Obama identifies with Jewish struggle
LAST UPDATED: 07/08/2010 16:02
US President: Outreach to Muslims designed to reduce antagonism.
US President Barack Obama Photo: Associated Press
US President Barak
Obama discussed his affiliation with the Muslim community on Thursday, in
a yet-to-be-aired Channel 2 television interview.
name is Hussein and that attracts suspicion," Obama said. He continued
by stating that his outreach to the Muslim community is designed to
reduce antagonism towards Israel.
Obama said that he is able
to identify with the Jewish struggle for a state because there are many
similarities to the African American freedom movement.
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The US President also discussed his opinion of
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
"Not only is Netanyahu smart
and savvy, the fact that he is not
perceived as a dove in some ways can be helpful. Any successful peace
will have to include the hawks and the doves on both sides," the US
Obama used examples from US history and said "In the same way [former
US president] Nixon was able to go to China with strong anti-communist
credentials, I think Netanyahu is well positioned to bring about peace."
Obama: 'Netanyahu wants his country on secure tracks'
Regarding the recent talks between the two on Wednesday, Obama noted, "I
had the impression that Netanyahu is not just interested in occupying a
space and filling a role, he is interested in being a statesman and
putting his country on more secure tracks."
Talking about the
last time that Netanyahu visited the US Obama said: "We had a terrific
meeting. The Prime Minister was interested in working out some issues."
admitted that he has had differences of opinion with Netanyahu
regarding the settlements issue.
He also said that Israel is
right to be skeptical about the peace process. But, he noted, many
people thought the founding of Israel was impossible, so its very
existence should be "a great source of hope."
Obama said "being
hopeful is not the same as being blindly optimistic."
look at the past and have skepticism of what is possible. Israelis see
rockets fired from Gaza and Lebanon and say that hatred is so deep
rooted that change is not possible," commented Obama.
Obama: 'J'lem is a profound pleasure'
president also recalled visiting Jerusalem before he became president.
He described wandering anonymously through the Old City as "a profound
pleasure" that he's too well-known to enjoy now. Obama laughed about
leaving a prayer at the Western Wall during his most recent visit, only
to have someone remove it and print it in a newspaper.
comments came after he and Netanyahu exchanged affirmations of the
strength of the US-Israel relationship during an Oval Office meeting
Tuesday, in which they stressed the shared goal of quickly moving forward
with the peace process.
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