An Impassioned Pro-Israel Obama Speech at the UN

By Jeffrey Goldberg

Dear friends of Israel,

It is simply not going to get any better than this:

America's commitment to Israel's security is unshakable, and our friendship with Israel is deep and enduring. And so we believe that any lasting peace must acknowledge the very real security concerns that Israel faces every single day. Let's be honest: Israel is surrounded by neighbors that have waged repeated wars against it. Israel's citizens have been killed by rockets fired at their houses and suicide bombs on their buses. Israel's children come of age knowing that throughout the region, other children are taught to hate them. Israel, a small country of less than eight million people, looks out at a world where leaders of much larger nations threaten to wipe it off of the map. The Jewish people carry the burden of centuries of exile, persecution, and the fresh memory of knowing that six million people were killed simply because of who they were.

These facts cannot be denied. The Jewish people have forged a successful state in their historic homeland. Israel deserves recognition. It deserves normal relations with its neighbors. And friends of the Palestinians do them no favors by ignoring this truth, just as friends of Israel must recognize the need to pursue a two state solution with a secure Israel next to an independent Palestine.

My clear impression, based on some actual reporting, is that Obama and his administration are particularly pissed-off about UN hypocrisy on Israel, and are also angry at the disrespect shown them by Mahmoud Abbas. In other words, it's Abbas's turn to feel Obama's wrath today. Netanyahu is off the hot seat for the moment.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2011/09/an-impassioned-pro-israel-obama-speech-at-the-un/245436/