OUTREACH

Did Obama's Speech Work?

America can find "common ground" with the Islamic world, President Obama told an audience in Cairo, Egypt Thursday. The much-anticipated speech was carried with live translations in every major language around the world. Obama used the opportunity to emphasize the role of Islam in America. "I consider it part of my responsibility as president of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam where ever they appear," Obama said, adding that in turn "America is not a crude stereotype of a self interested empire" either. Obama called on the Muslim world to join the West in confronting "violent extremism in all of its forms" and noted that the majority of those killed by Islamic terror have been Muslims themselves. Regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Obama decried anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial and defended America's relationship with Israel as "unbreakable." He added that the Palestinian suffering is "intolerable" and called for a two-state solution. Obama drew applause by saying that the U.S. solidly opposed Israeli settlements in the West Bank, an issue that has caused tension between America and Israel in recent days. He also brought up Iran's nuclear ambitions, emphasizing America's willingness to negotiate in good faith and warning of a nuclear arms race in the region.