Is Obama Shifting on Israel/Palestine?

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Ben Cohen
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By Ben Cohen

I don't want to read to much into this yet, but the wording gives cause for hope. At a speech to State Department Employees, Obama said:

Now, just as the terror of rocket fire aimed at innocent Israelis is


intolerable, so, too, is a future without hope for the Palestinians.

I was deeply concerned by the loss of Palestinian and Israeli
life in recent days and by the substantial suffering and humanitarian
needs in Gaza. Our hearts go out to Palestinian civilians who are in
need of immediate food, clean water, and basic medical care, and who've
faced suffocating poverty for far too long.

Now we must extend a hand of opportunity to those who seek peace. As
part of a lasting cease-fire, Gaza's border crossings should be open to
allow the flow of aid and commerce, with an appropriate monitoring
regime, with the international and Palestinian Authority participating.

Relief efforts must be able to reach innocent Palestinians who
depend on them. The United States will fully support an international
donor's conference to seek short-term humanitarian assistance and
long-term reconstruction for the Palestinian economy. This assistance
will be provided to and guided by the Palestinian Authority.

The remarks were preceded with the obligatory "We will stand by Israel" rhetoric, but the sympathy extended to the Palestinians is something we have not seen in 8 years from an American Administration. It might not be much (in the scheme of things, it's pretty pathetic), but it is a start in the right direction.