One key shift in U.S. policy was overlooked in the barrage of news about President Obama's eventful 50-hour visit to Israel last week. That would be the demand that Palestinians recognize Israel as the Jewish state, called by Hamas leader Salah Bardawil "the most dangerous statement by an American president regarding the Palestinian issue."
Symbolism matters, and President Obama knows it. When the president spoke at Georgetown University in 2009, his advance team asked that the Roman Catholic university cover an image derived from the first three Greek letters of the name of Jesus Christ.
Israel is a land of symbols. It's fitting then that President Obama's arrival in the Holy Land on Wednesday was bedeviled by a breakdown. The wrong fuel for the president's limousine (diesel instead of gasoline) was quickly remedied, but four years of U.S. policies that have fueled turmoil in the region won't be fixed so easily.
A late education is better than no education at all, even for a president of the United States. The man who is a mighty legend in his own mind is even showing a little humility. Barack Obama, who usually finds someone else — usually George W. — to blame for every little thing that goes awry, finally admitted this week in Israel that even a synthetic messiah can make mistakes.
In separate talks before West Bank Palestinians and Israeli college students that carried echoes of Abraham Lincoln's call to "think anew and act anew," President Obama urged both groups Thursday to abandon old ways of thinking and search for new means to reach peace while it was still possible.
President Obama arrived in Ramallah on Thursday morning for a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. The meeting comes at a time when Palestinians are pushing Mr. Obama to ratchet up his involvement with peace talks.
Meeting with Palestinians leaders in the West Bank, President Obama condemned an overnight rocket attack from Gaza.
Dave Gordon's article, "Obama should use Israel trip to promote real peace" (Web, March 9), is excellent, calling on the president to make clear that demonizing our ally Israel is unacceptable. I would add one specific request: If President Obama truly wishes to promote peace, he must demand that Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas publicly repudiate his vile 1984 book "The Other Side: The Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism."
Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren accused Iran of deceiving the West by opening new talks about its suspected nuclear weapons program, as he addressed a major Jewish conference in Washington on Sunday.