Barack Obama's speech in front of a sympathetic young left-wing audience in Israel demanding that Israel's leaders take risks for peace with the Palestinians, and to end the Israeli "occupation," received gushing reviews for its "historic" nature from New York Times journalists. Jerusalem Bureau Chief Jodi Rudoren joined host Marcus Mabry and deputy foreign editor Michael Slackman on Thursday's Timescast. Joining by phone from Jerusalem, Rudoren could hardly contain her excitement.
Rudoren: "Well, this was an audience of people who were predisposed to like the speech and like Obama, and they wanted to come, and it was a largely left-wing audience, and they [ate?] the speech up. They loved it. He spoke Hebrew, he made jokes, he handled a heckler well. And he just played the strings of, sort of, the Israeli public very effectively, talking about their ancient roots in land, and then he delivered what was a very tough message, which he said very strongly, Israel cannot remain a Jewish and democratic state if it continues the occupation of the Palestinian territory...."