24 July 2008

Depressing…

Posted in Comment tagged , , , at 10:05 am by lilithhope

 

Ok, maybe i was wrong, when i showed optimism for Obama and claimed that his pandering to the Zionists was only a means to an end, which would change drastically if he managed to get into the White House.

Yeah, the more i read in today’s press about Obama’s failure to condemn any aspect of the continuing Israeli settlements and human rights abuses, the more pessimistic i am about the future of Palestine.

But surely not as disappointed as, say, the likes of Ali Abunimah (see his most recent article here) or any of the other Palestinian-American intellectuals who were courted by Obama in Chicago in the early 1990’s in order for them to support his ascendency to the Senate.

I wonder what the spirit of Edward Said is thinking… ‘another one bites the Galilee dust’.

One can only hope that Said will use his post-mortem powers to perhaps enter Obama’s dreams and talk some sense into him. Please Ed, come back to us now that you are needed so!

6 June 2008

Do not despair: Obama+AIPAC is a mere realpolitik affair

Posted in Comment tagged , , at 1:13 pm by lilithhope

“So there we were, thinking that the country had come of age at last, finally putting truth in the rumours about liberty and equality first spread by a group of slave-owners some ten-score and thirty years ago. Obama’s securing of the nomination alone underscores how much the country has changed in the 20 years I have been here.

However, I am glad that I kept some reservations about the idea of Obama taking us to the New Jerusalem. Not least since he was busy giving away the old one to those who stole it!

 Obama’s pandering to the Zionist dream in yesterday’s AIPAC conference seems to surprise many. But, despite thinking that he is the best canididate to win the US presidency, the contents of his speech, particularly his reference to Jerusalem as the future capital of Israel, neither surprise me nor provoke deep doubts as to his long-time committment to the Palestinian cause.

Considering that the speech yesterday was his first foreign policy event since his winning the democratic nomination on Tuesday, and that now his main opponent is John McCain, it should not come as a surprise that his advisors are pushing him to play into the hands of the most powerful lobby in American politics. The Obama contingent know full well that if he has even the remotest chance of winning the election, he needs the support and dosh of AIPAC.

Moreover, because it is relatively well known that in the past, his sympathies were not with the Israelis but with those they continue to occupy and oppress, Obama’s aides also know that his pro-Israeli rhetoric needs to go into overdrive. They realize that, in order to masque his past pro-Palestinianism with a much-needed Pro-Israelism, he needs to pull out all the stops in his praise and promises, and behave in the most compliant, obsequious, ass-licking way. He needs to promise Jerusalem, and gazillions of unconditional money, and of course lots and lots of weaponry, and maybe big chunks of Lebanon, Syria and Iraq so that the Zionist dream of a state stretched to the Euphrates can be finally achieved. While he’s at it, he should probably also promise the keys to paradise. (I’d love to see the media furor over that one!)

Anyways, my point is that politicians, by virtue of their profession, are expected to make monumental empty promises. And that, I think, is how we should consider Obama’s AIPAC speech: a load of hot air generated in the inevitable game of realpolitik that this stage of political competition requires.

After all, how many times has an American president made pro-Palestinian comments or promises that they have never followed up on? It’s kind of expected that high-profile politicians make empty promises about Palestine and contradict them in actions; but maybe we have to think that finally, the tables have turned, and it will be promises made to Israel that will not be followed through.

Personally, I would rather have to put up with 6 months of Obama paying exaggerated lip service to the Zionists in order for him to win the presidency and then implement pragmatic, tangible changes in US Israel-Palestine policy than jump on the band wagon and condemn him for his hypocrisy and thereby add to anti-Obama cannon-fodder to be used by the McCain camp, who, if they got into office in November, are less likely to effect the changes needed in order to remedy the problem of Palestine.

In any case, I believe that any person is better judged by his actions than by his words. I hope that, after Obama has successfully put his mouth where the money is, we’ll have an opportunity to see whether or not he puts his power where his heart is.