"I speak to you today during a time that is holy and filled with meaning for believers around the world," President Obama said in his weekly address released this morning. "Earlier this week, Jewish people gathered with family and friends to recite the stories of their ancestors’ struggle and ultimate liberation. Tomorrow, Christians of all denominations will come together to rejoice and remember the resurrection of Jesus Christ."
Noting that both holidays are "moments of reflection and renewal" providing "occasions to think more deeply about the obligations we have to ourselves and the obligations we have to one another, no matter who we are, where we come from, or what faith we practice," the president said "we are all bound up, as Martin Luther King once said, in ‘a single garment of destiny.’"
Listing global challenges such as the economic crisis, violent extremism, an unsustainable dependence on foreign oil, the "proliferation of the world’s most dangerous weapons, the persistence of deadly disease, and the recurrence of age-old conflicts," President Obama asserted that the "United States must lead the way."
"But," he said, "our best chance to solve these unprecedented problems comes from acting in concert with other nations," including the G-20 economic summit where nations committed to "steps to stimulate growth, restore the flow of credit, open markets, and dramatically reform our financial regulatory system" (if not committing to everything President Obama wanted them to); and the NATO summit where allies got "behind our strategy in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and contributed important resources to support our effort there," (if not contributing ground troops).
The president also discussed his nuclear nonproliferation speech in Prague and "building a new foundation of mutual trust" in Turkey.
"As we celebrate Passover, Easter and this time of renewal, let’s find strength in our shared resolve and purpose in our common aspirations," he said. "And if we can do that, then not only will we fulfill the sacred meaning of these holy days, but we will fulfill the promise of our country as a leader around the world."
See above links for more substance on the issues President Obama raised. Also: his non-mention of the Armenian genocide; a possible breakthrough on US-Russian relations; news of North Korea’s missile launch (learned not from a "3 am phone call," after all); questions about the reality of NATO’s Article V and Afghanistan’s new woman-oppressing sharia law; and behind-the-scenes presidential diplomacy at NATO and the G-20.
Happy Easter, Hag Sameach, and a wonderful spring to all of you.