The Empathy Rule

Barack Obama shrewdly tapped into ‘Passover empathy’ in his pro-peace speech in Israel. Will it be enough to overcome the trepidation that ‘Purim Jews’ feel?


It was in the “peace is possible” segment of the speech, an assertion he knew would be greeted skeptically by Israelis and Palestinians, in which Obama implored the audience to build trust in one another and recognize their shared human strivings. “That is where peace begins — not just in the plans of leaders, but in the hearts of people; not just in a carefully designed process, but in the daily connections, that sense of empathy, that takes place among those who live together in this land.” The words in italics weren’t in the president’s prepared remarks destributed by the White House.