March 22, 2013

Five positive points in Obama’s Jerusalem speech
By Moriel Rothman
an American-Israeli writer and activist.

I have say that I was very surprised, positively, by the speech. I knew it was going to be filled with gloop. I did not know that it would include a handful of statements, ideas and words that would give me tiny, teensy glimmers of, well, hope?

Those statements, ideas and words, in list form:

(1) He said the words “Independent Palestine” twice. 

(2) He called the IDF a “Foreign Army” in terms of its actions in Palestine. 

(3) He condemned settler violence and the failure to punish it. He also spoke out against destruction of farmers’ land, restriction of students’ movement and the eviction of families.

(4) He gave credit to and noted the many young Palestinians who have rejected violence. 

(5) And he said the words (a) “Occupation” (which was a pleasant surprise and made it such that he passed my Haiku Test) and (b) “Expulsion” (which was actually sort of a shock).

So, while the speech was of course biased, antiquated, problematic, gloop-filled, and everything else that my radical colleagues predicted it would be and will analyze it as having been, these five points are worth considering. And worth emphasizing and repeating, because we have the opportuntiy, right now, to construct the meaning of this speech, as much as any political pundits or newscasters do. So: The President of the United States said that “Neither Occupation nor Expulsion is the answer.” Neither Occupation nor Expulsion is the answer.

Neither Occupation nor Expulsion is the answer.