Obama to Israelis: Put yourselves in the Palestinians’ shoes

posted at 5:01 pm on March 21, 2013 by Allahpundit

To be scrupulously fair, the tone of the clip isn’t true to the tone of the entire speech. The Standard has the transcript. Most of what preceded this was as florid a valentine to Israel and Zionism as a U.S. president has ever delivered. It had to be in order to prepare his audience for the “put yourself in their shoes” passage, which of course was the real point of the speech. He couldn’t convince Netanyahu to restart the peace process with the Palestinians so now he’s going to try to convince his Israeli constituents to pressure him into doing so. (Now might be an opportune moment for this pitch.) And of course the media is breathless about it. His other landmark speech in the Middle East, in Cairo in 2009, totally changed the Middle East for the better, didn’t it? I’m sure this one will be just as significant.

Elliott Abrams responds by reminding O that there’s a long, long list of Middle Eastern nations that need tutoring on empathy and Israel’s not near the top:

In his remarks today he pictured an Arab world, and a Palestinian political system, yearning for peace with Israel through negotiated compromises. This ignores the vast ocean of anti-Semitism in the Arab world, and the inculcation of hatred of Jews and Israel in generation after generation of Arabs—including Palestinians. And it ignores the rising tide of Islamism in the region, which threatens to engulf all those political figures who would really like a compromise peace. The Arab world Obama described is a place far more desirous of, and far closer to, peace with Israel than the one Israelis actually see around them.

Obama urged Israelis to push their own government toward peace: “Speaking as a politician, I can promise you this: political leaders will not take risks if the people do not demand that they do. You must create the change that you want to see.” This may be taken as a swipe at the new Israeli government or at Netanyahu, but even if it is not he is again addressing it to the wrong audience. Israelis cannot “create the change they want to see” in the hearts of Palestinians, Egyptians, and other Arabs. “Now is the time for the Arab World to take steps toward normalized relations with Israel,” Obama said. And he is right, but does anyone want to take bets on how likely that is?

Here’s the one passage in Obama’s speech that I can’t get over. Literally no one, except maybe George W. Bush, still believes the following is true; it would have been a tough sell at any time, but at the moment it’s mind-boggling.

Four years ago, I stood in Cairo in front of an audience of young people. Politically, religiously, they must seem a world away. But the things they want – they’re not so different from you. The ability to make their own decisions; to get an education and a good job; to worship God in their own way; to get married and have a family. The same is true of the young Palestinians that I met in Ramallah this morning, and of young Palestinians who yearn for a better life in Gaza.

Which Egyptian “young people” does he mean? The ~5% of the country that’s liberal and reform-minded and that quickly disappeared from political view after Mubarak was deposed? Or the majority of the population that says they want to tear up the treaty with Israel and then elected a guy known for demanding that Palestinians be returned to “the entire land of Palestine”? If you want a truly honest, bracing explanation of what’s wrong with the peace process, skip O’s shpiel below and follow that last link. It’s all there: Screeching demonization of the “bloodsuckers” plus the ember of Palestinian revanchism that’ll burn forever, whether a “peace” deal is ever struck or not. It’s very, very O-like (O for Obama and Oprah) to think that a speech cajoling one side to understand their neighbor a little better might help resolve a zero-sum game over the most famously disputed territory in the world. One side insists on a right of return (and always will, even after they’re granted their own state) and the other side insists they can’t have it. Here’s to lasting peace.


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Most Palestinians don’t actually have shoes because the Israelis prevent them from being shipped into Gaza.

steebo77 on March 22, 2013 at 12:42 PM

You forgot the SARC tag… right?

Hamas continues to complain that Gaza lacks building materials, but a luxury mall in Gaza City held its grand opening in 2010.

Axion on March 22, 2013 at 1:27 PM

“Put yourselves in the (so-called)’Palestinians’ shoes”!
This narcissistic, petulant man-child becomes more of a joke everyday…

elihu on March 22, 2013 at 1:28 PM

This President is absolutely insane!!

Deano1952 on March 21, 2013 at 8:40 PM

No. He’s just doing what you would expect a Muslim to do.

Axion on March 22, 2013 at 1:30 PM

Would that be the exploding shoes?

rgranger on March 22, 2013 at 1:39 PM

Judging by the accolades and applause he received, President Obama delivered one of the best speeches in Israel by a US President in recent history.

He didn’t shy away from sensitive issues (ie pointing out Palestinians need justice as well) and the Israelis appreciated his honesty and saw that his intent was genuine.

As he said, he could’ve taken the politically easy path and just agreed with whatever Israel did, but he knew that would not be the solution to the problems of the region.

nonpartisan on March 22, 2013 at 1:43 PM

You forgot the SARC tag… right?

Axion on March 22, 2013 at 1:27 PM

Absolutely not! END ISRAELI OCCUPATION AND APARTHEID NOW!

/sarc

steebo77 on March 22, 2013 at 1:50 PM

As always, one must listen carefully to what leadership says, or fails to say, in analyzing current affairs. During his trip to Israel, President Obama said, “It is not fair that a Palestinian child cannot grow up in a state of her own.” Of course, as people of good will we would like everyone to have the right of self-determination and God-given liberty, but we also have to ask ourselves what has been done to establish the circumstances necessary for that. It’s been observed that a Palestinian child cannot grow up “in a state of her own” because of Palestinian leaders’ decisions.

There seems to be nothing on the horizon to change the mindset of those who would raise Palestinian children to hate and be intolerant of Jews, Christians, and other “infidels.” Bottom line: until that changes and until the Palestinian people become genuine partners in peace with Israel, little movement towards peace can be made. This is tragic for all, including those Palestinian children being indoctrinated. I hope our President understands this and could acknowledge it so the public could better understand the conflict. We can’t be naive to the causes of this centuries-old plight, and we mustn’t fail to ignore the one-sided effort to finally bring peace to Israel.

In the meantime, pray for peace in the Holy Land.

– Sarah Palin

Jayrae on March 22, 2013 at 1:55 PM

What a Dummy is Chief

Schadenfreude on March 22, 2013 at 2:29 PM

allahpundit virtually gave tacit approval of this quote – or excused the egregiousness of it away – EVEN to the point of raising the name of GEORGE W. BOOOOOOOOSH to pin it on at one point.

Amazing. Some OTHER quotes that Obama and Allahpundit find acceptable:

Obama: “Israel, put yourself in the shoes of The Terrorists! Think about what THEY have to go through!”

To Jews: “Jewish people, put yourself in the shoes of The Nazis! Think about what THEY have to go through!”

To Blacks: “Fellow African-Americans, put yourself in the shoes of The Ku Klux Klan! Think about what THEY have to go through!”

This isn’t hardly racist at ALL! …….MUCH!

The Mind REELS!

The Mind Reels at this quote from Obama – and the “soft sell” of this quote by Allahpundit above – trying to PIN IT on George W. Bush!

The Mind REELS!

williamg on March 22, 2013 at 2:36 PM

Oh – forgot one VERY IMPORTANT one:

To Women: “Women, put yourself in the shoes of The Rapists! Think about what THEY have to go through!”

williamg on March 22, 2013 at 2:47 PM

Tatters

Schadenfreude on March 22, 2013 at 2:54 PM

Obama less popular in the ME than GWB.

Schadenfreude on March 22, 2013 at 2:54 PM

If Obama believes that the Palestinians want peace, he’s an idiot. All his talk about Arabs being just like us, just wanting their children to have an opportunity, leaves out some major facts.

Israelis don’t strap bombs onto their children. And they try to avoid lobbing missiles into civilian target.

hawksruleva on March 22, 2013 at 3:22 PM

I’d like to see him say that to Hamas.

Bob's Kid on March 22, 2013 at 3:27 PM

As with Jews, blacks, Mexicans, liberals and independents, OBozo couldn’t care less about Palestinians. This is just a checkbox he needed cleared so the Democrats can fundraise in Hollywood next year.

Starting to see that everyone in the world hates this POS except his PMSNBC handlers.

Jaibones on March 22, 2013 at 4:07 PM

But Mommy, the Palestinians’ shoes have bombs in them!

Sherman1864 on March 22, 2013 at 4:26 PM

If Obama believes that the Palestinians want peace, he’s an idiot. All his talk about Arabs being just like us, just wanting their children to have an opportunity, leaves out some major facts.

Not an idiot, just a smooth liar. He knows what kind of peace the Palestinians want, and will be working as an ally to see that they get it.

hawkeye54 on March 22, 2013 at 4:36 PM

DId he ask the Palestinians to put themselves in the shoes of the Israelis? No – I’m shocked (not). No guts.

And to force Netanyahu to apologize to the Turks – everyone thinks they’re buying time but appeasement doesn’t work. Of course, if you believe appeasement doesn’t work, you have to be willing to DO something else.

MN J on March 22, 2013 at 6:40 PM

I’d just like to slap his face. Real hard. Several times.

avagreen on March 22, 2013 at 7:00 PM

This goes well beyond stupid….right into Evil.

I don’t normally like to assign malice where simple incompetence will suffice…but..

NO one is THIS dumb. NO ONE. This Bastard is just evil.

I double DOG dare him to tell the Palestinians to put themselves in Israel’s shoes.

What a totally incredible dipshit.

a5minmajor on March 22, 2013 at 7:01 PM

7.7 Million people live in Israel.

Over 300,000,000 friendly “neighbors”.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Middle_East_countries_by_population

Put yourselves in the Isrealis’ shoes.

CW on March 22, 2013 at 7:33 PM

Not a word about the Christian and Jewish merchants driven out of Nablus, Jericho, and Bethlehem?

Cleombrotus on March 23, 2013 at 8:34 AM

Of interest, this is a partial email that I received from the Jerusalem Prayer Team:

Shalom from Jerusalem and the Jerusalem World Center:

President Obama spoke yesterday here in Jerusalem to a carefully selected audience. Many Israelis are sarcastically greeting each other with “Happy Obama Day” as the Passover approaches. There is no doubt of the message Mr. Obama is sending. I know this is true because I am on the board of Ariel University, and Ariel students were not allowed to attend. Mr. Obama believes the school is built on Palestinian land (it is built in Hebron where Joshua and Caleb are buried; it’s hard to be more Jewish than that!).

President Obama meets with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas under a photo of the murderous terrorist Yasser Arafat

He refused to go to the Kotel (the Western Wall) or to speak at the Knesset. But he found plenty of time for the Palestinians, standing under a photo of the murderous terrorist Yasser Arafat to address them. In his speech to Israeli university students, President Obama said that Israel must make peace with the Palestinians if it is to ensure its survival and long-term viability as a homeland for the Jewish people. Of course, this ignores the reality that you cannot make peace with people who want you dead so badly they are willing to kill their own children to kill yours, too.

“The Palestinian people’s right to self-determination and justice must … be recognized,” Mr. Obama said. “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 her own, and lives with the presence of a foreign army that controls the movements of her parents every single day. Israelis must recognize that continued settlement activity is counterproductive to the cause of peace and that an independent Palestine must be viable—that real borders will have to be drawn.”

onlineanalyst on March 23, 2013 at 4:52 PM

That jug-eared clown doesn’t have the first clue………. what a disgrace to OUR Republic and OUR White House.

ultracon on March 23, 2013 at 8:44 PM

‘What is America’s leadership thinking?’ Palin blasts Obama for comparing Israeli-Palestinian relations to US-Canada
http://twitchy.com/2013/03/23/what-is-americas-leadership-thinking-palin-blasts-obama-for-comparing-israeli-palestinian-relations-to-us-canada/

john.frank on March 23, 2013 at 11:14 PM

There are no such things as Palestinians. These are Arabs that squatted on Israel’s land & were strong armed by other world powers into ceding that land. As always, these squatters will not stop until all of it is theirs.

RdLake on March 23, 2013 at 11:30 PM

Perhaps Barack Hussein Obama should try putting himself in the shoes of patriotic traditional Christian Americans and throw out his anti-American, muslim loving, lying marxist shoes. P-ss Be Upon Him.

SpiderMike on March 24, 2013 at 2:12 PM

idiot..

mmcnamer1 on March 25, 2013 at 6:54 AM

7.7 Million people live in Israel.

Over 300,000,000 friendly “neighbors”.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Middle_East_countries_by_population

Put yourselves in the Isrealis’ shoes.

CW on March 22, 2013 at 7:33 PM

And that sums it all up!!! Obama is a an evil, cynical bastard (and he knows it), unfortunately he is not an incompetent fool, as a lot of people seem to think.

jimver on March 25, 2013 at 12:42 PM

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