Obama Defends Israel Against Critical Questioner
Also argues that Israel must attend to Palestinian grievances
The president pretty deftly handled a hostile question he got yesterday at a town-hall meeting in Tampa, Florida. Given the support for human rights that he had professed the night before in his State of the Union address, the questioner, a young woman, asked, “Why have we not condemned Israel and Egypt’s human rights violations against the occupied Palestinian people?” (Egypt has recently begun cracking down on smuggling through the Gaza border.)
Obama’s response combines standard boilerplate (“Israel is one of our strongest allies. It is a vibrant democracy”; “Israel has to acknowledge legitimate grievances and interests of the Palestinians”) with a much more sophisticated argument about how attending to Palestinians’ human rights is a security issue for both the United States and Israel.
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Obama: I Will Never Waver From Supporting Israel [AP/Vos Iz Neias?]