Rather, they are motivated by a “twisted, distorted ideology.” Is this progress in the president’s way of thinking? Anyone who closely examines al-Qaeda’s words (see The Al Qaeda Reader) will know that their angst far transcends the temporal realities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “Twisted, distorted ideology” or not, it just may be that Obama is not necessarily listening to his advisers who insist that, if only he were to solve the Arab-Israeli conflict, global jihad would go the way of the dodo.
“Obama: Al Qaeda not motivated by Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” by Eric Fingerhut for JTA, April 3:
WASHINGTON (JTA) — President Obama said Al Qaeda terrorism is not motivated by U.S. policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“Al Qaeda is still bent on carrying out terrorist activity,” Obama said Friday at a town hall meeting in Strasbourg, France, during a European tour.
“It is — don’t fool yourselves — because some people say, well, you know, if we changed our policies with respect to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, or if we were more respectful towards the Muslim world, suddenly these organizations would stop threatening us. That’s just not the case.”
Obama added, “It is true that we have to change our behavior in showing the Muslim world greater respect, and changing our language and changing our tone. It is true that we have to work very hard for Israeli-Palestinian peace. But what is also true is that these organizations are willing to kill innocent people because of a twisted, distorted ideology. And we, as democracies and as people who value human life, can’t allow those organizations to operate.”
Earlier in his speech, Obama said that he was committed to working toward a Middle East peace and engaging with Iran.
“America will sustain our effort to forge and secure a lasting peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians,” he said, and “I’ve sent a clear message to the leaders and peoples of Iran that while we have real differences, we also have mutual interests, and we seek new engagement based on mutual respect.