The Washington Times - May 1, 2009, 02:08PM

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 But the Israeli/Palestinian conflict has also been superseded by events in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan as more pressing priorities.

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“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: