Blacks and the Arab-Israeli Conflict

Over time, blacks have become more sympathetic to Palestinians, but they won't express their views loudly -- despite President Obama's plunge into the Middle East conflict.

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Attempts to give peace a chance have been risky. More than 30 years ago, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin for their efforts to bring peace to the Middle East under the guidance of President Jimmy Carter.

In his acceptance speech, Sadat said, "Let us put an end to wars, let us reshape life on the solid basis of equity and truth. And it is this call -- which reflected the will of the Egyptian people, of the great majority of the Arab and Israeli peoples, and indeed of millions of men, women and children around the world -- that you are today honoring. And these hundreds of millions will judge to what extent every responsible leader in the Middle East has responded to the hopes of mankind." Sadat was assassinated in 1981 by Muslim fundamentalists. The PLO did not mourn his death.

As an acquaintance told me, even when President Obama is right, he'll be seen by many folks as wrong. That's why I say this is a complicated story. But we should support the president's courage and determination to tackle one of the most sensitive topics on his agenda.

E.R. Shipp is a frequent contributor to The Root.

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