Brain Bush’s Blog

Desert Smooze

  • By : Brian Bush
  • March 22, 2013
  • 9:33 pm

Hello Friends,

The Cornerstone of US President Barak Obama's visit was his speech given at the International Convention Center in Jerusalem.

His speech surprised many with much of it dedicated to the condition of the peace process, the Palestinians, and what the Israeli public can do about it.

One Israeli commentator said that President Obama went straight over Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu's head and spoke directly to the people.

Another commentator decried – why cant Israeli politicians left us like Obama – we deserve a leader like him.

But not all were pleased with the President's words.

The Settler community was taken aback, although not without anticipation, of the strong message against continued settlement activity on Palestinian land.

Surprise star and newcomer to Israeli Politics Naftali Bennett of the House of the Jews party released a statement saying 'how could one occupy ones' own land'?

But this is the crux of the issue – power over the land.

But President Obama asked the Israelis to stand in the shoes of the Palestinians – to see the world through their view, to understand what restricted lives they have lived for generations under occupation.

He praised Israel as a State of progress and urged it's young people to press it's leaders to make their country what they envision it to be.

So it became clear what President Obama's trip was, one commentator calling his visit to the Middle East operation 'Desert Smooze'. But there apparently was tough love too…

With carefully choreographed visits and words there was love all around, but away from the camera's it's clear there were arms being twisted.

Before Obama's departure to Jordan, the President released a statement placing value on the relationships of America's allies Turkey and Israel – which have been strained for over two years over the flotilla incident that resulted in the loss of Turkish life.

Prime Minister Netanyahu has now apologized in a phone call to Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Erdogan for Israel's role in the killing of 9 activists. Israel also agreed to pay compensation to the families of the deceased and Turkey agreed to drop legal action.

I'll have more analysis on President Obama's visit here to the Middle East live on Monday's Harvest Show – so be sure to join me then!

Brian Bush
Middle East Correspondent
LeSEA Broadcasting

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