"Moreover, many countries around the world face similar questions about their borders and ethnic minorities abroad, about sovereignty and self-determination. These are tensions that have led in other places to debate and democratic referendums, conflicts and uneasy co-existence. These are difficult issues, and it is precisely because these questions are hard that they must be addressed through constitutional means and international laws so that majorities cannot simply suppress minorities, and big countries cannot simply bully the small."
But Obama continually refers to Israel as a democracy, when Palestinians have limited rights.
He faults the American invasion of Iraq but says we didn't want to permanently occupy it or annex its land:
"I opposed our military intervention there. But even in Iraq, America sought to work within the international system. We did not claim or annex Iraq's territory. We did not grab its resources for our own gain."
Yes, and what about SodaStream and Ahava, using Palestinian resources under occupation for their gain?
Again: self-determination, as an "irreducible" ideal for all human beings:
"...on the fundamental principle that is at stake here -- the ability of nations and peoples to make their own choices -- there can be no going back. It's not America that filled the Maidan with protesters -- it was Ukrainians. No foreign forces compelled the citizens of Tunis and Tripoli to rise up -- they did so on their own. From the Burmese parliamentarian pursuing reform to the young leaders fighting corruption and intolerance in Africa, we see something irreducible that all of us share as human beings -- a truth that will persevere in the face of violence and repression and will ultimately overcome."
Palestinians have had never had the right of self-determination, though they've affirmed that they are a people for 100 years.
He emphasizes that human rights and rights of sovereignty are universal. If they're destroyed one place, they're threatened everywhere...
"...we must never forget that we are heirs to a struggle for freedom. Our democracy, our individual opportunity only exists because those who came before us had the wisdom and the courage to recognize that our ideals will only endure if we see our self-interest in the success of other peoples and other nations."
The man who vetoed a UN resolution against settlements.
And imagine someone in Gaza or the West Bank reading this:
"Do not think for a moment that your own freedom, your own prosperity, that your own moral imagination is bound by the limits of your community, your ethnicity, or even your country. You're bigger than that. You can help us to choose a better history. That's what Europe tells us. That's what the American experience is all about.
"I say this ... as the son of a Kenyan whose grandfather was a cook for the British, and as a person who once lived in Indonesia as it emerged from colonialism. The ideals that unite us matter equally to the young people of Boston or Brussels, or Jakarta or Nairobi, or Krakow or Kyiv.
No Palestine on that list. The president never mentioned Israel or Palestine. And you can see why. People might say he's a hypocrite.
(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).