September 24, 2011

History in the making.

Today Mahmoud Abbas addressed the United Nations and applied for recognition of Palestine as state number 194 of the United Nations. You can listen to his speech (or read the transcript) here. Above is the subsequent address to the same body made by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Please take some time and watch it.

Now, I'm asking you to watch this speech knowing that some of you may not, but I hope that you will. Netanyahu speaks for about 30 min, and even I (with my penchant for spending hours every day watching and reading the news) have a hard time watching a diplomatic address lasting more than a few minutes. Hell, I have a hard time watching a YouTube video featuring cute babies if it goes over three minutes. I believe this to be a result of our sound-byte culture. However, this speech is worth listening to. Mid-east politics is a complicated subject, and can be daunting to approach if you haven't spent a lot of time learning the history- but in these 30 min Netanyahu (who is a statesman and an incredible orator) lays out pretty simply the history of the conflict between Palestine and Israel, and presents the facts of the situation facing both parties on the ground right now. I think this is an excellent way to learn a great deal about this complex issue relatively quickly. Speeches like this inspire me to study politics, and remind me why I came to Israel to do just that.

I have very strong opinions about this subject, I think that may be quite obvious. But I don't want you to listen to what I believe. I want to help those of you who are interested in learning to find quality resources of information, facts so that you can draw your own conclusions. We live in a time where multiculturalism and tolerance are lauded as virtues, where no one man's opinon should be called 'better' or 'more correct' than the other because we have to be politically correct. But sometimes there are truths and lies. Learning the facts is the only way to keep ourselves from falling for the fabrications.

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