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This Happened

This Happened — June 26: JFK "I'm A Berliner" Speech

President John F. Kennedy delivered his famous "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech on this day in 1963.

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Where did President Kennedy deliver his speech?

President Kennedy gave his "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech in West Berlin, at the Rathaus Schöneberg (Schöneberg City Hall) in front of a crowd of thousands.

What was the purpose of President Kennedy's speech in Berlin?

The purpose of President Kennedy's speech was to express solidarity and support for the people of West Berlin, who were living in the shadow of the Berlin Wall and facing the threat of communism during the Cold War. The speech aimed to reinforce the United States' commitment to the defense of democratic values and the preservation of freedom.

Why did President Kennedy say "Ich bin in Berliner"?

In his speech, President Kennedy used the phrase "Ich bin ein Berliner," which translates to "I am a Berliner" in English, as a powerful symbol of unity and support. By stating his solidarity with the people of Berlin, he sought to emphasize that the United States stood with them in their struggle against the division imposed by the Berlin Wall.

How did the "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech affect the Cold War?

President Kennedy's speech played a role in strengthening the resolve of the Western powers and inspiring the people of West Berlin. It symbolized the United States' determination to support and defend democracy, even in the face of communist aggression. The speech became a lasting symbol of hope and resistance during the Cold War era.

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FOCUS: Israel-Palestine War

Israel's Choice Right Now: Halt "Collective Punishment" Or Lose U.S. Support

As fighting has resumed and intensified in the southern area of the Palestinian territory, more and more criticism builds from around the world. How much longer can Israel fight this war for if it loses the support of even its most steadfast allies?

Photograph of Palestinians carry an injured man following the Israeli bombing on Khan Yunis. They are surrounded by people and photographers.

December 1, 2023, Khan Yunis, Gaza: Palestinians carry an injured man following the Israeli bombing on Khan Yunis, in southern Gaza

Saher Alghorra/ZUMA
Pierre Haski


PARIS — Can Israel wage its war in Gaza without caring about the opinion of its allies?

Since fighting resumed in the Palestinian territory on Friday, serious disagreements have emerged with the United States and, to a lesser extent, with France. It is the disagreements with the U.S. that carry significant consequences: Washington plays a vital role in this conflict by supplying weapons and deploying a considerable military apparatus to deter the regional expansion of the confrontation.

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This weekend, both Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Vice President Kamala Harris expressed serious reservations about how Israel is conducting its operations. The issue at hand is the massive aerial strikes on densely populated areas, resulting in a considerable number of civilian casualties.

These criticisms came after Secretary of State Antony Blinken was in Israel last week on the eve of the resumption of hostilities, urging Benjamin Netanyahu to change to a strategy that better protects civilians. Israel chose not to heed this advice, resulting in the current diplomatic tensions.

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