A More Perfect Approach

Why do we act as though we are not sure what a President Obama will do with the ongoing conflict that is the Israel / Palestine issue?

He has said many times that he does not believe in doing the same thing and expecting different results; he will not merely pick up the template laid out by GWB or past Presidents.
He has said many times that people can disagree without being disagreeable; he will find those on both sides who trust in that principle and he will introduce them to the dialogue.
He has said many times that change happens from the ground up; he will seek to win over the hearts and minds of Israelites and Palestinians and mobilize them into a ground force for change.

It is almost as though - since we are still in the era of GWB - that people have forgotten the campaign we all witnessed. More than that, we participated in the election more passionately than many of us ever had before. We expressed that passion as Obama tapped into a groundswell flow of change that was roiling beneath the surface of American politics.

Now, I know what Obama will do less than almost anyone else, but I do recall the speech he gave at Constitution Hall - "A More Perfect Union". As I watched him deliver that speech from my perch at C-SPAN, I saw a man dance across the tightrope that is race in America. I sat in stunned amazement while he recognized the concerns of the descendants of slavery, while at the same time he acknowledged the fears of imminent violence that he has even heard within his own family.

I am not Barack Obama - this should hardly need stating - so please do not accept my short summary of the speech. Watch it for yourselves here - http://www.barackobama.com/tv/ - and then report on how these words affected you.

Can you not already picture Obama weaving together a speech that speaks to the aspirations of the people of both Israel and Palestine? Can you not imagine that just as Pastor Wright cast aside the olive branch created and offered by his own constituent, that there will be those on both sides - Israel and Palestine - who will reject the call to hew towards a spirit of common decency?

And just as it did not matter then, it will not matter for the people of Israel / Palestine.

For it was never about Wright, just as it was never about Obama. It was about us and our dreams.

So to will it be for the people of Israel and Palestine. Just as we were moved by his words to change our dialogue and expand our horizons, so too will the people of Israel / Palestine be changed.

Sphere: Related Content

No comments: