For those of you following the fallout of Obama's speech in Cairo, here's one mans opinion from Bethlehem. I promise I'll post a real blog soon!!
On the street in the West Bank - Obama's speech was not as awe-inspiring as the pundits are saying
05.06.09 - 08:55
Bethlehem / PNN - Hussein is a 40 year old Palestinian with the same leanings as many in the West Bank — nationalist where it counts, leftist in his open-mindedness and with Islamic tendencies in his sense of tradition.
When Obama spoke in Cairo on Thursday afternoon, Hussein, like millions of others throughout the Middle East and beyond, watched on the television. And like millions more he spent the next several hours discussing the context and outcome. But what it seems from this man and his colleagues is that Obama’s speech was not as awe-inspiring as many would like to think.
“He was laughing at us,” Hussein said over late evening coffee, echoing comments heard throughout the afternoon. “If he had said ‘an end to occupation’ that would be one thing. That is what he should have said.”
The university lecturer continued, “It is not helpful to simply say the words, ‘Palestinian state.’ This is something known and expected under international law. But a Palestinian state where? Will it be where international law demands? Will it be on ’67 or ’56 lines, or wherever they want it [the Americans]?”
“The Israelis do not want us to have a state, that is what occupation is all about,” he continued. “Obama says, ‘They’re good, we’re good,’ and now we’re all supposed to get along. This isn’t saying anything, let alone doing anything. Where was the ‘end to occupation’?”
In the intense heat of a late summer evening Hussein finished, “He came here to make a good picture in front of Muslims, that’s it. He is the same as Bush, yes, but he uses a different approach, a better face. Bush said, ‘If you’re not with us, you’re against us.’ Obama painted a much nicer picture, but I don’t think the reality will follow.”