Using New Language, President Shows Understanding for Both Sides in Middle East

[Washington Post] Glenn Kessler and Jacqueline L. Salmon - There was no mention of "terrorists" or "terrorism," just "violent extremists." In an Arab capital, he spoke of America's "unbreakable" bond with Israel and condemned anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial, an apparent repudiation of the anti-Israeli rhetoric that periodically emanates from Iran. Yet he also seemed to draw an equivalence between Jewish and Palestinian suffering. The president said: "The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements." Not since Jimmy Carter has a U.S. president in his own voice declared the settlements to be illegal, but Obama tiptoed very close to the line. Obama deftly referred to a "Jewish homeland," slightly different from Israel's demands that it be considered a Jewish state.

2009-06-05 06:00:00

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