Stating “Peace is possible” and calling for “Two States for two peoples,” U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday while speaking to an audience in Jerusalem, Israel urged the restart of talks for a two-state solution for peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
However, he said that peace is not guaranteed, calling on those wishing for peace to work to create the change they seek.
“You must create the change that you want to see,” the President stated, exclaiming, “Ordinary people can create extraordinary things.”
The President called on a solution for Middle East peace which allows both Israelis and Palestinians have an opportunity for self-governance and self-determination. Only peace will bring true security, he remarked.
Obama however said that the path would take those wishing for peace to overcome those who continue policies which tear apart any chance at peace. In particular, the President pointed at those on the Israeli side who continue to build illegal Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory which has been occupied militarily by Israel for over 40 years. He also put blame on those on the Palestinian side who refuse to accept Israel’s right to exist.
He urged Israelis to ‘put themselves in the shoes” of Palestinians who desire justice and the ability to determine their own path, noting that Palestinian children are no different from Israeli or American children, adding that they too deserve a chance to succeed and prosper.
When heckled during a part of his speech, the President responded by saying, “This is part of the lively debate that we talked about. This is good.” He then joked, “I have to say, we actually arranged for that because it made me feel at home. I wouldn’t feel comfortable if I didn’t have at least one heckler.”
In the end, the reward of peace between Palestinians and Israelis will bring prosperity and opportunity to both peoples, Obama concluded.