The First Visit of Obama the Second to Israel

The election of Barack Obama to his first term as president symbolized a significant social revolution in the United States and around the world. This election served as a challenge to the wealthy classes who had traditionally dominated government, whose status was based on generations of family wealth and position, allowing them to dominate both government and economy.

The election of President Barack Obama altered this existing situation to create a new reality. American society has changed beyond recognition. Worldviews of leadership across the political spectrum have sharpened and altered. Obama’s election was a message of historical importance that indicated a new system of values. Obama the First sent shockwaves across his country and altered the global discourse, bringing about a demand for change, for better or worse, around the world.

Obama the First served as a model for change, hope and faith that the previous system will no longer continue, and that new rules to the game of politics had been created. Obama the First’s historic victory taught the entire world that change is indeed possible. However, we have since learned that change is not always the best solution, just or beneficial, and without the proper perspective, it is difficult to comprehend the deep ramifications of such change. The world at the time of Obama’s first election victory, obviously, no longer exists, as various events following his election have changed the face of history.

However, Obama the Second is a different story altogether. Revolutions do not repeat themselves imeediately. After each revolution, a process of “lessons learned” takes place and various conclusions are drawn.  The most recent elections were not elections for Obama’s revolution but for Obama’s leadership. The question before the voters was not whether society required a social revolution, but whether, in the new reality that had been created, Obama was the appropriate leader.

Barack Obama the Second was elected to lead within a new social order. Indeed, Barack Obama has been elected for the second time, not as a revolutionary who has come to change the old order, but as leader of the free world who has gained the valuable experience of four years, allowing him to confront the changing world, defend the free world, and attempt to correct errors of the past through a type of leadership that will be defined by his skills and talents.

Obama the Second came to office as a leader, while Obama the First arrived as a strategist. Obama the Second comes to look after the free word, while Obama the First wanted to set a new order by changing the old system.

Previous visits to our region belonged to Obama the student, while the current visit brings Obama, the mature, experienced leader, who has the desire and ability to leave his mark.

Mr. President, you are not only the leader of the United States, but also of the entire free world. Each and every one of us views you not only as the president of a friendly country but, in a sense, as our president, our leader, even if we could not participate in your election.  We belong to a public that faithfully entrusts you to lead the free world, and we wish you the best of success.

Welcome Mr. President.

About the Author
Dr David Altman is senior vice-president at the Netanya Academic College and vice-chair of the college's Strategic Dialogue Center