In typical Obama fashion, he decided to go into community organizer mode with the Israel people, especially the young people. He spoke at Jerusalem International Convention Center to an audience touted as Israel college students.
Obama acknowledged his poor relationship with Prime Minister Netanyahu as he made a joke about it:
Now, I know that in Israel’s vibrant democracy, every word, every gesture is carefully scrutinized. (Laughter.) But I want to clear something up just so you know -- any drama between me and my friend, Bibi, over the years was just a plot to create material for Eretz Nehederet. (Applause.) That’s the only thing that was going on. We just wanted to make sure the writers had good material. (Laughter.)Note:" Eretz Nehederet (Hebrew: ארץ נהדרת, lit. A Wonderful Land) is a satirical Israeli television show, which made its debut on November 7, 2003. It features satirical references to current affairs of the past week through parodies of the people involved, as well as the thoughts of recurring characters. The program is one of the most watched and influential shows on Israeli TV. It was first filmed in Tel Aviv, and in later seasons, was filmed in the neighboring Herzliya." It's like the Israeli version of Jon Stewart's "The Daily Show".
He spoke with personal references, as he is apt to do. It's always all about Barack Obama. He spoke of slavery, challenges of African Americans, growing up in "far flung places" with a lack of strong roots. He was heckled by an audience member and turned it into an opportunity to play victim by acknowledging the same at home:
No, no -- this is part of the lively debate that we talked about. (Applause.) This is good. You know, I have to say we actually arranged for that, because it made me feel at home. (Laughter.) I wouldn’t feel comfortable if I didn't have at least one heckler. (Laughter.)He referenced the memory of those lost in the Holocaust while he spoke about America's commitment to Israel's security. Israel's security is often called into question as it pertains to this president, given his membership in Rev Wright's church in Chicago - a man he called his spiritual adviser, like "an uncle" to him, and the leader of the church Michelle Obama grew up in. His sermons and remarks are hate-filled towards Jews and white Americans.
One bright spot was telling the Palestinian leadership that settlements should not be considered as issue while renewed peace talks begin. He did say, too, that "Israel isn't going anywhere". A couple of times:
But make no mistake -- those who adhere to the ideology of rejecting Israel’s right to exist, they might as well reject the earth beneath them or the sky above, because Israel is not going anywhere. (Applause.) And today, I want to tell you -- particularly the young people -- so that there's no mistake here, so long as there is a United States of America -- Atem lo levad. You are not alone. (Applause.) The question is what kind of future Israel will look forward to. Israel is not going anywhere -- but especially for the young people in this audience, the question is what does its future hold? And that brings me to the subject of peace. (Applause.)I don't have much faith that this trip will produce much in the way of movement towards a peace settlement and two state solution. I also am not convinced that President Obama and his administration truly hold Israel in high regard. Actions speak louder than words.