During President Obama’s speech in Jerusalem, he spoke of a meeting he had earlier that morning with a group of Palestinian youth:
I’m going off script here for a second, but before I came here, I met with a young group of Palestinians from the age of 15 to 22. And talking to them, that they weren’t different from my daughters. They weren’t different from your daughters or your sons. I honestly believe that if any Israeli parent sat down with those kids, they’d say, I want those kids to succeed; I want them to prosper. I want them to have opportunities just like my kids do. I believe that’s what Israeli parents would want for these kids if they had a chance to listen to them and talk to them. I believe that.
I am sure Obama does believe that. But what Obama is apparently unwilling and unable to recognize is that these Palestinian youth he spoke with this morning have been brought up very differently from their Israeli counterparts and, come to think of it, his own daughters.
It begs these questions.
How many of these Palestinian youth have used textbooks in which Jews are despised and contain maps that do not include Israel?
How many of these Palestinian youth have lived on streets, attended schools or played on soccer fields named after Palestinian suicide bombers?
How many of these Palestinian youth were given candy by their parents, grandparents or some other adult after a suicide bombing or an attack against Jewish civilians?
President Obama is correct to say that, “Peace will have to be made among peoples, not just governments.” But how then is it possible for Palestinians to make peace with Israel when its government tells them that Jews are evil and encourages them to celebrate their deaths?
Of course, Obama went on to implore young Israelis to pressure their leaders into making peace. He said this as if Israeli leaders have never tried. But since Obama wants young Israelis to pressure their leaders one must ask if Obama posed the same challenge to the Palestinian youth he met with earlier?
Did Obama tell the young Palestinians he met with to pressure the Palestinian Authority to stop making hateful textbooks?
To stop naming streets, schools and soccer fields after suicide bombers?
Or to stop celebrating their martyrdom?
Somehow I doubt that very much.
If Obama were to tell Palestinian youth to create the change they would want to see it would be to drive Israel into the sea. They have been taught nothing else.