Members of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Palestinian and Israeli Caucuses gathered 450 student signatures on a petition inviting President Obama to address students on the conflict in the Holy Land. They received a polite refusal from the president, who met with Turkish students earlier this month.
With just his first 100 days under his belt, Obama of course has a busy schedule. But the Israeli/Palestinian conflict has also been superseded by events in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan as more pressing priorities.
“Although the President will not visit the school in the near future, his candid and rapid reply ensures us that the matter is close to his heart,” wrote Yehuda Greenfield-Gilat, president of the Harvard Kennedy School Israel Caucus in a follow-up letter to fellow students after the request was denied. “For us, Israelis and Palestinians at HKS, this initiative has been a rewarding journey. I know that the dialog and friendship established here will generate further understanding and cooperation back home.”
The full response is below: