Obama’s speech in Cairo
President Obama broke some new ground today in Cairo as he gave a speech, basically emphasizing what the US and Muslim world have in common, a shared desire for peace. Of course this speech played into the hands of many ultra-conservatives in the US because Obama talked about a dialogue with Hamas, said Israel shouldn’t expand its settlements, that there should be a two-state solution, and that Iran does have the right to peaceful nuclear technology.
President Obama has a great power to unite people across cultural, religious and political identity. However, there are still some in the US who do not want to buy-in to his actions. While, it seems like most headlines and people around the world applauded the speech because of Obama’s emphasis on peace and human rights (he spoke briefly about the rights of women), some still wanted to cherry pick some of his words and turn them around to make it look like he was conceding America’s security. The pundits (er… reporters) at Fox News chose to pounce on Obama’s references to Hamas as an overture to terrorists (if you follow the link, pay special attention to the comments page. There are some real gems hidden in there).
Yet, it is peculiar to me how misleading this Fox News piece is given that this is what Obama said in its entirety about Hamas (but I guess I shouldn’t be surprised):
“Now is the time for Palestinians to focus on what they can build. The Palestinian Authority must develop its capacity to govern, with institutions that serve the needs of its people. Hamas does have support among some Palestinians, but they also have responsibilities. To play a role in fulfilling Palestinian aspirations, and to unify the Palestinian people, Hamas must put an end to violence, recognize past agreements, and recognize Israel’s right to exist.”