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How the Middle East took Obama's message
Different interpretations of Obama's diplomatic push
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resident Obama has just launched a "new era in international diplomacy," said the Beirut Daily Star in an editorial. Obama's powerful speech in Cairo on Thursday sealed the end of eight years of "neoconservative policy based on the clash of civilizations mentality." But it will take actions to translate Obama's words into real progress on Middle East peace.

Obama's message was certainly a mixed bag for Israel, said The Jerusalem Post in an editorial. It was good to hear him say—in a place where Holocaust denial is "part of the popular culture"—that it's "hateful" to refuse to acknowledge that 6 million Jews were killed by the Nazis. But his "moral equivalency" was troubling—"we cringed" when he compared the plight of the Palestinians to the American civil-rights movement.

No one can seriously believe that Obama would ever "express hostility" toward Israel, said Hafez Al-Barghouti in the Palestinian Authority daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (via Memri.org), or truly "demand that it dismantle settlements" in Palestinian territory. No matter what Obama said in Cairo, "he will remain hostage to the American imperialist interests, which are in tandem with [those of] the Israeli occupation."

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