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May 20, 2011
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Photo Credit: Wall Street Journal

Wall Street Journal: Obama's Israel Surprise

"WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama, seeking to get ahead of historic changes rolling through the Middle East, promised support for democratic uprisings in the Arab world and called for the first time to begin negotiations for a Palestinian state based on Israel's pre-1967 borders. Mr. Obama, in a wide-ranging speech on the Mideast, stressed to a global audience—the speech was broadcast in English, Arabic and Farsi—that with the fall of governments in Tunisia and Egypt and the death of Osama bin Laden, the era of al Qaeda and Islamist militancy is giving way to an age of popular rule. Yet the responses to Mr. Obama's speech highlighted the difficulty he will have in reconciling myriad interests in Washington, Israel and the Arab world. With grievances deep and ideological lines drawn decades ago, some in the Mideast—including Israel's prime minister and some pro-Israel U.S. lawmakers—said Mr. Obama went too far; others, from Palestinians to Arab activists, said he didn't go far enough."
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