NORMAN, OK – Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and his Palestinian counterpart Mahmoud Abbas visited Oklahoma University’s McClendon Center for Intercollegiate Athletics on Monday in an effort to bridge the gap between the Sooner Nation and Rhett Bomar, a former Oklahoma quarterback whose struggle for financial independence has put him at odds with his geographical neighbor.
An AP file photo of Bomar, current leader of Bomar.
CNN chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour described the gathering’s mood as “hopeful”, noting that some progress had been made in the summit’s first electrifying day.
“It’s been more like a concert than a political meeting,” Amanpour said via satellite phone.
U2 lead singer and political activist Bono opened up the summit with an Abraham Lincoln quote from the 16th President’s first Inaugural Address:
We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.
Former President Jimmy Carter followed up the Irish rock star by reading passages from the Book of Ecclesiastes, after which boxing great Muhammad Ali released two dozen doves into the air.
“This summit has begun earnestly, with honesty, and I have the sense that real things are happening here,” said Amanpour.
“The peace process has seemed so distant at times, the barriers insuperable, the odds too impossible to allow for any hope. But the fog seems to have lifted. This has felt special from the minute [film director] Steven Spielberg screened his montage of the Oklahoma of yesteryear to the last second of the Boston Philharmonic’s rendition of Beethoven’s Mass in C Major, Op. 86. It feels as if we are walking in history’s footsteps.”
“And Rhett looked like he was enjoying the complimentary buffalo wings,” she added.