalem yesterday. Here’s what he had to say about it:

We all saw in the last few days the presidential visit in Israel. The ceremonies, the small talks, the wide smiles, and the general optimistic atmosphere is just a small part from a long list of gestures, both sides had, hopefully trying to crack the ice and to open a new chapter in their relationships. From my point of view, the interesting part about Obama’s visit, is that apparently Obama understood something about Israel that he just couldn’t realize before. He understood that Israel is not like an every other country and that the Israeli people are emotionally driven much more easily. You need to stand just in one red traffic light in Israel to understand that. If you try to criticize Israel, even about the smallest thing, you need to prepare yourself to a wave of hard feelings from the Israeli public. To be able to do so, and in the same time to make people listen to you, is a form of art that just few people know how to do.

The speech yesterday, at which I was present, was the high point of Obama’s strong realization of that. Obama proved again that he is not just a master of his words, but also a master in understanding the needs of the other. Obama said the same things that he said over and over in the last four years: criticized Israel’s settlement policy, talked about the need for a Palestinian independent state and so on. But the difference is that now he could also reach the hearts of the people who stood in front of him. In other words, he learned the art of talking to the Israeli people.

Obama came to Israel in a time of despair and stagnation, a time when the Israeli-Palestinian conflict seems to be an unsolved reality, a time when Israel is isolated more than ever and its relationship with the US is as bad as ever. Obama’s incredible ability to bring hope to people is what we all searched for a lot of time.

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Poupic says:

Barack Hussein did that by selecting his audience. He feared speaking to the Knesseth and made sure no one from Judea would be present. You fell for it!

    silverbackV says:

    Amen, thank you! I was afraid I had fallen into an alternate universe.

JehudahBenIsrael says:

Mr. Obama’s Cairo speech, 2009, was his point of reference to us, Jews, as a people, our heritage and civilization of Judaism, and our connection to our ancestral homeland of Eretz Israel (Land of Israel).

At the time, Mr. Obama erased 4,000 years of Jewish history, perceived us only as individual Jews, and denied our historic, ethical and legal right to our ancestral homeland of Eretz Israel. Indeed, after the speech, Mr. Obama insulted our leaders time and again and trashed some of the most important symbols of Jewish renewed sovereignty in our homeland. And, time and again, he and Ms. Clinton demanded of us, Jews, to limit our living space on earth only because we were Jewish; clearly,a racist demand.

It appears that Mr. Obama has changed his views by 180 degrees. He now:

1. Recognizes the Jewish people as a people

2. Acknowledges our people’s historic continuous presence and connection to our homeland for the past 4,000 years

3. Accepts Israel’s right to be, to exist as the sovereign nation-state of the Jewish people based on the Jewish people’s historic, ethical and legal right to do so, and within secured boundaries

4. Refuses to suggest that we, Jews, must not dwell throughout Eretz Israel

5. Shows respect and appreciation, even liking, to some of Israel’s freely elected leaders, and demonstrated respect to some of Israel’s symbols of Jewish sovereignty in the Jewish people’s homeland.

Can he now translate the above newly found knowledge into Arabic…??

    JehudahBenIsrael says:

    P.S. Indeed, without him, Mr. Kerry, or anyone else assisting the Arabs, local and regional alike, to translate the above fundamentals into Arabic so that the Arabs, and more specifically Muslim-Arabs, will understand the above, accept them and internalize their newly acquired knowledge, there is little hope of arriving at an accommodation of peaceful coexistence between Arab and Jew, between the Muslim-Arab world and the liberal democratic and sovereign nation-state of the Jewish people, Israel.

LouAdams says:

seems like the desire to believe supersedes reality to Jews once again. All of his relationships all of his expressions and all of beliefs do not disappear with a smile and one speech. Sure you want to believe, but THINK about who you are buying the used car from.

    oaklandj says:

    Who’s more likely to stick to a disproven belief, no matter what the evidence says to the contrary?

herbcaen says:

lets hope that there is meaning behind the words, rather than words alone

    LouAdams says:

    please, why would this time be the first time there was actual meaning behind his words.

paul jeser says:

BHO’s actions speak MUCH louder than his words. BHO gives
great speeches and his speeches in Israel were GREAT theater. However, there are
at least six things in connection to the trip that paint a VERY different picture:

1) In the WH release about the trip, the map of Israel
did NOT include Judaia/Samaria;

2) In the WH release about the trip, listed cities that they
would visit: Tel Aviv, Israel – Amman, Jordan – and – Jerusalem (REFUSING to
say Jerusalem, Israel);

3) NOT including the students from Ariel University (if he
wanted to change people’s minds why didn’t he include people who may not agree
with him?);

4) NOT speaking at the Knesset (imagine the message –
speaking to a government in the middle-east that includes Jews, Muslims and

5) J.Kerry told the Israelis that there ARE pre-conditions
that must be met before the PA will come to the negotiating table: the release
of terrorists and the transfer of land.

6) Arafat picture blunder is an embarrassment – it is
simply astonishing that the leader of the free world would
agree to speak against a backdrop
of a murderous terrorist with American and Israeli blood on his

Israel and the Jewish People are in much bigger trouble than
most will admit too.

The right wing hierarchy can moan and complain about what they perceive to b be Obama faults. The reality is that Obama stands head and shoulders above any other leader on the planet not only defending Israel in words but in deeds as well. And the only world leader who has done so consistently throughout his entire political career.


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A Very Israeli Take on Obama’s Speech

Ori Rosen, an Israeli student, writes in to weigh in

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