President Barack Obama holder tale på Kairo-universitet torsdag kl.12.10. Men han snakket med Thomas L. Friedman tirsdag og referatet fra samtalen angir trolig sånn noenlunde hva han kommer til å si.

Leder fra Arab American Institute, James Zogby, sa til CNN at han må komme med noe konkret, vise praktisk handling. Men det kommer Obama neppe til å gjøre. Han vil i stedet si ting rett ut som alle kjenner fra kammerset, og si: USA står klar til å bidra, men dere må ta det første skritt og vise at dere vil.

A key part of his message, he said, will be: «Stop saying one thing behind closed doors and saying something else publicly.» He then explained: «There are a lot of Arab countries more concerned about Iran developing a nuclear weapon than the ‘threat’ from Israel, but won’t admit it.» There are a lot of Israelis, «who recognize that their current path is unsustainable, and they need to make some tough choices on settlements to achieve a two-state solution — that is in their long-term interest — but not enough folks are willing to recognize that publicly.»

There are a lot of Palestinians who «recognize that the constant incitement and negative rhetoric with respect to Israel» has not delivered a single «benefit to their people and had they taken a more constructive approach and sought the moral high ground» they would be much better off today — but they won’t say it aloud.

«There are a lot of Arab states that have not been particularly helpful to the Palestinian cause beyond a bunch of demagoguery,» and when it comes to «ponying up» money to actually help the Palestinian people, they are «not forthcoming.»

When it comes to dealing with the Middle East, the president noted, «there is a Kabuki dance going on constantly. That is what I would like to see broken down. I am going to be holding up a mirror and saying: ‘Here is the situation, and the U.S. is prepared to work with all of you to deal with these problems. But we can’t impose a solution. You are all going to have to make some tough decisions.’ Leaders have to lead, and, hopefully, they will get supported by their people.»

Obama on Obama