The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Politics

March 23, 2013

Fact checker: Obama's speech in Israel versus Bush's speech

(Continued)

Bush's speech was made before the Arab Spring and its messy outcome, so his vision was much more hopeful. Israeli leaders were always suspicious of Bush's desire to promote democracy in the Middle East, believing that popularly elected leaders would be less likely to maintain friendly relations with Israel. Obama tries to make the case that Israel now has a more pressing need to show progress on ending the conflict with the Palestinians precisely because those elected leaders may be swayed by popular passions.

_The way ahead:

Perhaps because Bush was in the midst of peace talks, he devoted little of his speech to the peace process — except for a rosy vision of what the Middle East would look like in six decades.

But Obama's speech had a long section in which he laid out three reasons for why Israel should renew peace talks: peace is "necessary" because it provides "true security;" peace is "just;" and peace is "possible." Within that formula, he made a few shifts in diplomatic language that are worth noting:

"You made credible proposals to the Palestinians at Annapolis. You withdrew from Gaza and Lebanon, and then faced terror and rockets."

Obama here casts Israeli actions on peace in the best possible light, and suggests that Palestinians have failed to respond positively. Obama, in fact, later makes that explicit: "There is no question that Israel has faced Palestinian factions who turned to terror, leaders who missed historic opportunities." While Obama also decried some Israeli occupation tactics, his language signals a subtle shift in which he places more of the the burden on Palestinian leaders for having missed chances to forge a state.

"I've suggested principles on territory and security that I believe can be the basis for these talks. But for the moment, put aside the plans and the process."

Text Only
Politics
  • With 1 week to go, Sanford subject of attacks

    CHARLESTON, S.C. — Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford can’t seem to escape attacks on the extramarital affair that derailed his political career, which he hopes to revive in a special congressional election that is now a week away.

    May 1, 2013

  • Bombing shifts Mass. Senate race before primaries

    BOSTON — Even before the explosions, polling suggested that Massachusetts voters weren’t excited about the looming special election to replace former U.S. Sen. John Kerry.

    April 28, 2013

  • In a first, black voter turnout rate passes whites

    WASHINGTON — America’s blacks voted at a higher rate than other minority groups in 2012 and by most measures surpassed the white turnout for the first time, reflecting a deeply polarized presidential election in which blacks strongly supported Barack Obama while many whites stayed home.

    April 28, 2013

  • Senate Democrats put off vote on Labor nominee

    WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats have delayed a confirmation vote on Labor Secretary-nominee Thomas Perez after Republicans threatened to use a separate hearing to criticize his handling of a whistleblower case.

    April 24, 2013

  • Sen. Baucus' decision to retire sets stage for majorlegislative changes

     Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., one of the most influential congressional figures of his era, announced his intention Tuesday to retire, a move that could produce sweeping changes in the political and legislative landscape over the next two years.

    April 24, 2013

  • Senate friendship born of tragedy beat partisanship

    These days, most dispatches from Washington focus on petty partisanship, posturing, impasses and a political culture that rewards confrontation.

    April 22, 2013

  • Rubio rising

    If Marco Rubio helps pass comprehensive immigration reform, he will have accomplished more as a senator than Barack Obama did.

    April 22, 2013

  • Gun Bill's Failure May Help Immigration Legislation

    WASHINGTON — Here's an odd political reality: The collapse of the gun bill in the Senate last week may well make the passage of immigration reform legislation slightly easier.

    April 21, 2013

  • Senate Planning Vote on Internet Sales Tax

    WASHINGTON — The days of tax-free online shopping could finally be numbered.

    April 21, 2013

  • Advocates of Immigration Reform Fight Back Against Push for Delay

    WASHINGTON — The Senate's leading supporters of overhauling the nation's immigration system sought Sunday to blunt a conservative effort to slow the pace of debate over their bill, saying the Boston Marathon bombings are a reason to move quickly to make changes.

    April 21, 2013

Featured Ads
Politics Video