It was sad that President Obama felt it necessary to point out that the Holocaust actually happened and was evil, that Israel should be accepted as a legitimate state and that nuclear weapons should not proliferate. It was sad because many in his audience reject these notions; it seems unlikely that more than a very few of those who previously rejected these notions changed their views as a result of the Cairo speech.
President Obama went on at some length to promote his "two state solution" for Israel and her rather quarrelsome neighbors as the keystone for peace in the region. He did not mention the previous failures of similar solutions.
It seems to me that Israel is considered by many of her neighbors to be a thorn in their sides, principally because she approaches democracy and the freedoms which are thought to accompany democracy to a far greater extent than does any other collection of people in the region; because she has thereby turned her previously barren lands into fertile and prosperous ones; and because she has thereby become a leader in various areas of military and commercial technology. If this is so, then the "two state" solution embraced by President Obama in his Cairo speech and elsewhere as the policy of the United States will not produce a scintilla of change — at least not for the better. If Israel survives the two state solution, she will presumably continue to have these same pesky attributes, she will continue to be an unwelcome example to her neighbors, her neighbors will continue to lob missiles and suicide bombers at her, and she will have no choice but to try to make them stop. Should the interesting but hardly novel two state experiment fail, as seems quite likely to me, it will not be exclusively at the expense of the United States; it will be at the expense of another sovereign state, Israel, as well. It will also be at the expense of those "universal principles" which President Obama praised in Cairo and elsewhere.
Perhaps the gushing reactions of President Obama's supporters to his Cairo speech, noted in paragraph one above, accurately reflect President Obama's own views. If so, his narcissism knows no bounds. In any event, he clearly wants to be remembered as the Great Peace Maker. That is a worthy ambition; it would be even more worthy if his words and deeds had a realistic chance of success in actually bringing forth the blessings of peace. However, I fear that they are little more likely of success than was the spectacular willingness of Neville Chamberlain to turn Czechoslovakia and other countries (but not, of course, England herself) over to the Nazis in 1938.
Chamberlain believed passionately in peace for many reasons . . . thinking it his job as Britain's leader to maintain stability in Europe; like many people in Britain and elsewhere, he thought that the best way to deal with Germany's belligerence was to treat it with kindness and meet its demands. He also believed that the leaders of people are essentially rational beings, and that Hitler must necessarily be rational as well. Most historians believe that Chamberlain, in holding to these views, pursued the policy of appeasement far longer than was justifiable . . . (emphasis added)
I very much wish that President Obama did indeed have at least a chance, for the first time in recorded human history, of producing a lasting "peace in our time." However pure may be his motives, as things now stand, I consider this very unlikely.