Palestine on the mind
I have been going to the Speaker Series from Calvin College (via satellite of course) this January. There have been some very interesting topics. I go partly to avoid driving home in traffic and to get some intellectual speaking that is a bit different from simply watching the news. I quite enjoyed listening to the warden from a penitentiary in Louisiana and the story of a survivor of the holocaust in Rwanda. (and the guy who was totally for Free Enterprise and entrepreneurship vs statism. but given where I live I might have been the only person in the room who appreciated him.) A number of the these topics are available online still if you are curious. . .
Today was the final speaker – Archbishop Elias Chacour, a Palestinian Archbishop in Israel. He was actually rather funny and cracked quite a few jokes. While I did miss some of his points, mainly because when he started touting how our country had done such a great thing electing a former “slave” race to the president (please don’t quote me exactly on that one, but that was the basic jist of it) I quickly began searching online for how Palestinians feel about Obama. Because obviously this guy is anti “W”. He actually made reference to George Senior and seemed to almost like him, but did not like the younger. Anytime a topic goes here and I have the chance I will do some searching and reading, and in this case since I was in the back room with my iPhone I decided to search. What I found was an interesting article from this week regarding Obama and the Middle East.
Highlights (and things I was not totally aware of) being:
Among the factors that made the first 12 months of Obama’s presidency better for peace prospects (for those of us who want a two-state solution) than previous years:
* There was less violence both between Israelis and Palestinians, and between Palestinians and Palestinians, than there has been for years.
* 2009 was the first year without any successful suicide bombs against Israel for a long time.
* The Palestinian security forces in the West Bank have finally started to behave as a security force rather than as a terrorist group.
* There was strong economic growth in both Israel and the Palestinian territories relative to most of the rest of the world, for which 2009 was a bleak year.
* A Likud leader recognized the principle of an independent Palestinian state.
* Benjamin Netanyahu made the most sweeping freeze on Israeli settlement building in the West Bank since 1967.
– from National Post
Also states that Obama to be the most naïve president regarding foreign policy, which I would tend to agree with. Not only naïve but unpatriotic. So the United State is starting to see that he is not getting things done, how long will it take for the approval rating of the rest of the world to follow suit . . . time will tell.