The Onion is all over Obama's trip to Israel. Headlines:'This is a Pointless Trip,' Obama Says While Shaking Hands with Netanyahu.Obama Sarcastically Asks How Israel Afforded Such a Great Missile Defense System.Of course, the Onion is not always accurate.But wait! The New York Times has this report about that great missile defense system: "Unstated amid the good will, though, was an intensifying debate over whether Iron Domes feats of warhead destruction were more illusory than real."More seriously: Obama had this point to make speaking in Jerusalem to his young Israeli audience: "First, peace is necessary. Indeed, it is the only path to true security. You can be the generation that permanently secures the Zionist dream, or you can face a growing challenge to its future. Given the demographics west of the Jordan River, the only way for Israel to endure and thrive as a Jewish and democratic state is through the realization of an independent and viable Palestine. Given the frustration in the international community, Israel must reverse an undertow of isolation. And given the march of technology, the only way to truly protect the Israeli people is through the absence of war because no wall is high enough, and no Iron Dome is strong enough, to stop every enemy from inflicting harm."Text of Obama's speech in Jerusalem.
Margaret O'Brien Steinfels, a former editor of Commonweal, writes frequently in these pages.