After watching and listening to President Obama’s speech in Israel several days ago, I have now spent a good deal of time reading and listening to reactions to this speech from a wide variety of individuals, officials, and media, both within and beyond Israel.
First, nothing comes close to what I think can be gained simply by watching and listening to the speech. Reading the transcript is good too, but in so doing, you miss much about Pres. Obama’s presentation, and you also miss the reaction(s) of the audience, 2,000 young people chosen by lottery.
Second, as is so often the case with Pres. Obama, it is possible to see what you want to see in what he has to say, to pick pieces of his presentation, to ignore the parts with which you don’t agree.
Of all the reactions I have followed, two sets of responses stand out for me: the reactions of nine young people who were in the audience and interviews with some young, Palestinian activists.
You can see these reactions for yourself:
- Israeli Students Reflect on Obama’s Speech
- Palestinian Teenager(s) Respond to Obama’s Speech (There is more than one reaction/segment here, but you have to be a bit persistent to find it. But once you do, it’s definitely worth the effort.
I don’t often urge readers to spend 50:33 minutes of their time on something I found valuable. This time, however, is different.