Friday, June 5, 2009

A New Beginning

If you think you should watch Obama's Cairo speech -- and are a bit like me and wondering if you really MUST watch something which is almost an hour long -- I am going to tell you that your time will be well spent. Watch it here and now, or catch it on the White House site complete with transcript.

"Violent extremists have exploited these tensions in a small but potent minority of Muslims. The attacks of September 11, 2001, and the continued efforts of these extremists to engage in violence against civilians has led some in my country to view Islam as inevitably hostile not only to America and Western countries, but also to human rights."

"It's easier to start wars than to end them.
It's easier to find things that are different about someone than to find the things we share.
It's easier to blame others than to look inward.
But, we should choose the right path, not just the easy path."

"Around the world, the Jewish people were persecuted for centuries, and antisemitism in Europe culminated in an unprecedented Holocaust. Tomorrow, I will visit Buchenwald, which was part of a network of camps where Jews were enslaved, tortured, shot and gassed to death by the Third Reich. Six million Jews were killed – more than the entire Jewish population of Israel today. Denying that fact is baseless, ignorant, and hateful."

"They [Palestinians] endure the daily humiliations – large and small – that come with occupation. So let there be no doubt: the situation for the Palestinian people is intolerable."

“The only resolution is for the aspirations of both sides to be met through two states, where Israelis and Palestinians each live in peace and security."

“Israelis must acknowledge that just as Israel's right to exist cannot be denied, neither can Palestine's. The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements. This construction violates previous agreements and undermines efforts to achieve peace. It is time for these settlements to stop."

"Just as it devastates Palestinian families, the continuing humanitarian crisis in Gaza does not serve Israel's security; neither does the continuing lack of opportunity in the West Bank. Progress in the lives of Palestinian people must be part of a road to peace, and Israel must take concrete steps to enable such progress."

""I reject the view of some in the West that a woman who chooses to cover her hair is somehow less equal, but I do believe that a woman who is denied an education is denied equality. And it is no coincidence that countries where women are well educated are far more likely to be prosperous.

"Issues of women's equality are by no means simply an issue for Islam. In Turkey, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Indonesia, we have seen Muslim-majority countries elect a woman to lead. Meanwhile, the struggle for women's equality continues in many aspects of American life, and in countries around the world."


CrackerLilo said...

Just as I was beginning to wonder whether real and good change was happening or not, he comes out with that. I was so glad to hear this.

Snooker Tables said...

Have to give this guy respect, man! He does have a knack in striking just the right note when it comes to speeches! More than what can be said for his predecessor!