obama curtain 298.88.
(photo credit: AP)
year ago today, Israelis watched US President Barack Obama deliver his
inaugural address on the West Front of the US Capitol Building in
Washington, DC., as Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip was - not
coincidentally - concluding.
Regardless of their political
views, they looked to the new leader of the free world with a healthy
mix of dread and hope, knowing that some of what he would say and do
could have as much impact on Israel and other Middle Eastern nations as
Obama did not mention Israel in his address, but he
did devote a good portion of the speech to matters that concern us.
Notably, he offered an outstretched hand to the Muslim world,
accompanied by a warning.
stick was delivered eloquently: "For those who seek to advance their
aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now
that, 'Our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken. You cannot outlast
us, and we will defeat you.'"
He promised that "With old friends and former foes, we'll work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat."
For the carrot, he said: "To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect."
And he summarized his doctrine of engagement by saying: "To all other peoples and governments who
are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village
where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation
and every man, woman and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity,
and we are ready to lead once more."
ONE YEAR later, the great
expectations that Obama set for himself in this sphere, and that others
placed in him, lie largely unfulfilled.