On Israel and Palestine and Barack Obama

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There was a lot of schmaltz in Obama’s speech in Jerusalem, but at its core, it was a tough minded speech. What I think Obama got right were the two fundamental drivers that create the tension that defines not just Zionism and the State of Israel but also Palestinian nationalism and the question of Palestine as well. These are three: [1] the deep connection to place and to home defining both Israeli-Jewish and Palestinian cultures, [2] the overriding insecurity that haunts that connection and makes it sad, and [3] the exigencies of justice and peace, self-determination and mutual recognition as the foundations upon which to secure a common future for two peoples.

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics. http://religion.syr.edu
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