Put yourself in their shoes. Look at the world through their eyes.

22 Mar

Obama israeli flag

from U.S. President Barack’s Obama speech to Israeli university students in Jerusalem on Thursday, March 21, 2013

– on script –

But the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination, their right to justice must also be recognized. (Cheers, applause.) And put yourself in their shoes. Look at the world through their eyes.

It is not fair that a Palestinian child cannot grow up in a state of their own (Cheers, applause) living their entire lives with the presence of a foreign army that controls the movements, not just of those young people but their parents, their grandparents, every single day. It’s not just when settler violence against Palestinians goes unpunished. (Applause.) It’s not right to prevent Palestinians from farming their lands or restricting a student’s ability to move around the West Bank (Applause) or displace Palestinian families from their homes. Neither occupation nor expulsion is the answer. (Cheers, applause.) Just as Israelis built a state in their homeland, Palestinians have a right to be a free people in their own land. (Applause.)

– off script –

But I — I’m going off script here for a second, but before I — before I came here, I — I met with a — a group of young Palestinians from the age of 15 to 22. And talking to them, they weren’t that different from my daughters. They weren’t that different from your daughters or sons.

I honestly believe that if — if any Israeli parent sat down with those kids, they’d say, I want these kids to succeed. (Applause.) I want them to prosper. I want them to have opportunities just like my kids do. (Applause.) I believe that’s what Israeli parents would want for these kids if they had a chance to listen to them and talk to them. (Cheers, applause.) I believe that. (Cheers, applause.)

Obama Palestinian flag

There is a video clip of this sction of the President’s speech at the CBS new website. 

3 Responses to “Put yourself in their shoes. Look at the world through their eyes.”

  1. Cathy O'Toole March 22, 2013 at 7:59 pm #

    I read a message today from Rabbi Margaret Holub on the Jewish Voice for Peace website:

    “…how you tell your people’s story depends on how you understand your people’s place in the world. If you think that you are unique and that only your fate matters, then you can justify doing terrible things to another people. If on the other hand you see your own tribe as one player in a world craving peace and wholeness for every person, then you will move quite differently in our hurting world.”

    What a beautiful thought to keep in mind as we enter into Holy Week, as well as Passover.

  2. Carol Drummond March 23, 2013 at 11:08 am #

    “Human beings are all members of one body.
    They are created by the same Essence.
    When one is in pain, the others cannot rest.
    If you do not care about the pain of others,
    You do not deserve to be called a human being,”
    These words were written by the Persian Muslim poet-mystic Saadi Shirazi.
    They are inscribed over the entrance to the United Nations Buidling.
    St. Paul says something very similar when he speaks of the Body of Christ–
    “the eye cannot say to the hand, “i do not need you”.
    Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we really embraced these words– in action–all over the
    world, and every heart?

  3. Char March 24, 2013 at 6:48 pm #

    I can’t help but remember that one of President Obama’s first jobs was with the Catholic Campaign for Human Development on the bad south side of Chicago with the poorest of the poor!!!!

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