.
June 4th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Obama reaching out to Muslims at expense of U.S./Israel relationship?

ALT TEXT

Pres. Obama makes his key Middle East speech at Cairo University in Egypt. In his speech, Obama called for a "new beginning between the United States and Muslims," declaring that "this cycle of suspicion and discord must end." (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

In reaching out to the world's one and a half billion Muslims with today's historic speech, it's unclear if President Obama is also pushing away America's long-time ally Israel.

Speaking in Cairo - the president recognized the U.S.'s unbreakable bond with the Jewish state and the horror of the Holocaust, but also talked about the suffering of the Palestinian people. He described their situation as intolerable and stressed the need for a two-state solution.

President Obama called on Palestinians to abandon violence - pointing to America's own civil rights history and saying it was a "peaceful and determined insistence" that brought about equal rights.

And, he once again called on Israel to stop building settlements; and to allow Palestinians to live and work and develop their society. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has already rejected President Obama's call for a settlement freeze.

But experts suggest that this demand from Mr. Obama will make Arab leaders listen. They say although the U.S. has been opposed to Israeli settlements for decades, past American presidents have allowed Israel to keep building them. And some believe that if "no" really means "no" this time around, it may be easier to form a regional coalition against Iran.

Speaking of Iran - Mr. Obama repeated his belief today that the Islamic Republic has the right to develop nuclear power for peaceful purposes - another statement that is probably not sitting too well with the Israelis.

Finally, for the first time in a long time, a visit to the Middle East by a sitting U.S. president did not include a stop in Israel.

Here’s my question to you: Is Pres. Obama reaching out to Muslims at the expense of America's relationship with Israel?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Scott writes:
If President Obama did anger Israel, so what? Where are they going to turn? We can support the nation of Israel without rubber stamping everything they do. Their treatment of Palestinians enrages the Arab world. We cannot advocate the rights of only some. I agree with our president that Israel must improve its treatment of Palestinians, and I'm glad the pressure of the U.S. is being brought to bear on this human rights issue.

Susan from Medford, Oregon writes:
The president is not pushing the Israelis away. He is demanding that they stop illegal settlements in the land that will become Palestine. If the Israelis are ever to get peace, they must give up the West Bank, and they know it. They too are stuck with a very vocal group of right-wing nut cases who would rather tear down the country than engage in honest negotiations.

Kelly writes:
To some extent, yes. The reaching-out will be at the expense of Israel, but for far too long this country has acted like Israel was the pillar around which everything Middle East had to be built. Israel has taken that position and our unwavering support for granted and gone too far in many instances over the past several years. Balance needs to be restored and Israel's standing needs to come down a couple of pegs to have any chance of bringing balance and peace to the region.

Mark from Berwyn, Pennsylvania writes:
He'll reach out to Muslims today, but when his re-election nears, he will certainly reach out to Israel. He'll need the Jewish vote. He is your run-of-the-mill politician: he says whatever will get him votes, from whoever is voting. It's the same sad, sorry tune we always hear from our political "leaders". He's nothing special.

Joe writes:
Jack, What expense? America has relationships with many countries: some good, some bad. Enough kissing up to Israel already. Move on, please! Muslims are here to stay, let’s work with them.

Jill writes:
The U.S. has been reaching out to Israel at the expense of US/Muslim relations since 1967. It's time to reverse the trend.


Filed under: Israel • Middle East • President Barack Obama
soundoff (273 Responses)
  1. Bruce from SC

    I think Obama sees the broader picture, ours interests in the world out weighs our single interest in Israel. I think being a friend that goes along with every wish that Israel has, has been counter productive. We have developed more enemies because of our unyeilding support with Israel. Its about time that a President gets tough with Israel. . I mean what do we get out of the relationship; we give them money,weapons,other aid, and they give us a hell of a lot more problems, than they're worth. They tick off all their Muslims neighbors, and those countries hold animosity towards Israels' "Big Brother", us!!!.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  2. Allen L Wenger

    The Bush Administration let the Israelis do whatever they wanted, even if it caused problems for the U.S. It is about time someone made Israel honor their own agreements and join the world community on a level playing field.

    Mountain Home ID

    June 4, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  3. Martin in Shoreline, WA

    No. Israel is not going to abandon it's relationship with America. We are the ones who gave them the nuclear weapons they do not want other nations in the area to possess. Without America, Israel would be wiped out in a week.

    What Obama is doing is long overdue. No more whining about the innocent Israeli women and children who were bombed; while ignoring the innocent Palestinian women and children who have been bombed.

    We need to abandon nuclear power as a legitimate power source. With any kind of nuclear power, comes nuclear bombs. And we need to stop expecting people of other nations to respond differently than we would.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  4. Richard-Arkansas

    Does Isreal plan to leave any land for the two state solution? If Canada kept expanding southward by creating suburbs into the US and making them part of Canada, you can bet our border people would be yelling like hell.

    The Isreal right-wingers don't want peace but they need to look at how successful they were in their last incursion. Maybe, that wasn't an accident of Isreali leadership. And we certainly don't need a Middle East hot from radiation for centuries.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  5. Agnes from Scottsdale, AZ

    Jack: We all need to get away from the old one-dimensional relationship habit. Israel is perhaps our biggest ally in the world. We heavily support their defense and trade. It's also possible for the US to develop a better foundation with the Muslim community. This is new for us and will feel uneasy at first. We don't have a choice.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  6. Kelly

    To some extent, yes the reach-out will be at the expense of Israel, but for far too long this country has acted like Israel was the pillar around which everything Middle East had to be built.

    Israel has taken that position and our unwavering support for granted and gone too far in many instances over the past several years. Balance needs to be restored and Israel's standing needs to come down a couple of pegs to have any chance of bringing balance and peace to the region.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  7. Ty

    why is it that we think Israel should be treated so much more special than other nations when it come to being honest and getting along. It is about time that we had a president to stand up to Israel's constant complaining and acting like a spoiled child whenever everything doesn't go their way.

    The majority of the problem between the Palestinians and Israel rest on Israel's shoulders. They are the ones who don't want to give any ground....

    June 4, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  8. Ozi

    We can blame any country in the world for wrong doing, give them the lecture about human rights. What is the reason we can't do the same to to Israel.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  9. Liz, Windsor, Ontario, Canada

    I don't believe that President Obama's speech to the Muslim world was at the expense of its relationship with Israel – he was doing his best to talk openly and truthfully to the Muslim world, and he did his best to demonstrate that America wants peace in the Middle East, between both the Palestinians and Israel. He was sure to reiterate the U.S.'s position as a chief ally of Israel, while saying that he wants Israel to stop expanding on its settlements – this is not weakening the U.S.'s position with Israel, at least it should not.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  10. Dianne

    We did those things. Why can't Americans admitt that fact. Also he was brought up in a Christian family. Stop trying to malign him. Gop would like to pretend America is always right. How can you profit from your mistakes if one cannot learn from them. Also Jewish money should strive fore peace and end this violence. If our Congress and Senate are serious about promoting peace in the Middle East. As the parent we cannot continue to play favorites between Israel and the Palestians. Jewish Americans surely can support peace fo that area so that young American men and women can stop fighting and losing their lives because the political donations keep our politicians in line and not really ready for peace.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  11. CJ in Roanoke, VA

    I'll never understand why Israel is valued as highly as it is to the USA. They need to stand on their own and use all of those high tech weapons to defend their own country. The rest of the world hates us because we act like Israels big brother. I say jettison Israel and let them stand or fall on their own merits.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  12. William Courtland

    Israel: needs to become a real nation: while the Hebrew need to find peace and understanding in the Sinai Desert and its mountains.

    Go settle their: expand onto lands purchased from Egypt... Go back home to peace and stop expanding into the land of Cann: until the Sinai becomes your first home!

    As for violent Extremism: How about confronting male on female violence by understanding the male motive: and bring justice against the females freedom to rape a man's mind.

    Iran is not a threat: the West and the domination of a few females it the real threat: as Osama Bin Laden was framed by these females in domination.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  13. Barbara NY

    What relationship with Israel? For years it's been the Israeli way or no way. President Obama was not tough enough on Israel. Most of us are sick to death of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. The only solution is a two-state solution. Israel needs to learn the meaning of compromise. Then again if peace were to happen between Israel and Palistine, Israel wouldn't need or get billions of dollars from the U.S.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  14. Mike in Louisiana

    No. Isreal needs to understand that it take all sides to make peace and if they are not going to be a part of the solution then they are part of the problem.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  15. David

    Dear Jack

    I think US should totally abbandon their relations with Israel, and start collaborating with the rest of the world. This would be good for our economy.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  16. Krystal

    It's about time. Israel is nothing but a big bully. I don't know why we care so much about that one little country at the expense of the enitre Middle East and our Oil Supply.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  17. Tom

    Hi Jack.
    I think he is pressing Israel, and I believe that is the right thing to do. We have stood by Israel and will continue to do so, but this should be a two-way relationship. The settlements violate international law and some even violate Israeli law. Do we not have the right or the will to ask they be stopped and/or dismathled? There will never be peace until BOTH sides learn to coexist, and he must demand concessions from Israel if he is to demand them from the Palestinians. I applaud the President for having the courage to speak the truth. It is high time.
    Boulder, CO

    June 4, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  18. Dennis in IA

    All sides need to give in, especially the Isrealites. The Isreal settlements need to stop being built to show good faith. We have been coddling the Isrealies for years, it is time for them to step to the plate and take responsibility for their actions as well – they are not the pure white angels they are made out to be. President Obama is telling everyone how it should be, if you want Peace as well as our help, stop the building, stop the killing, and stop the blame game.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  19. Jon K

    Its a nice change to have a president who doesnt instantly buckle to the demands Israel makes.

    The things Israel have done are inexcusable.

    Jon K

    Fraser Michigan

    June 4, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  20. Jeff, Atlanta, GA

    Jack,

    Has it occurred to anyone that maybe, just maybe, President Obama has so many big things to deal with right now, that perhaps he just hasn't gotten around to it yet? He's what, less than 150 days in office, and now people are complaining he hasn't done everything he promised to do? Maybe its just me, but I thought the point of having a 4 year term is that you have 4 years to do what you promised.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  21. MIkael Persen

    Why is even America allies with Israel, we fight their wars, and pay their investments, and what do we get back?

    June 4, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  22. Brandon Tipton

    yes it is because he is seeing what Israel has been doing to the Palestinians for decades. he can see that Israel only wants to be the one controling the middle east.
    all he is trying to do is to straightin things out for peace.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  23. Anthony

    Yes, and that's a good thing. Compromise is a two way street. Hamas should stop being violent, Israel should start giving Palestinans some they'd want. If Israel yells at Obama for making concessions, then that makes me wonder if they value power over peace.

    New Haven, CT

    June 4, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  24. mustafa

    No he isn't. Israel owns america already, they own all the media, politicians, banks, and you Jack Cafferty.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  25. John

    Obama reaching out to Muslims at expense of U.S./Israel relationship? No !

    June 4, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  26. JoAnn C in San Diego CA

    Yes, Jack he is but I think there is a point that one reaches that a change needs to be made. We voted for change. Let the president bring peace to the Middle East and a better world hopefully for the Israelis.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  27. Christopher

    Yes, I believe that he is but i also believe that it is more iimportant to have the Muslim community tolerant of us, because without our funding where would Israel be right now. I think that President Obama made the correct decision in trying to be friendly with the Muslim community

    June 4, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  28. Bill B

    Is Pres. Obama reaching out to Muslims at the expense of America’s relationship with Israel? America's relationship with Israel has been much too expensive for decades – too expensive for America, too expensive for the Palestinians, and too expensive for stability in the Middle East.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  29. Malith

    I know the truth hurt, but the truth is the truth and it must be say it. Finally we have someone who will fight for the truth.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  30. Todd

    No, not directly. There may be some who don't like it, but that's nothing new. What is new is calling out Isreal for their contributing activities. If both sides can look the situation objectively, it's far more likely to produce solutions.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  31. Carolyn in Illinois

    No, we are a diverse world and we must reach out to everyone.
    We all have to make sacrifices to live in this world. I think it's a shame
    that Christians, Jews and Muslims, who all believe in the same God
    cannot find religious common ground. Muslims alone are not the only religion plagued by religious zealots. Obama is right, it's time
    to patch old wounds and more forward to a new world.

    Carolyn in Illinois

    (Rockford, Illinois)

    June 4, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  32. Elliot Klinge

    Like any of our allies, Israel should expect to be held accountable for their actions–particularly those that cause human suffering and interfere with the stability of the region.

    Of course, many on the right are going to call this anti-Israel, but as the President said today, it nothing more than what everyone has been saying to themselves for decades.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  33. Kathryn, Montreal

    Maybe most americans do not realize the full history of America in the Middle East and should take the time to learn more which would help understanding of the sentiments in the past toward the U.S. Why does America think that acknowledging the past for example what DID take plase with overthrowing Iran's democratically elected President and that led to very much of the difficulties in that country and led to the rise of the religeous right.

    As regards Isreal, why should the President of the United States put the interests and needs for security of his own people AFTER those of Isreal? While Isreal does have the right to peace so do the Palistinians. For the first time in I dont know how many years I have heard the basis of American involvement in that area as being an truley "Honest Broker". I can only hope that it is true.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  34. EricJ

    This trip overseas was to talk to the Muslim world, must we always placate Israel?

    June 4, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  35. Jake

    obama is no different than the past presidents, he is owned by the same jewish business corporations, thus the relationship is the same, perhaps much stronger

    June 4, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  36. Tom Beumer

    Short and Sweet "Nonsense"

    June 4, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  37. Margie N.

    Unfortunately 100% yes. Obama fails to mention the fact that Israel is the only Democracy in the Middle East. Also, it is now evident that that during his campaign for presidency he was pleasing the Jewish voters with words and only words. Today, the truth has come out.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  38. Jake, Milpitas, CA

    Jack,
    I'd rather make good relationship with the vast number of Muslims than Israel. After all, if Israel considers itself so civil, it can surely handle a little "unfair" view from the US.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  39. jeff

    Obama has really turned the corner with his speech , wiping his shoes on the jews of Isreal..

    June 4, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  40. Jyoti

    America's relationship to Israel has become too expensive, not only for America but the whole world. That one single issue is adversely affecting the security and economic potential of the entire world. Sooner American public opinion realizes it, better it will be for the entire world. I think many Israelis like Rabbi Lerner realize it too.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  41. spencer

    hey jack, your the best on Cnn I think its ridiculous that people think The US is going anti israel anerica is much too pro israel, if you want my opinion they are the most dangous,unstable state in the region!

    June 4, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  42. S Amu

    Cannot he be fair to the arabs without showing any appeasement to the jews? Mr. Obama is merely stretching a hand out to friendly arabs and this action need not offend anyone!

    June 4, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  43. Bernie from Tarpon Springs, FL

    Jack,

    Unfortunately, the US-Israel relationship has been pretty one sided historically. Israel receives billions of aid from the US and snubs their nose at us whenever it serves their purpose. Let's not forget that Israel went so far as to attack a US military vessel in international waters in the Mediterranean and killed and wounded a number of US military. If being more even handed in Mid-East policy is at the expense of Israel, so be it. It is better for the US.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  44. Jack W.

    Jack, it's refreshing to finally have a President that approaches things even-handily. Israel has gotten a free pass for far too long. They have a lot of skeletons in their closet and it's high time we put some pressure on them... that is, if peace is something really want.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  45. ginger from Trenton, NJ

    I think that the President struck the exactly correct balance; we will support Israel but they cannot be a loose cannon either. Not even Israel should expect American support no matter what they do. We need to help lead the way to peace not follow any one group no matter what they do.
    Finally, some truth!

    June 4, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  46. Felicia (Georgia)

    NO, he is attempting to build bridges between the Arabs and Israelis. We have become the peacemakers in this family war of the children of Abraham. Somebody has to start the peace process. Who better than us???

    June 4, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  47. Sumiyia

    I think it's about time the US thinks and acts for her OWN interests, independent of that of Israel's. Constantly sticking our necks out for the benefit of Israel has not benefitted us in any way, shape or form. We cannot continue to let this fear of offending Israel dictate every step we take as a free nation. More importantly, it should be noted that Obama has only asked Israel to comply with long-standing international law, that is, to dismantle all illegal settlements in disputed territories. Should we expect the United States to sanction Israel's violations of international law? I think not.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  48. Linda in Arizona

    Some of us would say that's a good thing. I don't think he meant it that way at all. Israel practically runs our country. They have nothing to worry about. Ask Rahm.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  49. Brandy

    No Jack Isreal is behaving in such a way that they are risking the relationship with the US and everyone else who has supported them in the past. We are attempting to mend fences and go forward with a peacful co-existance between all countries. The Isreal stance that they can do whatever they want and build where ever they want is damaging peaceful co-existance in the region. If the Isrealies really wanted peace they would stop building in areas that are in question until such a time that an agreement is set up between the two countries.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  50. Howard in Novato, CA

    When a parent scolds a child it is not "pushing them away." Considering Israel is the largest recipient of US foreign aid, it is time we insist on movement towards a two-state solution and work towards resolving the cycle of violence and hatred. I personally applaud his efforts today.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  51. Andrew Fisher

    Israel, for far too long, has had no real pressure on them from an American administration to stop the illegal settlements (the entire international community, as well as the world court recognizes the settlements as illegal). It's more than an obstacle to peace, it's a behavior and practice that should not be afforded to any country who calls themselves a "democracy." It's time to put pressure on Israel to come to terms to accepting the 2 state solution.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  52. Sue, NY

    I think he said everything he needed to say. Lets hope everyone is listening.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  53. Al Sefati

    The answer is no. President Obama is trying to calm things down and represent US as a credible peacemaker in the world. If US is represented too biased in favor of Israel then it can't be a fair and credible peacemaker in the middle east can it?

    June 4, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  54. Oscar

    No, President Obama explicitly stated the the continued and unwavering US commitment to Israel. He has been clear, however, in that everyone, including Israel, must contribute if the world is to change.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  55. C. Martinez

    Finally, a president that believes that Israel isn't always right, other nations exist as well in the region. Yes, this is an expense to U.S./Israel relationship.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  56. Robert A. Fisher

    No, Jack. Peace is the goal and creating an environment for talking peace is a plus for Israel and for Palestine. It is so good to have a president who is willing to take a chance on peace, and who is willing to be in dialogue with all involved.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  57. Jean

    Jack, it's called DIPLOMACY! A word the previous administration couldn't begin to comprehend. President Obama has to undo all the damage done by the previous administration, start new dialogue, and reach out to try to restart an almost dead peace process. Israel is not without blame. If they are not honoring treaties then they have to accept responsibility for their failures. I applaud the President reaching out to set the stage for possibilities!

    June 4, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  58. Mark from Queens, NY

    No Jack. He's reaching out because the previous policies from Truman to George W. Bush have put this country at war for 60 years against all of the middle east. He has realized that the old status quo of leaving it to the next adminstration to clean up the mess and hope to find peace is not feasible anymore. Neither is sending money grants to Israel when we're in huge foreign debt. This is like Reagan breaking with tradition and playing to win the cold war. Obama wants to break this do nothing tradition, help find a lasting peace and one that makes the muslim world hate us less so we can end this war on terror sometime sooner than later.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  59. Tracy-Oakley

    No I do not believe the President is reaching out to Arabs at the expense of Isreal. Isreal government & people has to be honest with itself and decide if they really want peace or do they just want their way. The last administration gave Isreal a lot room to do what they want and not what is best for peace at the expense of alienating the rest of the Middle East. Good job Mr. President.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  60. John Hayner

    Israel need to learn that when President Obama says, "No more settlements," he means what he says!! We've coddled the Israeli government far too long at the expense of the Palestinians who have suffered terribly from the long Israeli occupation of their lands. Thank God we have a president who is determined to take a more even-
    handed approach to the Israeli-Palestinian situation.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  61. Nell, Clemson, South Carolina

    There can not be peace in the Middle East as long as Israel continues to build settlements on the West Bank. President Obama knows this. Israel, on the other hand, continues building on the West Bank. It is Israel that has decided, counting on the military backing of the US, to continue building. Israel must be willing to compromise or there will never be peace.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  62. Kathy London ON

    US Presidents have been to Israel how many times vs the rest of the middle east? He reached out to Muslims at no expense to anyone; and with no offence intended to anyone. It would take an awful arrogance and egocentricity for the Israeli's to find fault in the fact of the visit and speech.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  63. Damani

    It's not about Isreal, it is about world peace with our neighbors. Strange bedfellows do not always make good company.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  64. Stephen In Chambersburg PA

    I think our support of the State of Israel since 1948 cannot be questioned. However, it now is an independent Nation, and from previous evidence, able to take care of itself. We will continue to support Israel, but recognizing that there are other countries that need our support to expand their freedoms, we also need to consider them. We can no longer afford the be the 'worlds' policemen. Other people will have to stand up for what is right.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  65. american John in canada

    abosolutly not we should be looking for a united state solution not a two state solution like here in canada and the U.S.A Arab and Isrealie living side bye side in peace with liberty and justice for all. this is what America should promote

    June 4, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  66. Jerry from Spokane, WA

    Jack, the president's gotten himself in a pickle, part of which isn't his problem: the Israeli Prime Minister's party, the Likud Party, is a lot like our Republican Party (right wing conservative)...add in to that fact that one of their coalition partners is the Shas Party (religious conservatives, for the most part), and you have an Israeli government that is not only fragile but also is pro-settlement.

    The president's party, the Democratic Party, is an opposite of the Likud Party on the political spectrum...which is bad. Even worse is that the president has to keep to a long-established history of the US being staunch allies of Israel...unfortunately, the president also has a duty to repair the tattered state of relations between our country and the Muslim world that came about as a result of the failed policies of George W. Bush. Ultimately, I think it is too early to say if we are sacrificing one relationship in favor of another; only time will tell.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  67. Rob

    Writing from Raleigh, NC: the relationship between the US and Israel has long been a sticking point in even being involved in Middle East peace talks. If we are truly ever going to be an impartial moderator between Israel and the rest of the Muslim community, then we almost certainly must start addressing in blunt terms Israel's own horrific and disproportionately brutal acts of humanity.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  68. Fran of Huntington, NY

    The President is saying what many of us privately have been thinking for years, (including the Media) but do not have the nerve to vocalize it because of our many Jewish friends and family in America. But it is very black and white, the Palestinians deserve to live in peace in a state of their own like the rest of the world. We have to reach out with honesty and stop dancing around this vicious circle of violence, obviously it isn't working. The result is always the same, broken promises followed by more and more violence and death. And bravo to our President.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  69. Canis.

    Why can't we accept the friendship of both states. If we expect Israel to help the Palestinians develop in ways to benefit both societies we should maintain excellent relations with both............Jeeez folks talk about a no-brainer....
    ...............Canis

    June 4, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  70. jgojcaj

    The United States has had a strong relationship with Israel since WWII. However, I think it's time for the U.S. to finally wake up and see that the Palestinians have a stake in that land and deserve an independent country. The Israelis been favored by the U.S. for way too long, and they need to realize that they cannot get away with what they are doing against the Muslims, in regards to settlement expansions and no proper or fair peace agreements.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  71. Michelle

    Obama is not reaching out to Muslims at the expense of Israel, he is simply trying the best he can to put a STOP to the madness. I am Jewish and I praise him for his effort.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  72. Jordan

    Your phrasing is misleading. It will change the relationship because we will no longer look the other way and only blame Palestinians. But it does not change that we are and will always be allies. It will improve the relationship and prospects for peace.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  73. abu

    israel is at a place where the u.s wants them.the problem now is the mutual understanding between the u.s and the muslim world.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  74. Marie

    No. The US will always have a strong bond with Israel. That said, it's time to realize that Israel's policies have not worked to ensure the country's safety. The settlements in Palestinian land are wrong. Both Palestinians and Israelis need to work towards peace. It's madness to pursue the same policies that have not worked in the last 60 years.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  75. Robert From Atlanta

    He did it!!
    We need to sit down and let or good choice of a President work. Believe it or not a lot of other nations wish they had an Obama "like" figure in their nation. God has blessed America

    Jack

    June 4, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  76. John Cliff

    No, the Presidents speech does not mean we are "leaving" support of Israel. It does mean the US may finally be taking a balanced and fair approach to the Mid East issue. It's way over due....

    June 4, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  77. Wes Snypes -- TOLEDO

    The US should have simultaneous port stops in both Israel and the Gaza strip with equal ships, such as destroyers or light cruisers, just to make the point that the two political entities are considered equivalent.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  78. Jan - Lancaster, PA

    As an ally, Isreal should recognize that the only way for peace to ultimately be achieved is through mutual respect & compromise on both sides. Because we are NOW setting forth common sense goals that would ultimately benefit Isreal, the usual critics might want to step back & analyze this more carefully before opening their mouths. Peace would benefit Isreal as our ally & the Isrealis need to rachet back their antagonistic behavior in order to achieve that peace. Being an ally doesn't mean anything goes & that we would support anything Isreal does. All nations need to exercise tolerance, respect, and recognize peaceful existance for everyone.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  79. Chaiah Jacobson

    President Obama is asking ALL of us to be responsible citizens of our world. If the Israelis are upset by that, then tough.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  80. Myra Becnel

    No, I believe he was very clear of America's committment to Isreal and to Isreal's right to be there and simply said what we have all known for 2 decades and that is a two state existance with justice and peace for Isreal and Palestine. I think that is what most of us all want to see and what I hope Isreal also wants. There is no other way!

    June 4, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  81. ron from vancouver

    obama is alienating the israeli's a country who has been loyal to america for as long as it existed. obama is going to lose all support he has in the middle east because if history teaches us anything israel is the only country in that section of the world america can count on. he's making a huge mistake telling israel its his way or the highway.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  82. Curtis in MO

    The U.S. gets virtually nothing FROM Israel. Of course we will continue to support Israel - i.e., defend, with money if not also militarily when necessary, that single functioning Mideast democracy. (Iraq I don't count as "functioning" just yet.) There can be no question that we will support Israel. But there is no necessity for us to continue to bow before Israel's selfish demands at the expense of greater U.S. interests. The Muslim world is large, and much of our interest will lie in building solid relationships with the Muslim world.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  83. Wim

    After decades of unfair treatment of Palestine and favoring just about anything Israel does and does not, Obama has the courage to fairly treat and try to obtain the long sought piece in the Middle East.
    It is unfortunate that too many of our politicians are "owned" by the Israeli Lobby.
    This must stop in order to obtain and maintain piece.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  84. Jay

    It is not at the expense of Israel. Finally the mid-east stalemate has a fair mediator calling out the faults of both sides, namely Israel. After 60 years of unwavering support of Israel's wrongful actions, at the expense of Palestinians, its refreshing to finally see the US standing up to Israel's misconduct and unpeaceful policies.

    Jay D – Woodside, NY

    June 4, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  85. drjbutler

    I too support Isreal and our relationship with them, but that doesn't mean that they are unconditionally right. They live in a powder keg and must protect their security. However, that can't justify imprisioning a race. Similarly, lobbing rockets into Isreal is cowardly and unjustifyable. Both sides need to eye the mutual good rather than emotional satisfaction for past offenses.

    Jim from Boston

    June 4, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  86. Teriss

    President Obama presented a new bold initiative not for political gain but to reach out to Muslims who have been made the villains in the war on terrorism. Israel is not without blame here, and we cannot keep supporting them if their only answer to the world is to blow up Iran, and the Palestinians. War is not the answer, war propagates more wars and death. What Obama did was to rock Ben Laden's world...without using bombs, death and destruction.

    I applaud his efforts- those who disagree -will continue to destroy the world through anger, hate and more violence which if you studied history at all....did nothing to improve the human condition.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  87. Viggoros

    No, The only way you can be a broker between the Israeli and Palestinian for a two-country solutions is to be neutral. Neutral means both side must feel that you are on their side. This has not been the case in the past, therefore no solutions.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  88. Akber

    Jack, the israeli-palestinian issue is a real problem begging for a real solution. Previous presidents giving it lip service and looked the pther way has not worked. So, Obama is giving it a real try and we have to look for numero uno, USA

    June 4, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  89. James

    I think it depends on whether moderate voices in Israel prevail. It's inspiring to see an American President address other nations and cultures with genuine respect, and no one should be threatened by it. Reactions to the Cairo speech show more clearly than ever that hardliners and extremists have a lot in common, regardless of what country, religion, or point-of-view they claim to represent.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  90. Andrew from Kenton, OH

    No, Israel needs us more than we need Israel.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  91. Sameer T, Cave Creek AZ

    First of all, the election of President Obama was seen as a catalyst for many Arabs around the world, instilling a sense of hope and the possiblity for change. From a Palestinian perspective, it is his compassion and willingness to bring others together that is inspiring, not his middle name.

    The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been viewed by many as a one-sided ordeal for way too long. If the US-Israel relationship is strong, then the fact that Obama is trying to find a solution including those from the “other” side should not be an issue. It would be beneficial to the whole world if he can succeed where those before him have failed.

    Also, Israel should not be offended because Obama didnt visit there, but should instead respect his efforts to rectify a serious situation.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  92. Arlene

    Of course, if the Israelis allow Christians and Muslims to live in Israel, why can't the Palestinians allow Jews to live in the settlement. Isn't the goal for everyone to live together peacefully. The answer is that the Palestinians want the end of Israel so Obama has really harmed Israel by insisting an end to the settlements.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  93. Darlene, Georgia

    Living under brutal oppression for over forty years is a horrible injustice that the Palestinians have endured. We need to uphold the principle that Americans hold dear - freedom to have your own nation. Fairness in the Middle East is long overdue. Israel always talks peace, but their actions do not mirror those words.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  94. Barb from Hazel Crest, IL

    No, he isn't. He is trying to obtain peace and prosperity for Israel and Muslims in the Middle East. What both have being doing for decades has not been a success so it is time to change the mix so both can come out winners. In any negotiation each side must give a little.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  95. David N.

    It seems to me that Obama's goal in the middle east is the destruction of Israel. Obama has now alienated Israel and sent it to the gas chambers like the Nazis did. Concern is an understatement.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  96. Nicholas

    As a new President Obama has been given the benefit of the doubt multiple times each time he got fiercely criticised for his actions. but slowly and steadyly each day i get more skeptical of were he truely stands and what his priorities towards the American interest is. He seems to be always apologising everytime he goes overseas to represent us and i'm sick of it. He also seems to be deviating from the pact and commitment made with isreal. i'm tired of feeling skeptical. He needs to take a stand and stop sitting on the fence because you cannot please everybody.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  97. Sherri--Illinois

    No Jack I certainly hope not BUT at least President Obama is making the attempt to correct the non-communication with the Muslim world of over 1 BILLION people, thanks to President Bush's horrible he advise he got from Rumsfeld & Cheney. Iraq taught us well that war is NOT the answer nor is "BRING IT ON" macho statements the answer. President Obama is out there to ALL communities of world which includes Israel & the Palestine, so its up to THEM to come to some kind of peaceful co-existence or continue to kill the hell out of each other until nothing over there is standing anymore. I admire the President for his outreach but he (AMERICA) can only do so much.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  98. Teriss

    Did Israel listen to the US when they bombed Gaza for weeks last year?

    June 4, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  99. Jack Pagan

    America's bending over backwards for Israel has come at the expense of the US/Muslim relationship. Perhaps we should pay a little more attention to some of the other kids in the schoolyard.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  100. Robert A

    As Americans, full partners in zionism for sixty years, we often forget that we have always supported Israel at the expense of Muslims. We forget that Israel is not a democracy, as over half of its territorial population (the Palestinians) are barred from voting in order to maintain its Jewish identity. Considering the scale of the national investment we have made in Iraq and Afghanistan WITHOUT making these kinds of gestures to the Muslim world at large, we can't afford to keep basing our whole Middle East policy on Israel and oil anymore.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  101. Yoni

    Obama is in the difficult situation whereby no matter what he said to the people in Cairo he was going to alienate someone- if he took no stance on Israel, he would risk making a Bush-esque speech with nothing but "Fight the terrorists" outlook, even though he avoided the word terrorist itself. But by criticizing Israel at least he showed willingness to confront wrong done on both sides. However, in the interest of avoiding assaulting a better and longer ally- Israel- Obama should have at least made a trip to Israel to demonstrate that HE himself maintains strong relationship between the United States and Israel, not just that the American people do. That would make the US seem stronger on both sides as the mediator that is willing to recognize both sides, but also to recognize wrong on both sides. By doing things the way he did, he made himself seem as though he was showing one face to one people and another to the other. He needed to show his front and back to both sides equally.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  102. harry

    No. Obama is creating an America strong and courageous enough to live at peace with all countries of the world and not just being lead around by scary old men and their biases.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  103. Emma, San Luis Obispo, CA

    Is Pres. Obama reaching out to Muslims at the expense of America’s relationship with Israel?

    The time has come for Israel to stop impeding the "peace process".
    The expense of America's relationship includes BILLIONS of dollars in weapons (to kill Palestinians) and AID to Israel. Who's kidding who Jack?
    It is about time an American President stood up and told the truth to all parties, and President Obama has the strength and courage of his convictions that it is time for a two state solution. PERIOD!!
    Reagan said, "Tear down these walls" and now our president is saying STOP the violations by building settlements in the Palestinian territory. There is no expense to be considered except that Israel needs to understand who butters their bread!!

    June 4, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  104. Linda

    The answer....NO.....as a Jew, the daughter of Holocaust survivors, and someone who has Israeli family members, I do not think that our President is risking a relationship with Israel. It has been lopsided in favor of Israel for a long time with our leaders afraid to take a tough stance. This has to be about BOTH sides coming together, and although this will uncomfortable for them in the short term, the long term goal is worth it for everyone!

    June 4, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  105. Bill....Michigan

    it's about time that Israel realizes that they are not the only kid on the block and that they learn to play with others.
    President Obama shows real world leadership in his efforts to try to get everyone to play together.
    Bill

    June 4, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  106. victor

    im soooo sick of Israel!!!! my whole life all i've heard is that we must protect and back them up. WHY??? they lie and steal and spy on our government.
    im only 23...so some "older folks" might dismiss me as some "dumb kid" but... this isnt my fight... what do i care if they bomb themselves to hell???
    all the Israeli government(not the people) does is cause problems for us that we have to clean up with American lives. they poke "the bully-any arab country" with a stick then hide behind us when "the bully" get annoyed.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  107. John Thielbahr, Pullman, Washington

    President Obama appealed to us as human beings, not Americans or Israeli's or any other nationality. The positions he laid out make intuitive sense: two independent states for Israel and Palestine, nuclear power for peaceful means, fighting extremists, women's rights, etc. The responses will take their normal narrow interest positions. He gave us what should be the goals we aim at as humans to achieve peace, and we should all support them.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  108. Mohammed Ali

    Presidnet Obama is simply saying the right thing. Hes speaking from the heart. I dont understand why evereyone is questioning our ties with the state of Israel just because our U.S. president is standing up for the Palestinians. Something our last president never did. The United States will always have a good relationship with Israel. Mr, Natanyahu needs to realize that even with a good relationship you need to understand that even your closest allies can disagree with you on some important issues. Obama has made it very clear that as long as he is preisdent he will do what he can to achieve klasting peace in the midde east. He is doing the right thing!

    June 4, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  109. Ira N. Forman, National Jewish Democratic Council

    No, President Barack Obama’s speech this morning in Cairo did not just reiterate what the audience wanted to hear. Instead, Obama was forthright about the necessity for acceptance of the Jewish homeland in Israel and called for Palestinian abandonment of violence.

    I praise Obama for reaching out to the Muslim world and for his commitment to Middle East peace. Similarly, I recognize his wisdom in speaking directly to the Muslim world about the need to abandon fantasies of destroying Israel and in reiterating America’s unbreakable bond with the Jewish State.

    Washington, DC

    June 4, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  110. Arthur Short

    As Obama brown noses it with the Muslim world, he cannot hide his duplicity. There is no separation between peaceful nuclear power and nuclear weapons. There is plutonium formed as a by-product of peaceful nuclear power and that plutonium can be easily recovered and used in a nuclear weapon.

    The very sad truth is that Obama clearly knows this. All too well. So any statement that Iran has a right to peaceful nuclear power is disingenuous. Israelis see this and are more than worried by this president.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  111. Ben

    President Obama, while having good intentions, overstepped his bounds. How would he like it if every other country told him to give back lands to the Native Americans and to halt the building of cities in the United States? How would he like hearing other world leaders tell him where Americans may or may not live. Would he be willing to uproot hundreds of thousands of Americans the way he is looking to uproot Israelis? The answer to all of the above questions is certainly not in the affirmative.

    As a man of the law President Obama should know that Israeli "settlements" are in fact lawful, legitimate, and required by law. Obama's calls sound awfully similar to the Nazi desire to make their land "judenrein". As an American I am ashamed that my leader put all the blame for a bad relationship with the Muslim world exclusively on my country.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  112. gear

    Possibly, but Israel is a small country that sits in the middle of it's enemies and needs the United States. The United States and Israel haven't always agreed, and Israel may not like the United States saying publicly, what it's said many times in the past to Israel behind close doors, but I don't believe its enough the threaten relationship.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  113. Jo

    Jack, I don't think President Obama means to push away Israel with his comments. I think he's saying that, of course, we need to remain strong allies of Israel, but neither can we take the stance of supporting Israel no matter what its actions. Right now, Israel's rejection of ceasing settlement develpment is hampering peace! The President is calling for peaceful compromise and compassion–and, for the good of all, Israel included! God bless him!

    June 4, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  114. Emma, San Luis Obispo, CA

    Is Pres. Obama reaching out to Muslims at the expense of America’s relationship with Israel?

    The time has come for Israel to stop impeding the “peace process”.
    The expense of America’s relationship includes BILLIONS of dollars in weapons (to kill Palestinians) and AID to Israel. Who’s kidding who Jack?
    It is about time an American President stood up and told the truth to all parties, and President Obama has the strength and courage of his convictions that it is time for a two state solution. PERIOD!!
    Reagan said, “Tear down these walls” and now our president is saying STOP the violations by building settlements in the Palestinian territory. There is no expense to be considered except that Israel needs to understand who butters their bread!!

    June 4, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  115. Ken in NC

    This is a pretty complicated question so I will attempt to make it something that can be understood but all including the likes of House Leader Boehner and the Self Appointed RNC Leader Limbaugh……....NO

    June 4, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  116. terry

    Friends can be critical of one another and still be friends.
    If the US wants to be a ligitimate peace broker in the middle east
    the US must be an honest broker, one who as seen as looking out for the intrests of both parties,one that also points out the positives and negitives of all parties. this is the only way to move forward.
    Obama is a truly forward thinking man and all should appriciate his efforts.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  117. Dawn

    In a word: yes. And it's about time, Jack. For decades we have sacrificed our ability to form healthy relationships with the Muslim world by backing Israel in anything and everything it wanted to do, no matter how aggressive or provocative. Israel has never learned how to play nice with its neighbors because they have always had our unconditional support, and it has been not only to our detriment, but to the detriment of any possible lasting peace in the region. I'm glad we finally have a president who is willing to tell Israel that being an ally isn't the same as being a yes man, that actions inimical to peace and our interests in the region will no longer be supported.

    Dawn
    Portland, Oregon

    June 4, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  118. Chris (Norway)

    No...

    Once again the president is demonstrating that words being said at the right moment in time CAN lead to change...

    ....change where a critical mass of people can think along the same lines, looking for common ground to resolve differences, without the views of a vocal and extremist minority drowning out the rest who want real and lasting peace.

    Israelis AND Palestinians are smart enough to know this.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  119. jr

    its about someone tell israel to stop the land grab at another human expense,stop the kill ...and violate the un law

    June 4, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  120. Farah

    No, I believe that Pres. Obama is just finally noticing that in order to stop terrorism, then he has to mend ties with the Muslim countries of the Middle East, which also means facing the fact that we can't continue to be Israel's puppet, holding its hand in any action (especially violent) it decide to take

    June 4, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  121. Rachel, South Florida

    Obama's proclivity to "Appease" the Muslim world is reminiscent of Chamberlain "Appeasing" Hitler. I seriously wonder how the rest of the Jews who voted for Obama feel about him now?

    June 4, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  122. Sarah

    Israel is an ally to the US, but does not dictate our entire foreign policy. To that end, Israel is absolutely dependent on America. There is no expense taken, but a correction that needs to be made. This past December’s aggression from Israel is an example of realizing the need for the correction.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  123. Brian Levine

    It's like saying you can't be friends with two people just because they don't get along with each other.

    There is no reason we can't reach out to both groups. We've proven our commitment to Israel and we must bring the Islamic world on board because they are half of any peace.

    Brian
    Charlotte, NC

    June 4, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  124. Chaiah Jacobson

    Diane said: Jewish Americans surely can support peace

    As a Jewish American, I agree.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  125. AIB

    Obama is elected to serve the US national interests, not the interests of some Isreali hardliners, who think that force is the only option. If this small group wants to take this route, they should not rely on the US. Let stop these ideologues and promote peace. The Isreali hardliners and their ignorant backers in the USA should be stopped so that peace in the Middle East can be achieved. Let give peace to the children of Isreal and Palestine. Let stand the forces of darkness and violence whereever they are.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  126. Tom Jackson

    No I don't believe so Israel has gotten a free ride from the US for many years with over 150 billion in aid. If they really are seeking peace then there are going to have to be concessions made on both parts. President Obama just had the guts to confront the problem head on opposed to just giving the problem lip service, this was a long time overdue. Now maybe just maybe we can make some headway in bringing about peace.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  127. Mazen

    President Obama's speech was honest and fair to both sides of the conflict speaking to the core concerns of Jews, Christians and Muslims. Its a profound change from the past where one side's view is seen as the only legitimate perspective. The President's efforts for peace will bring security to israel as well as the Arab and Muslim world.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  128. Kyle

    I think that President Obama made it clear that Israel will remain as America's strongest ally. In the spirit of "tough love", however, America needs to press on Israel to follow international allow, to stop the establishment of settlements and road blocks and allow for the birth of a Palestinian state. The United States can longer expect the Palestinians to make concessions for peace without asking the Israelis to do the same. The conflict will only be solved when both sides are treated equally and both meet the demands for peace. President obama is protecting Israel and being "honest", and is also expanding America's bonds to include the Muslim world, a vital part of the war on extremists.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  129. Salman

    Jack, let's distance ourselves from politics for a second. The fact remains that Israel has been occupying Palestine for 61 years and that the Palestinian people have been suffering from that occupation. Scores have died, social structure has been dismantled, and more and more resentment and hatred has been growing in their hearts. Gaza has been described by many as an "open air prison." We should focus on the humanitarian issue first and foremost. What happened to standing for justice wherever it may be and distancing ourselves from politics?

    June 4, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  130. Jeannette Hereniko

    Jack, tt's about time an America leader recognized the reality of the condition existing in the contemporary world.

    Thanks to our President's speech, it will be much easier for us average Americans to travel abroad and gain some respect from others throughout the world who've never understood why we Americans always unconditionally support whatever Israel did.

    Our President is truly a courageous and intelligent leader who will bring us closer to peace – even though it may upset some of the fanatic or very biased people living in Israel and in America.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  131. Nancy

    Possibly, but it is about time. Having watched the situation for years and hearing Hillary Clinton when she was first lady telling the world that there has to be a 2-state solution, I think it is PAST time that fairness prevails. Settlements have to stop now.
    Nancy – Tulsa

    June 4, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  132. S Callahan

    It would not be fitting for the Presdient of United States to turn his back on Israel...one that is not only politically connected but very much spiritually connected.....The same God for Sadrach, Meshach, and Abedinego....is the same for the US and Israel....I would not want to anger him....Israel is off limits for political fodder. Again, people need to read Psalm 118:8.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  133. Tony slim

    JACK no.!! As long as Israel abide by the rule of Law they will be supported. When politicians mention Israel as a friend of the US they are only saying that to get the Jewish votes.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  134. Robert Thomson - Southfiled, MI

    I think Obama's reaching out to the the Muslims will result in a massive group hug that includes the Israelis. Peace in the mideast will never be to the detriment of Israel. Obama may well be the first person ever who is capable of understanding the opposing world views and achieving harmony among the factions. I think he can and will do that.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  135. Jimmy - Miami Lakes, Florida

    Israel has cost America billions of dollars. We have alienated the entire Arab world because of our support for them. It is time to stop enabling Israel in doing whatever they want. All the wars in Iraq, Afganistan etc...is all because of Israel. Enough is enough. I am glad that the President is standing up to what is truly right.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  136. Andrew Burke

    No. Israel is in violation of international law by building the settlements. In addition, Israel's security can only be achieved by establishing a just peace with the Palestinians. He is right to hold Israel accountable. How much has our support of Israel already cost us? What do we get out of our support? The cold war is over. It is time to rethink our relationship.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  137. Allen

    No Jack:
    Prez Obama have been to Israel. Wew don't have problem with Israel. The problem is with the Muslim world. If we want to be the impartial arbiter in the Arab – Israeli conflict, we better get it right with the the group the trust us the least and with whom we have wronged for sooooooooooooooo long. Israel have never abided with any U.N resolution, often times with the encouragemnt and approval of the U.S. government. The Prez's speech is a new beginning to show that America leadership is alive and well. It reminds of that FDR's speech about, "Speaking softly and carrying a big stick"

    June 4, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  138. Gwen of Tucker GA.

    No
    However One basic part of the speech which I found compelling was and I quote: Palestinians must abandon violence. resistance thought violence and killing is wrong and does not succeed. For centuries, black people in America suffered the lash of the whip as slaves and the humiliation of segregation. But it was not violence that won full and equal rights.Black Americans has yet to see full equal rights. Example: the inequality per black and white in American,there ia a 71% gap, also looking at the unemployment rates per race in the country. However there is a greater hope for our people in American as she views herself different in the coming years and generations. Thank God for young people with new ideal for a greater future for all of mankind. With this stated be blessed ....

    June 4, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  139. Dan

    For years, Israel has been bullying the Palestinian people because, until now, they felt protected as allies of the United States. It is time for Israel to be held accountable. We must embrace Palestine and treat both equally.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  140. Lamar in Austin

    Jack, You're so much better than this question. This continues the battle-mentality that pits Israel against the Muslim world. Either/or. To quote dubya: You're either with us or you're against us. That worked out well, didn't it?

    President Obama succeeded in lifting everyone's attention above the battle that has perpetuated itself for decades because no one could see other possibilities.

    A leader who lifts our attention above the battle/problem is a leader who is showing the way to a new place, a possibly where peace exists. Continue the focus on the battle and we continue killing each other in the name of a Loving Divine Authority, no matter what your name for IT is.

    I choose to see other possibilities for the peoples of this world.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  141. Ted Vides

    Mr. Obama is doing right by Israel. Enough is enough, this is what they need overthere, both sides, a King Solomon type to make things happen. I hipe now that the American people get involved in this situation and support the president on this intractable mission. .

    June 4, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  142. Marjorie Lominy

    Jack I would not miss this speech for the world. I knew it would be historic. I never thought that I would hear a sitting american President talk so bluntly. By the time he was done, he quoted the Quran, the Talmud and the Bible. In one sentence he presented the narrative for a Jewish State to a muslim audience with empathy while linkingit to the right of a Palestinian State.
    It was simply brilliant.
    Marjorie
    NY

    June 4, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  143. tatertot

    What I don't understand is how enforcing what is right is considered to be a bad thing. America isn't ruled by Israel, nor is it a predominant Jewish country. We can't as Americans just turn our heads the other way whenever the subject of Jews vs. Muslims in Palestine comes up. In order for peace to truly happen, action needs to be done. I applaud President Obama for acting like a human being and taking the initiative to (hopefully) a peaceful future for our kids and grand kids and so on and so fourth.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  144. Steven Rosentsweig

    If you listen to the whole speech instead of just the excerpts that the media is choosing to play – it is clear that he is being fair to all sides and calling it like it is. He had the guts to talk in an Egyptian University about the horror of firing missiles at innocent victims in Israel, about the holocaust, and about the legitimate need for Arabs to accept Israels right to exist.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  145. Nadeem

    It is high time we understand that supporting Israel blindly has pushed us into the mess that we are in. If in doubt, talk to Preseident Carter. Unfortunately, in this country, very few people dare to speak agains the policies of Israel that may have harmful ramifications for us, in the US.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  146. Mary

    I certainly hope so. Enough of Israel already. They are destroying the US reputation not only in the Middle East, but all over the world. We look like Nazi's thanks to our adherence to Israeli policy. 329 members of Congress warned Obama not to be critical of Israel and not to come down hard on Israel. Well it is time to take back America and cut the Israeli's off the US teet. They are no friend of the United States.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  147. Ramsey Farrage

    I applaud President Obama, it is about time to reach out for over a Billion Muslims whom vast Majority favors the U.S and looks up for the U.S to play a balanced and justified role in that region. don't forget that the U.S unconditioned siding with Israel whether it is wright or wrong is inflaming the Muslim world and encouraging terrorism.
    Ramsey
    Corona,CA

    June 4, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  148. Merrie Garoutte

    I think it is time that Israel is held accountable for its decision to continue expanding into occupied territories. I think it is time that the carte blanche from the United States to Israel ends. Peace must be equitable to both Israel and Palestine – a clear two-state solution – recognizing the Palestinian Authority and not Hamas.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  149. Peter San Diego, Ca.

    Israel has always been a "Luke Warm" friend to the United States. They think that just because the U.S. said they will come to their aid they can do whatever they want to.
    Its time the United States gets a little bit tough with Israel and let them know we will no longer be taken advantage of.
    P.M. Netanyahu has already ignored President Obama and said he would continue to build settlements on the West bank. Israel should take a step back and realize that if they want the U.S. to continue having their back, that Peace in the middle east is a must in the 21st Century. I think President Obama is doing the right thing and Israel should work with him and help bring peace to the Middle East.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  150. christina minna

    christina minna – los angeles, ca

    It's outrageous that we would throw our only true friend in the region, Israel under the bus when the muslims have a history of contention and hatred towards the west and America. You need a willing partner and there is no sign just based on culture and belief systems, that muslim countries will ever be allied with America.

    The arabs truly feel that the west and America has wronged them and no matter what we do it will never be enough. Take for example Israel gave back lands in Lebanon, Sinai and parts of the west bank and it has not been enough.

    It won't be enough until Israel is pushed into the sea and exists no more. We are at odds with the muslim culture and how much of our own freedoms must we give up in order to appease them? How much in return will they be asked to give up?

    We are not the bad guys President Obama.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  151. Brett, Scranton, PA

    No. While many will surely read this as President Obama turning his back on Israel, the United States has stood on the sidelines too long in the Israeli/Palestinian conflicts since WWII, and often too many times, allowed our allies to trump their neighbors inalienable rights as human beings. While many Jews suffered uncontionable pain and suffering in many past scenarios, not just WWII, that does not give Israel the right to extend its borders at will with the Zionist mentality that existed post WWII. In the same token, it would serve the Palestinian people greatly for Hamas to strictly use a diplomatic approach. The Palestinian people have suffered long enough, and it is time for an end.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  152. Martin

    Absolutely not! The President, I think, is reaching out to the Muslim world in an inclusive manner and should be applauded for it. Our relationship with Israel is in no danger of becoming strained...Israel relies too heavily on American dollars. Though, having visited Israel and, seeing first hand the attitude of everyday Israeli's toward Americans...perhaps it's time for America to put a little strain on that relationship.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  153. German Navarro

    I believe that reaching out to the 1.5 billion Muslims in the world was overdue. Israel has to understand that changing the perspective Muslims states have of the U.S. is paramount to our national security. President Obama is radical Muslims worst nightmare!

    June 4, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  154. Jim Kenney

    I think it is time for both Israelis and the Muslim world to realize that they have to work together for coexistence. The US just can't keep spending billions to placate the hardliner on both sides. To get back to your point Mr. Cafferty, there are plenty of time the US Presidents have travelled to Israel without stopping by any of the Muslim countries. So please don't make a big deal out of this. Let's keep things in perspective. Don't forget Netanyahu was just here to meet Mr. Obama. But I also think Mr. Netanyahu needs to change his stance and work with Mr. Obama.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  155. Brandon Tipton

    and by the way Israel wants to be treated like a little child. they dont want to be told what to do or anything. they think of themselves and no one else. i hope this time the american people can see what is really happening to the Palestinians.
    all those war crimes and they deny all and tell the U.N. that they dont want to cooperate? may Obama speak the truth...

    June 4, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  156. Louise, Long Island

    Israel needs to engage with the rest of the world and act as a mature goverment and country. Too frequently it takes umbrage with the US. The world is bigger than Israel. The Arab countries need to know that they are just as valued as the Israelis and not enemies of the US.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  157. Adam

    It may be at Israel's expense, but does Israel feel entitled to carte blanche support from America forever? That is part of our country's problem in terms of standing in the Muslim world, being too leiniet to Israel. It's about time a President gets a little tough.
    -State College, PA

    June 4, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  158. Shane Haddad

    Jack,
    I heard the speech. I happen to be a teenage Jew. President Obama did nothing wrong with his speech; he did a lot of good. The whole Israel and Palestine issue will never get any better peacefully without the two state solution. President Obama gave another wonderful speech. It is nice to have a president who is equally intelligent and charismatic.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  159. Crystal

    Yes.. It is a shameful day in our nation's history when we turn our backs on a loyal friend, Israel, to mollify a group that despises us and our values. I am also outraged that the President said we had no good reason to go to war in Iraq while on foreign soil. Does he have no sense of propriety and realize how he has hurt the families of fallen soldiers? Did they die for "no good reason." Shame, Mr. President.

    Crystal, Dana Point, CA., USA

    June 4, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  160. Byron King

    Just Like the Jews were spoiled Children before Christ and God punished them for their deeds, how soon they forget. The USA has adopted Gods position as Israels' protector and it is past time to hold them accountable for their bad behavior. People forget when Europe was killing the Jews it was the Arabs that opened their homeland to them, and look how they have returned the favor!!!

    June 4, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  161. Mohamed M.

    U.S can not achieve a lasting peace between Israel and Palestine by putting 100% of its support behind the Israelis. Its time to respect the rights of both the Palestinians and Israelis.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  162. Elie Laroche

    I do not believe that reaching out to muslims is done at the expense of Israel. Rather this is to capture muslim ears from Osama Bin Laden radical ideas. Nevertheless it is time for Israel to show that it really wants peace rather than continuing delay tactics while they hastily build settlements on palestinian land. Israelis have repeatedly defy UN troops from being in the areas so the world can really see what is going on. With 5 billions/ year to Israel, we ought to have more leverage in getting the israelis to do what is not only right, but just.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  163. Helen Freedman

    YES – Obama is courting the Arab world, and seemingly ready to sacrifice Israel on the altar of accommodation. It's absurd to think that Israeli "settlements" could make any difference in the lives of 1.5 billion Muslims, most of whom are suffering at the hands of their own despotic leaders.Does anyone really think that the problems of the Islamic world would disappear with Israel's disappearance? It is time for the world to say that the Arab world must stop its violent, intolerable attitude towards Israel. Israel is here to stay. It is an independent, viable, democratic country which should be recognized as having the right to determine what is best for its own best interests. Obama must accord Israel the same respect he is ready to give the Arab world.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  164. Allen of Pensacola

    For anyone to suggest that President Obama is alienating Israel by insisting that they contribute to the peace process is ludicrous! Frankly, I think that our continuation of taxpayer funds going to Israel without our ability to influence them toward a path of peace and stability in the region should cease. If Israel chooses to go it alone, then so be it, only without our financial support. Our foreign policy should not be based on Israel's desire to keep the Palestinian people in the wilderness!

    June 4, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  165. Sadanie

    President Obama is doing what should have been done years ago: cut the umbilical between the US and Israel, and let Israel function as an independent country. If we had decreased our "material" support for Israel 15 years ago, Israel and Palestine may have found a way to cohabit without a state of war already. By supplying armement to Israel, and backing every move they made, we have just allowed a terrible situation to last.
    From now on, instead of being "foster parents" for Israel, we can be their friends. . .and we can also be Palestine's friends.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  166. michaelann bewsee

    Absolutely not. Israel, of all countries, should know that two wrongs don't make a right– that the injustice done to Jews does not justify doing injustice to the Palestinian people Apparently previous U.S. presidents have been talking out of both sides of their mouths. Maybe Obama's honesty can move all sides to a resolution, which can never happen as long as we pretend that Israel is never wrong.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  167. Erik

    I don't think so, for so many decades US foreign policy has failed to inspire lasting peace in middle east. It is probable that our approach has been too one sided, and what we need is a comprehensive approach that takes seriously interests of both sides of the conflict. I hope prez Obama speach will not end there and that it will result in tangible actions.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  168. Joe, West Springfield MA

    No, that's why he made the comment about our relationship with Israel. However, you can not be the broker of a true and lasting peace if you only sit on one side of the table.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  169. Bob from Salem, MA

    If President Obama succeeds in bringing peace to the Israeli, Palestinian conflict – now in its 61st year - nothing he says now will matter. Friends of Israel have to decide if they want to take a chance on this president. If they think he has a chance of success, they need to back his tough language. If they don’t think he can succeed or if they just cannot bring themselves to tough love, this conflict will be 70 before it ends.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  170. Anonymous

    Cafferty, I sure hope so! America's devotion to Israel has been holding back our relationships with many other much more important countries for decades now. Since the end of the Cold War Israel's "support" in the region has been far more destructive than constructive for US interests in not just the Middle East, but in Europe, Africa, and greater Asia as well.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  171. Karen Bolds

    I think it's time for fresh energy around the world.we as people need to join in with Pres. Obama and open our hearts and mind to everything.because when we do this a lot more is accomplished and life is easy for all.I don't think he is. I think once every mid east country come aboard Isreal will too.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  172. Roger Wolff Larkspur, Co

    President Obama's dialogue seems to be immeasurably better than Bush's " your either for us or against us". Only a narrow mind would
    say such a counterproductive thing.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  173. Chris in Philadelphia

    Our relationship with Israel will continue because they need our support to avoid obliteration from the millions of angry people surrounding them. Reaching out to the 1.5 billion Muslims is a smart idea. Israel has had carte blanche for a long time and they are not always right. Perhaps by working with both sides and not catering to only one will work out best in the end.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  174. Mitch Dworkin; Dallas, Texas

    The answer to me is that it is unclear because we do not know what is being said behind closed doors in private. President Obama may be saying one thing in public kind of with "a wink and a nod" to be viewed as being an honest broker with the Arabs while he is still supporting Israel or he could really mean what he is saying. I think that a fly on the wall in the private meetings which are going on would know the real answer to that question better than we do!

    June 4, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  175. Alex from Syracuse

    He absolutely is and its about time. How long will our country continue to back Israel carte blanche? Both the Palestinians and Israelis are guilty of horrific atrocities against each other but we seem to turn a blind eye when its the Israeli's. We talk about this great ally in Israel. I have seen no proof of that. We get nothing in return for arming them and giving them money so they can wage their war. No, I take that back, what we get is the rest of the world hating us for doing so. It's time for someone to hold BOTH Israeli's and Palestinians responsible and not just focus our help on Israel. I am not a supporter of Obama and I did not vote for him, but I think it's about time that someone really addressed this issue.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  176. Jim Green

    Jack, I am at a loss how telling the truth and seeking peace in the Middle East, could be seen as anti-Israel? After all, Israel will benefit if Obama is able to relieve tensions in this troubled part of the world....and that is the purpose for his trip-and how fortunate we are, as Americans, that he is our president!

    June 4, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  177. Lindsey

    Yes, but i personally dont mind if it strains our relationship with isreal. I think its about time we stand up to israels violence twords palestine and stand up for those innocent palestinians who cant stand up for themselves.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  178. Fitz

    Jack, you wrote that the US has been opposed to Israeli settlements for decades but past Presidents have basically turned the other way. So what President Obama stated is in line with past presidents except he is walking the walk. Why is this a problem then? It's ok to tell Israel to stop building settlements but then the little wink wink yeah go ahead Israel we don't care? Isn't this the reason why a lot of the Muslim world hates America in the 1st place? Keep the process fair and we'll get better results

    June 4, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  179. Bob Glodman, New York, NY

    Middle East peace has been elusive because we, the US, and especially the POTUS have never had the moral courage to tell Israel the truth. President Obama today give a very blunt speech and came off as an honest brooker.

    It is only by not taking sides, but actually telling all sides the truth and the real stumbling blocks which the President did today that real peace can be achieved.

    For too long the US has given Israel a free ride and wasted billions of our tax payers dollars with our blind support.

    Thank you, Mr President, for such a history excellent speech, that I believe, will bring all sides to the table and actually want to have peace and would eventually have peace.

    President Obama for Nobel Peace Prize!!!

    June 4, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  180. Kechia

    I think America's relationship with Israel is very important and needs to be sustained. However Israel cannot continue to be America's spoiled step child and do whatever it wants to the Palestinians or those in the Muslim worlds.Obama has to take a hard stance against Israel to get them to work towards peace in the Middle East.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  181. M. Paige

    As an American Jew, I listened with some concern to the President's speech today. While I am a staunch supporter of the state of Israel, come from a family with deep roots there and an uncle who was one of the original founders of Israel, I am also sadly disappointed by an inability to reach peace accords. Perhaps the President's strong words today with regard to the Palestinian/Israeli situation is what Israel AND Palestininans need to jumpstart the peace process. I don't believe, with Rahm Emanuel front and center with the President yesterday, that the President is interested in reaching out to Muslims at the expense of Israel. I think he is being honest.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  182. julie donnelly

    I thought Obama' speech was tremendous. If you could find an excuse in your mind for a Muslim terrorist to explode a bomb you wouldn't like it. If you supported the settlers on the West Bank and no home for the Palestanians you didn't like it. But if you were looking to hear a great speech which tried to connect with common ground between the west and the Arab world this speech was a gem.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  183. Joel CA

    Yes I do believe that. He is asking Israel (the only democratic country in that region) to once again make concessions. The Israelis have time and time again made concessions and the result has been the same – ask them for more. For years Arafat stole money from his people (fact) – it's israel's fault now that their conditions are poor. Israel pulled out of Gaza now Hamas has control – its Israels fault there is unrest. They left Lebanon Hizballah now controls that country its Israels fault and the president is willing to talk with them. But for Israel a state the size of Rhide Island its okay for them to have to give up even more land.
    Remarkable and short sighted.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  184. Skip

    Jack, I could not stand prouder for our President today.

    He has shown that our relationship with Israel is important,
    while weighing in on what they need to do to stop this nonsense.

    He has also clearly stated the facts:
    Both sides have something to gain, by offering up something to lose,
    besides the lives of innocent people.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  185. Tai

    If Israel wants peace they must realize it is about give and take. I applaud Obama for respecting two states and two religions at the same time. And for not kissing Israel's behind. There are two sides to this conflict and it's about time we acknowledge that. Tai from Atlanta

    June 4, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  186. McSwain- Durham, NC

    Jack, I don't think the president is reaching out to the Muslim World at the expense of our allie-Isreal. It is important that both sides understand with clarity those things that must be done to yeild lasting peace in the region

    June 4, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  187. Ann Oriadha

    Hi Jack,
    No, President Obama's outreach to the Muslim would is not at the expense of US/Israel relationship. It is in the best interest of Israel and America to finally resolve this conflict. President Obama's tone was fair, balanced and reasonable.
    Thanks
    Ann

    June 4, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  188. debra cherry

    Being friends of Israel does not mean we turn a blind eye to their impositions on the Palistine people. If this causes problems with our relationship with Israel then they were not good friends in the first place.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  189. internet250

    No, we all have a stake in peace between Israel and the Arab world. The Israeli rightwingers might not like that Obama called for a cessation of settlement construction, but that has been a key point of contention. They've built settlements, the palestinians have bombed, Israel fights back... on and on. Many Israelis think the settlements should stop because they experience the conflicts that those settlements feed into. We all have to make sacrifices for peace, including Israel. The only folks who've been hurt by Obama's speech are the right-wing extremists here, in Israel, and in the rest of the middle-east (including Ahmedinejad who was zinged during a debate for his extremist rhetoric). This is the kind of change that gives me hope.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  190. Andrew from CT

    For too long has the debate been framed as Israel and its disgruntled neighbor. It is that ignorant thinking that has prolonged and deepened the severity this dispute. It is time to stop giving Israel our uttermost devotion and to view each party BOTH as allies. If we are to have a productive debate then we must level the playing field. The United States is not on Israel's side, nor on the Palestinians' side, and so it should be if the United States wants to be a real intermediator.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  191. Israel Smithy

    Israel 's actions in Lebaon, Palestine, and elsewhere has proven that it cannot be trusted with friendship from USA. Their leaders have acted worst than terrorists, killing civilians and children from China to the central/south America. It si about time that we end our relations with Israel and treat them like what they are; inhuman creatures.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  192. Drew in Sacramento

    The real question should be, "Why does our own congress stand in the way of Presidents Obama's vision of middle east peace?"

    A few days ago 329 Representatives sign on a AIPAC sponsored letter to inform Obama not to put pressure on Israel.

    Our elected leaders are taking direction from a lobby group, rather than supporting our new administration on the cusp of a major speech in Egypt.

    I am disgusted by the ignorance by our elected officials who signed that letter. Absolutely disgusted.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  193. Roman Deutsch, Butler, PA

    Hey Jack how's everything...Wolfe too..anyways about your question. Israel should understand that because President Obama doesn't want an all out war with Muslims doesn't mean that America has taken a walk on them, Israel. What it does mean, is that Israel is going to have too try to get along with the Muslim world just as the Muslim world will have to get along with the Jewish state.
    And as far as Iran is concern; if Iran were to attack Israel then the Wrath of God would be upon them, meaning it would be justified for the world community to eradicate the nuclear threat from Iran. And it would surely be Iran's undoing. And if Israel were to attack Iran without provocation then Israel would face the Wrath of God.
    Does either Iran or Israel want to destroy their future? If either one attacks each other, with all certainty, their future would be in the hands of God.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  194. Steve C, Germany

    Absolutely – he is selling out our long-standing alliance with perhaps our best ally in the Middle East for the sake of peace with nations that have conceeded little for the sake of peace.

    Israel is our best ally in the Middle East and has given many concessions in an effort to gain peace with her neighbors however, her neighbors have broken almost all promises made with Israel.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  195. Jerry A. Grunor

    Jack, as author of "Let My People Go" a historical account of modern Israel and the heroes who helped the country gain its independence from British colonization, and cousin to Dov Gruner, one of Israel's greatest soldiers in the Irgun in the 1940's, the actions by President Obama only threatens the state of Israel. The Israelis would prefer to live in peace, not divide Jerusalem as it is their given capital, and continue to build settlements, because that is how this state has grown, No other president has ever taken such a horrendous step against the only democratic nation in the middle east by praising the Muslims and apologizing for the mistakes of America. What planet is he on? Israel may have to stand alone once again if that be the case.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  196. chidozie

    Obama, speech to arab world, can be define in one statement, you can trust us .

    June 4, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  197. Chaudry Mukhtar, NY

    The president's speech in Cairo is a good beginning. Lets hope that progress is achieved in this regard and the sufferings of the Palestinian and Israeli refugees are reduced. However, the president is well advised not to make friendships and peace deals with the Arab world at the expense of its relationship with its friend and long-time ally Israel.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  198. Phil

    As a Jew I have a vested interest in the future and security of Israel. Like it or not President Obama told it like it is. A comprehensive peace agreement will never be reached if certain concessions are not made and conditions not met. Israel wants nothing more than lasting peace. President Obama was correct in saying that the Palestinian situation is intolerable. For once we do have a president who doesn't bury his head in the sand.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  199. PAPUS KABA

    If we want to see peace in the middle east, we must be supportive of both parties in order to achieve a lasting peace. Obama is on the right track on the pursuit of peace in the middle east. we all should give him a chance to succeed.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  200. Lucy

    Dear Jack,

    To the question of if Obama is reaching out to the Muslim world in the expense of the Israel, I just have to say bluntly, NO. A relationship is based on mutual trust and compromise. What the American's have been asking of Israel in the past has been at the great expense of the Palestinian's, and quite frankly, us, the American citizens. I don't think Obama is demanding much at all. And if the Netanyahu and the Jewish community (both within Israel and the diaspora), think that's the case, then we have a problem. That problem being that the Israeli's are allowed to do whatever they wish whenever they wish regardless of the human and economic cost. Our relationship with Israel has done us more good than harm in the past years. The situation for the Palestinians is absolutely deplorable. Obama's demand, in the grand picture of things, is quite small. It sounds to me as if Israel is merely flexing their muscles, at the expense of making us, look like a fool. I think they're forgetting about the $3 billion + contribution each and every American makes to their country. Maybe someone should remind them.
    Thank you

    June 4, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  201. Mark from Queens, NY

    No Jack. He’s reaching out because the previous policies from Truman to George W. Bush have put this country at war for 60 years against all of the middle east. He has realized that the old status quo of leaving it to the next adminstration to clean up the mess and hope to find peace is not feasible anymore. Neither is sending money grants to Israel when we’re in huge foreign debt. This is like Reagan breaking with tradition and playing to win the cold war. Obama wants to break this do nothing tradition, help find a lasting peace and one that makes the muslim world hate us less so we can end this war on terror sometime sooner than later.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  202. ED in RI

    Jack;
    Anyone that has been involved with the Middle East problems over 60 years, must realize that the Israel/US connection is indeed the root of the problem. We supplanted Palestine after the war to make room for Israel. "Talk about Nation Building!"

    June 4, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  203. Bonnie

    Anytime a U.S. official says anything that is NOT TOTALLY in agreement with Israel, a big deal is made out of it. In the past, Israel has been given a free pass to do anything it pleases without being held accountable. That needs to change. Any other country that used white phosphorus on civilians or cluster bombs that are STILL blowing of the legs of children would have been held accountable. Also, it is such a big issue if ANY denies the Holocaust, however, what about the coverup of the bombing and torpedoing of the U.S.S. Liberty? The Israel/US relationship DOES need to change – it needs to be EQUAL to the Palestinian/US relationship.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  204. Rafaya Sufi

    Israel is far too powerful to be toyed with by the United States, even though it is commendable of Mr. Obama to take a stand against Israeli policy toward Palestine. For the first time, a US president has been vocal of Israeli "intolerance" and that has made Muslims feel welcomed and reached out to. Israel has been under the spotlight far too long and it's time for that to change. The United States must divert its attention to those people who have been suffering, and they do not include Israelis.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  205. Lu elliott

    When a good friend tells you what you are doing wrong, it doesn't mean that the friendship will be broken. The biggest mistake would be not to reach out to Muslims and create more hatred in the world. Excellent speech, I am proud to be an american.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  206. Lisa, Findlay, Ohio

    Dear Jack,
    This was a historic and long overdue moment! President Obama spoke the words of peace, much different from words I've heard from our country's last administration. I don't think he alienated the Israeli people. He chose to call for a stop to the building of settlements by the Israelis, which would be the ethical and correct action for them to take. Just because we are allies with Israel, should we continue ignoring this unjust action? Palestinians are human beings, and should have the human rights we would want Israelis or Americans to have.
    As far as President Obama skipping a stop in Israel, this may have not been the best time. I think a separate visit may be more beneficial.
    Lisa,
    Findlay, Ohio

    June 4, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  207. Val in Georgia

    I applaud President Obama's speech. I hope that Israel will be able to compromise in the peace process. Peace will require give and take by both Israel and the Palestinians. I really don't think his reaching out to the Muslim world will jeopardize the US relationship with Israel except for that group of Israeli's who are extremely right wing and paranoid. I hope this doesn't offend anyone. All societies including the U.S. have that group of people who are fearful and paranoid and jump to violent action when other methods would work better.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  208. Nader

    America and Israel have been allies for over five decades and you think one speech will change all that? No. American financial aid to Israel represents the biggest share of american foreign aid and past U.S. presidents as well as Obama have failed to condem many attacks on the palestinians in the past just not to irritate Israel. Now that President Obama reaches out to the 1.5 billion muslims, Israel should get mad about it? I dont think so. The U.S. has done way much for them to act that way. Let the muslim and arab world have it's share!

    June 4, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  209. Rick Boheler

    Absolutely not. To the contrary, President Obama is acting very responsible toward Israel. If the U.S. is really a friend of Israel's, then we must, finally, act like a friend and tell them where they are wrong. The Israeli settlements on occupied land intended for the future state of Palestine are a real source of conflict between Israel and the Palestinian people. After all, the settlements (and a growing Jewish population of more than 500,000 people) are in direct violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention as well as rulings by both the UN and the World Court; they are also in clear conflict with the agreed upon "Roadmap To Peace". The U.S. provides Israel with more than 3 billion in aid every year; it is not unreasonable for President Obama to insist that Israel simply comply with the rule of law. Finally, certainly everyone can agree that the Palestinians had absolutely nothing to do with the Holocaust; they deserve their own country.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  210. Anton

    As an Israeli, currently living in Canada, I think Obamas strategy of skiping over Israel is a good approach. Israel benefits from the US and will continue too. The problem here, is any tip-over lame excuse that happens in the mid-east, the Muslims (extremists radicals) will use to turn it around against them and take a few steps backwards. Israelis dont want war, my friends do not want to go serve in the army, they want education, the want to travel and develop themselves living in peace with their neighbours. The trick here is to isolate radical extremists from the 1.5m Palestinians living in the West Bank & Gaza, and to prosecute the extremists for crimes against humanity(that includes against the Palestinians themselves) this could only be accomplished by the locals overpowering the current terrorist government named Hamas that controls the goverment.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  211. Israel Smithy

    Israel with its behavior and acts of war crimes in Lebanon and Palestine has proven not to be a reliable partner. Israelis have endangered US's national interest and secuirity through acts of terror, espionage, and war crimes. All with our tax dollars.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  212. bk

    I am from India (Hindu) and have been living in the US for 15 years.
    Israel apart from more US aid than any arab world countries – has misusing the shelter (rather being an alley) of the US and forcing the US to look the other way for all their undoings ( including settlements and nuclear). This must stop to answer "Obama's talk should be shown in action". Solving the Israel- Palestine problem will bring about trust and respect from the muslim world. Peace is birthchild of Fairness

    June 4, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  213. Mobasshir Poonawalla

    Jack,
    As an American Muslim, I find it ridiculous that we as a nation must be forced to choose one of two allies. I believe, just like President Obama does, that we can work together with both Israel and the Muslim world to forge a unprecedented path towards peace.

    – Princeton, NJ

    June 4, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  214. AIB

    Obama is elected to serve the national interests of the USA, not those of Isreali hardliners, who think that violence is the only option for survival. This group of Isrealii hardliners and their ignorant backers in the US must be stopped. It is time that the World, with the US lead, promote peace and prosperity in the Middle East. Let stand for peace for the childeren of Isreal and Palestine.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  215. Rob Oudkerk

    The U.S. made the first mistake in 1951 to create Israel.
    After that we babied them and made it a lapdog of the U.S. in the middle east, which of course until today irritates the muslim world.
    Finally there is a president who at least tries to to be a bit more impartial and because of his Indonesian background does understand the Muslim world. Israel is and has been getting away with land grabbing and treating the Palistines as dirt for too long, while in fact this used to be their country.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  216. Luke

    Absolutely. But for too long our country has preserved our "unbreakable" bond with Israel to our own detriment, to the detriment of Palestinians, and to the detriment of Israel. If the U.S. is expected to continue providing support to Israel –financially, militarily or otherwise– then we must exercise our responsibility to create a two state peace, and an end to settlements is the first bold step toward achieving that goal. The purpose of the speech is to be inclusive, and religiously tolerant. Ironically, tolerance is the most Christian thing you can do, the most Jewish thing you can do, and the most Muslim thing you can do. Settlements and protectors of the status quo impede progress, and stand in the way of a two state peace. President Obama's speech may have offended the status quo, but aroused the future: our youth. Or to put it more colloquially, Jack, in order to make an omelet, you have to crack a few eggs. God bless!

    New York, NY

    June 4, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  217. Jim Blevins

    What is in Israel's best interest right now is a bit of tough love. If Israel doesn't back down a bit and make peace with their neighbors and with the Palestinians, it will be destroyed. I believe that belligerence in Israel's recent attitude is more from Christians that from Jews. Listen to some of these Evangelicals some time - they want "raptured". Many Jews (e.g. Peace Now) recognize that real security comes from having friends around. With a fair settlement (and a strong military), Israel will be here for the long term.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    June 4, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  218. pisco

    Jack, i'm an african and watch you every day. i would say it is about time that a US president draws a line as to how far Israel can go with its oppression of Palestinians. All of the 'terrorism' problems can be solved by just one action: create a legitimate and free palestinian state. as a muslim, the palestinian issue is very important to me. i want Israel to be just like any other country in the world but not at the expense of Palestine.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  219. Nancy, Tennessee

    As a Christian in the Bible belt, I found many troubling things about President Obama's speech. It is a well known verse in the Bible that most Christians take seriously. Genesis 12:3, where the Lord says that He "will bless those who bless the Jews and curse whoever curses the Jews." Previous Presidents had an understanding of this Christian belief and have tread very lightly when dealing with Israel. Many Christians believe that the success of this nation can be directly attributed to the fact that we are blessed by God because of our blessing for the people of Israel. President Obama needs to work to keep our relationship with Israel a good one and not offend them for the sake of reaching the Muslims.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  220. Rick Welch Chicago,IL/ Hammond,IN

    As a matter of law, a bad faith action is ALWAYS decided against the party proceeding in bad faith. Per The U.S. Constitution, the U.S. is prohibited from creating alliances with religious states. Israel is not, and never has been our lawful ally. Reference; Sternists assasination of Swedish diplomat, Israel's terroristic act of war attacking the U.S.S. Liberty, Divorced Israeli man jailed for more than a decade for not complying with Rabbinical Law.
    tsmaker

    June 4, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  221. James Spensley

    Yes he is reaching out to muslims at the expense of Israel... if there needs to be a two state solution, why don't the Syrians, or the Lebanese or Egyptians offer up some of their land so that ALL can live in peace? never gonna happen, every time Israel gives something to the Palestianians they destroy it. Look what they have done to the west bank. They don't want peace, they want to destroy Israel!
    I pray BeBe Netanyahu tells Obama to sit and spin! Keep building settlers... there are Americans who support you, and always will.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  222. Mike

    Obama is trying to win their Muslim favor at Israel's expense. He misses the root cause of the middle east conflict. Here's why: “If the Jews left Palestine to us, would we start loving them? Of course not. We will never love them. Absolutely not. The Jews are … enemies not because they occupied Palestine. They would have been enemies even if they did not occupy a thing … We must believe that our fight with the Jews is eternal … we will fight, defeat, and annihilate them, until not a single Jew remains on the face of the Earth.” Egypt;s leading cleric on Al-Rahma TV (Egypt)

    June 4, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  223. Burt

    The first true test of Muslim cooperation with Obama's grand scheme of peace and reaching out to the Islamic world will be when Christians and Jews to openly practice their religions is allowed in Saudi Arabia.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  224. Clarence O.

    I am of the opinion that no collection of individuals is above error. The Palestinis fight with the same vehemence to retain their homeland as the Isreali did after WWII to attain theirs . This issue is deep and divisive, but I believe that it is necessary to side with justice and fairness. Interanational and bilateral agreements dictate the ownership of those particular regions and both parties must uphold their portions of the obligation. The Pres. must side with justice and fairness, this time the Palestinis side with what is right.

    Clarence O.
    Pelham AL

    June 4, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  225. Gideon Goldfeder

    This visit was in order to forge a close relationship of diplomacy with the muslim world, not to address the current issues with Israel. The President spoke strongly, beautifully, and reaffirmed his disconnection with the past administration's move to ostracize the entire muslim world. This was truly a beautiful day for diplomacy around the world. The President's speech was aimed solely at embracing the muslim world, and left out Israel intentionally. He isn't tossing our relationship with Israel out the window, he is showing that Israel must deal with the Arab world with peace and diplomacy as he is doing.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  226. Nadeem

    It is time we understand that supporting Israel blindly has brought us in to this mess. I wonder, in a democracy like ours, why is it that nobody dares speak against Israel's poilicies. People in the Muslim world are smart, they understand it.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  227. Nabeel

    I would mind if America benefitted from its relationship with Israel. All this "special relationship" has gotten us is into is fights in the middle east and a negative image for supporting it.

    Its like that friend that you support no matter what and look back later in life and realize that most of the problems you had were because of it, but you were just fooled because you thought they could do no wrong.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  228. KATRINA ELLIOTT

    Iwould hope not, but Isreal has got to do there part to secure peace. The settlement building must stop. The violence from the Palastinians must stop. I beleive this to be a very bold and brave move by President Obama

    Queens, New York

    June 4, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  229. Nicholas

    I do not think President Obama's extended hands towards muslims would be at the expense of the US or Isreal but need i remind everybody that the middleeast is extremely unstable and we have to do all we can to keep whatever allies we have in the region on our side. We are walking a dangerous path and i wish the president well but looking back at the history of this region and the responses gotten from the youths of afghanistan and egypt concerning Obama's speech, not everyone thinks he did a good job and are slowly begining to see him as a man who gives wonderful speeches but does not take any action to change the status quo.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  230. Mitchell from California

    It's about time Jack. Israel cannot keep taking the Palestinian's land and expect to have peace. Israel will have to stop playing the Victim. It's been 60 years and they still want everyone to feel sorry for them.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  231. Dr. Giorgio in Italy

    President Obama's reaching out to muslims is the most intelligent act that an American president has performed, since Jimmy Carter made a peace accord in the 1970's with the leader of Israel , Begin, and leader Sadat of Egypt! Obama's words are quite laudable in the interest of a middle east peace. The creation of a separate Palestinian state is long overdue. The policies of Isreli leader Netanyahu are obsolete in today's world and will serve to continue the distrust and propensity towards violence in the region. Once again, Bravo Obama! We all love you1

    June 4, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  232. Imran

    The American President realizes that a peaceful and just solution to the Palestinian issue is in the greater interest of Israel, and the world. The fact that he called out Israel on illegal settlements should not be a cause for concern. US remains and will continue to be the biggest benefactor for Israel. It may be a bitter sweet to swallow but the fact remains that continued disregard for Palestinian rights by Israel does more harm than good.

    Syracuse, NY

    June 4, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  233. McScott

    Why does this issue have to be all or nothing at all. Why can't we reach out to both Muslims and Israelis. We have always been supportive of Israel. We can also respect and reach out to the Muslims world. This does not mean we are trading one for the other. Does the US have to check with Israel before any action to see if they will be offended?

    June 4, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  234. E.Lemay, Montreal Qc.

    Israel would be well advised to show more flexibility towards the rest of the world, including the USA unless it really does not care that even more people become anti-Israel. They risk losing the support that, up to now, has been provided by numerous nations.

    Is it not about time that the God chosen people show a little kindness and empathy towards others?

    June 4, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  235. Mark - San Francisco

    I have to say that i'm proud of Obama for putting pressure on Isreal. Some one has got to be the "bigger man." If Isreal isn't capapbable of doing so, maybe their friendship isn't needed. Looking at where they're located geographically in the Arab world, its in Isreal's best interest to have the US as an ally. We have an incredibly smart President!

    June 4, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  236. Erik

    Jack why is Israel allowed to do as it pleases, while we put rules on the rest of the Middle East. Other than many people who believe that Israel is the home of Jesus and therefore a place we must protect it, what is in it for us to allow them to act like a spoiled child that doesn't respect those around them. Israel only acts that was because they know the US will fight the war for them and with them, if one breaks out. Would we defend any other country in the middle east from Israel if its Israel thats in the wrong. I doubt it. We need to remove the cover of protection from Israel, and only then will they begin to talk to those around them, with honesty and fairness.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  237. Alex, New York

    Israel needs the US a lot more than we need them as allies in the region. It's time to end the blank check of support for Israel and start dealing with them as we would other allies. If you want our help, you need to listen to our concerns and be prepared to make sacrifices to achieve the most important objective: peace.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  238. Dianne

    No it is not at Israels expense. For Israel to truly desire peace and for the world the Middle Eastern nations must be part of the talks.. Israel and the Palestinians are not victims as each want to pretend. Our politicians must really seek Middle East stabilization are going to have to treat both more equal aqnd more fair in finding common ground. If we are to be as parents then we should not favor one child over the other. Perhaps Americans, Israeli, or Palestinians need not die ending their young lives before they begin. They can live and give the world new ideas and inventions. We have supported Israel even when Israel is wrong. We never support the Palestinians when right.If America's politicians cannot be more fair, the US should turn this situation over to other nations. America should not promote one over the other.Yes, Israel is our friend, but are they our friends when we donot agree with them? Surely Israel would like for everyone to put weapons down including them. Can one have to many friends?

    June 4, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  239. S.K. Davis

    Of course this is not at the expense of our ties with Israel. This is a complex foreign relations problem, and all sides recognize the need for finesse here. Pres. Obama's approach shows me he wants all sides to be honest so that lives can be saved and peace achieved.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  240. Jeff in Minnesota

    Every country or group that has butted into this part of the world since the Crusades has gotten a bloody nose and worse. When are we going to learn? Until all of the groups involved grow up and admit that they have to live together and cannot have their cake and eat it too, we are not going to have peace. The only reason we are involved is because we need Arab oil, so we placate the Arabs by making vain attempts at making peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis. I would like to hope that the US government knows that peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians is a pipe dream as long as you have the various militant factions on both sides whipping up everyone who will listen in a frenzy. That frenzied atmosphere will continue to exist until enough brave people in the general population say enough is enough, elect sensible and brave leaders, and those leaders tell the militants to go take a pill, sit in the corner and shut up. Until then, it is what it is and we better learn to live with it and butt out until we are asked to be involved. And let us not forget that the Arabs in the region don't like the Palestinians so much either, it's just that the Arabs dislike the Israelis more.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  241. greg

    I recall the bible saying something about a women that bore two nations.
    I think that ends with the one living in the house of the other.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  242. Marietta

    Time for Israel to knock it off..been 60 years if not more, their country and start making their choices and stop expecting every one to solve their own problems I love Israel and all, but enough is enough.. .....we all want to feed our own self egos better then thou attitude....Are we asking Isarel to solve our abortion problems etc etc?.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  243. M. L. Struthers

    I don't really care if Pres. Obama is reaching out to Muslims at the expense of Israel. This is long overdue and I back him 100%. Something has to be done about the settlements in the West Bank and the constant land grab by the Israelis. At least our President is trying to help the Palestinian people who have suffered long enough under the Israeli occuption.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  244. kwame

    For the first time in eight years,am very proud of the leadership we have in this country-the kind of leadership that says it as it is even if its politically incorrect.the days of spoiling israel is over,after all the most important thing we can do for israel is to tell them the truth and what is real so we all can find solutions together moving forward.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  245. Eddie

    it 's time United States be more exigent to israel. Let them know that it 's important for them to understand that Palestinians are entitled to a viable state and building new settlements undermines the effort for peace. The period of blind american support is over. Both parties in the conflict ought to work genuinely for peace. No Hamas' rockets to israel and no new settlements in Palestinian's territory and proportionality of israel response to attacks.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  246. mark

    Hey Jack,
    Why are we blindly supporting Israel ? They spy on us,use us and steal our resorces !! Isn't it time to be freinds with the Arabs who can offer us much more in returns than the israelis!!!!! I feel we,christians @ jews have mutual openions about Islam and it is time for people to start understanding and have different views about Islam and the Arabs in general.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  247. LYNETTE

    Sure it is.It is time for Israel to remember:
    1. they have stolen approx. 88% of Palestinian land trying to make it 100%
    2.who controls the purse strings of the 3 billion/yr. in US aid they receive?Bibi 's cutting the hand that feeds him.
    3. they are not God's ONLY chosen people

    CHANGE FINALLY THAT I CAN BELIEVE IN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 4, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  248. Daniel

    Westminster, california. i believe that obama is hurting the relationship between U.S. and Isreal. Iran did threaten to attack Isreal. This is pretty obvious.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  249. Roger

    It's very refreshing to hear an American president actually challenge the state of Israel like Barack Obama has in recent weeks. America has been complacent with their relationship with Israel for far too long, with nothing to show for it but marginal progress made in the peace process in the region. Even with a hawkish prime minister like Netanyahu leading the Israeli government right now, the state of Israel has to be put in a position where it can reevaluate its hardline policies towards the Palestinians. Hopefully, Israel will realize that only more criticism will come their way, and they must soften their stance and work towards a compromise with President Obama, lest they be ostracized by the international community.

    Roger
    Vancouver, Canada

    June 4, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  250. Bonnie

    Why must we always take into consideration the Israelis? The Israelis have continuely broken every treaty they have agreed to in regards to the settlements. Why are we so concerned about bulldosing Israeli homes and settlements, but not Palestinian? Israel is basically an American wealfare state – how much money do we send to Israel... 10 Million a day? We have been lied to about Israel and their true intent for so many decades that Americans, for the most part, do not know the truth and have never bothered to find out. As an American I am sick to death of the entire Israeli "problem" and I cheer the idea of bulldosing their homes and displaceing them as they have done to the Palistinians.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  251. Andrew

    Pasadena, California

    While I believe that President Obama's decisions to appeal to the Muslim world are made only with good intentions, he is nonetheless choosing to ignore Israel's need of a loyal ally to protect itself. Israel is being, in essence, told to stay out of the way while Obama tries to win the hearts of the Muslims, some of whom wish to see Israel destroyed. While the majority of Muslims are not entirely hostile, there are some who would wish to use this to their advantage and attack Israel, then give our leader a potentially harmful choice where he would either choose to help America's old ally Israel, or make the Muslims happy and withhold American aid, both causing uproar among either the Israeli or Muslim worlds.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  252. K. Saleem

    Simply put, NO! Israel should listen to a good friend when it tells them they're overstepping and violating the rights of the palestinians. It is the Billions of US dollars and military support that gives them the ability to defend themselves and expand so aggressively. Don't bite the hand that feeds you.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  253. Nate from Columbus Georgia

    Jack, I know that Pres. Obama's statement is very different from what previous American leaders have expressed in the past, BUT, if you want a different result we must employ different measures. I'm a 20 year sales professional and I realize that a fair negotiation is when both parties move forward without either party receiving everthing that they came to the table wanting to achieve. America has always condemned the Islamic nations while only mildly speaking out against the nation of Isreal. If peace is to be obtained, both parties are going to have to make concessions and restain thier EXTREMIST! Insane behavior is doing the same things and expecting a different result. Sabre rattling has been our method for years, bombing Lebonon has been Isreal's method, and suicide bombing has been the method of Hamas, NOW it's time for moderate and sensible MODERATE leaders to try a NEW way forward. Otherwise were left to the EXTREME thinking and stategies of the Netenayu's, Cheneys, Ahmadinejads, and Bin Ladins of the World. Let's give the thinkers of the world and Opportunity. That's the best gift the we can give the future generations.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  254. Daniel C.

    The question posed presumes a false dichotomy. Reaching out to the Palestinians or Arabs in general does not require the US to abandon it's relationship with Israel. I would submit that the ultimate fate of Israel is intertwined with the ultimate fate of the Palestinians and, as such, any step that leads toward peace in the Middle East and between Israel and the Arabs is beneficial towards Israel. It is refreshing to finally have a President with the intellectual nuance to realize the necessity of communication and trust with all parties and who understands that global friendship is not a zero-sum game. The US can and must be a friend to both Israel and the Arab nations alike if it is to play any substantial role in moving the peace process forward.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  255. Idris Sunmola

    America's bias relationship with Israel has been at our expense before September 11. Extremists have held this relationship to be the one most important reason why they relentlessly seek to attack us. It's time for the siege on Palestine by Israel to be lifted, they are the only peoples in the world living in an open air prison, and the settlements need to be stopped because its against Article 49 paragraph six of the Geneva convention.

    IDRIS from ILLINOIS

    June 4, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  256. Michael Quinn

    Jack, President Obama's outreach to the Muslim world is ultimately in Israel's self-interest. It will make him a more effective mediator as he attempts to forge peace between the Jewish State and it's Islamic neighbors - and such a peace is essential for Israel's long term survival.

    Of course that won't stop the thoroughly predictable Republican bed-wetting about EVERYTHING this president does. The guy who sells Depends to the GOP caucus must be cleaning up... in a manner of speaking..

    June 4, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  257. Michael

    The answer to this is no. Obama is saving Israel from what may be it's biggest threat...itself. Just about 42 years ago to the date, Israel was victorious in the 6-Day-War. The territories obtained by Israel should've been gradually given to the Palestinians in exchange for a step-by-step disarming and reformation of their education system which incites violence. Instead more and more security hawks and those from the Israeli religious right have chosen to inhabit these lands changing facts on the ground. The fact of the matter is, the Israelis may not control the civil government of the West Bank, but they have a military presence in an area where Arabs outnumber Jews significantly. Considering the birthrates, Arabs will outnumber Jews within 35 years according to some estimates, and the Israelis cannot afford to govern over a majority. The only thing that will save Israel as a Jewish and democratic country is the enactment of a tw-state-solution. Past US presidents haven't been strong enough to settle the conflict, and President Obama is proving what truly defines being a good friend, speaking the truth even if it means disagreeing.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  258. S.K. Davis, Los Angeles

    Of course this is not at the expense of our ties with Israel. This is a complex foreign relations problem, and all sides recognize the need for finesse here. Pres. Obama’s approach shows me he wants all sides to be honest so that lives can be saved and peace achieved.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  259. DJ

    United States of America for too long has had a one sided relationship with Israel and looked the other way at the atrocities the Palestinian people have faced, and it a nice change for an American President to acknowledge the other side of the story. True peace will never come if Jewish settlements keep expanding on Palestinian land. Israel has to realize that it has to share and not get greedy.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  260. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    If reaching out to the Muslims puts our relationship with Israel at risk then we have our answer of who really doesn't want peace.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  261. Jordan

    Israel needs to either start playing fair or we will allienate the support of 1/3 of the world. It is important that we support everyone equally... Israel has recieved billions in aid from the U.S. and as long as we are paying their bills, they need to play by our rules. We cannot stand for equality when we support a country that presses a minority... What does that say about our morals... The secret is out, and the Palestinians deserve a shot at life too!!!

    June 4, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  262. Jerry of Lenoir, NC

    No. But Israel thinks so. Israel thinks it can do anything it wants to and receive US support. Israel has nuclear weapons and has not signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and probably never will. Obama said that all countries should abide by the treaty, so Israel thinks he is altering the US Israel relationship in this respect. Israel does not want Iran, which has signed the treaty, to have nuclear energy. I could go on and on, but Israel does not want true justice for all the peoples of the region.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  263. Doktah Soose

    Israel is the big bully in the school yard that is stronger than the other kids (Iran, Syria, etc.). The US, who happens to be the principal of the school (the Middle East), is also the bully's father. (The child only got accepted in the school because his father and uncle (England) forced other kids out to make room.)
    Everyday the bully is acting out causing problems, but will never get in trouble by Daddy, instead he is rewarded while the other innocent children are punished. Only since the 1980s have the other kids finally started acting out. It's time to fire the principal and let the bully fight his own battle, alone.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  264. Adal Richkov

    In this country, the bar to speak about Israel is set so high even articulating the official US policy is considered as "expense of Israel" and may be considered anti Israel. Now we are in an environment even a US president does not get a pass to speak American Official Policy. BTW the settlement policy is adopted not only by the present present president but by so many who preceded him.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  265. Kurt

    No. He addressed the rampant holocaust denial and pressed Arab governments to recognize their right to exist. But for once, we had a president who got real about the Nakba and humiliation ordinary Palestinians go through daily. If we are to have a two-state solution the United States is the only honest broker with clout. We needed to build credibility that we really do see both sides. He struck a nice balance. If Bibi can't handle it, too bad.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  266. Audrey Jenkins

    I don't think that the President's speech strains the US/Israeli relationship at all, instead I think that the President is just trying to say that it is time to be honest, and that we must try to strike some balance for the betterment of all involved in this conflict. We all know what 8 years of neglect has done to this subject. It became increasingly chaotic.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  267. Sandra Brown

    Absolutely not. This type of speech and language has needed to happen for far too long. It is refreshing to finally see a U.S. president being diplomatic and neutral on the issue – in the name of peace – and bringing much-needed attention to the horrible plight of the Palestinians ...instead of being blatantly pro-Isreal and fueling distrust and hatred from Muslims.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  268. Mike

    For years our true foreign policy needs have been hijacked by our total support for Israel,even when Israel is blatantly wrong in its actions such as with the settlements. I remember sitting in a classroom while in college watching the UN Security Council pass two resolutions with the US concurring, which to this day Israel has not honored. The Palestinians have valid complaints and have suffered too many injustices and indignities during the occupation of their land. I hope that with this speech today the US can truly become the neutral third party facilitator, and not have our foreign policy dictated by Israel and its powerful lobbyists who undermine our role in the Middle East through our Congress. We must have more integrity in our actions if we are to be successful in the Mideast.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  269. AIB

    I am tired of seeing those politicians ( democrats or republicans), who are always ready to bend over when it comes to the Isreali and Palestine issue. The Us national interests come first.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  270. Chris Marchand Tampa FL

    The World Without the US would be the world it is today and Pres Obama is now part of new coming changes. Is about time that nations leave out religious belief aside and start doing what we are supposed to do.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  271. Tina Chicago,IL

    If reaching out to the muslim world is somehow a threat to Isreal, we should reconsider our relationships. Israel should not in any way feel threatened by Obama and his call to end Israeli settlements, only the guilty feel threatened and having traveled to Israel I seen what the Palestinians are growing through...Obamas anaology to Palestine's suffer to those of African Americans is accurate. We must always support justice, whether it means dissing our a friends or not.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  272. Stan

    I HOPE it's at the expense of the US-Israel relationship. Placating to a country that violates international law with impunity, sucks billions in foreign aid from the US and then turns around and spies on us. Sounds like THAT'S the relationship in need of a major reset!

    June 4, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  273. LUCI - ILLINOIS

    Isreal is like a baby that needs to be fed and burped all the time. It is nice to look at their lives, but it is time for them to grow up and be on their own, moneywise too. We take care of too many Countries. I say be fair to the Muslim too, then if they still act like they do, then they are on their own. If we are good Christians, then we need to look at other faiths too. Jesus, being a Christian, had to be dark skinned, not like he is thought to be like.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:28 pm |