Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Obama on the Israel-Arab conflict

During his visit with Amman's King Abdullah, Obama said that the fault in the region is not just the Palestinians's alone. This is something you won't hear McCain, or any serious Republican, ever say.

Further, he said, "It’s difficult for either side to make the bold move that would bring about peace," adding that the Israeli government is "unsettled," while the Palestinians are "divided."

He recommends that both sides take a "look in the mirror" rather than blame the other for what's happening.

Condemning a terror attack today in Jerusalem, Obama added that "terrorism is so counterproductive as well as being immoral," and that attacks "the Israelis simply want to dig in and think about their security … the same would be true of any people when these kinds of things happened."

He indicated that as President he would "recognize the legitimate difficulties that the Palestinian people are experiencing right now," something he said would be "also in the interest of the Israeli people."

A balanced, thoughtful statement of support for what both sides are going through. Now, I'm a very pro-Israeli progressive myself, but I think that a US government, if it's going to be serious about helping to bring some peace to the region, needs to consider both sides equally. I'm not going to roll over and say that east Jerusalem needs to go to the Arab side, but I do think that the settlements need to slow down dramatically as a way to preserve some land for the Palestinians. Before that can happen, though, the Arabs need to find peace amongst themselves. Hamas and Fatah need to agree on how to run the country they would become. And if sanity has a place in the region, it would mean that the Hamas view that seeks to destroy Israel will have to be abandoned forever.

No comments: