For those who got mesmerized by Obama’s speaking skills or his quite charming character, this is a reminder of what he pledged in march, last year in front of the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC):
[…] At the same time, we must preserve our total commitment to our unique defence relationship with Israel by fully funding military assistance and continuing work on the Arrow and related missile defence programs. This would help Israel maintain its military edge and deter and repel attacks from as far as Tehran and as close as Gaza. And when Israel is attacked, we must stand up for Israel’s legitimate right to defend itself. Last summer, Hezbollah attacked Israel. By using Lebanon as an outpost for terrorism, and innocent people as shields, Hezbollah has also engulfed that entire nation in violence and conflict, and threatened the fledgling movement for democracy there […]
P.S.: on the same course, I fully recommend this truthful article on the Israeli psyche at times of aggressive and criminal wars, by the indefatigable peace activist Uri Avnery.
(Picture Courtesy of Joe Crimmings)
In fairness, no one can be elected president unless he says things like that. Like it or not, support for Israel is one of the things that divides “serious” candidates from freaks and losers in the eyes of the U.S. political establishment. Howard Dean called for a more evenhanded approach in 2004 and it helped to sink his campaign. Obama is clearly smart enough to know he has to say these things. The question is whether he thinks them, too.
Hillary’s support for Israel is even stronger than Obama’s. And we know what the Bush-McCain position is: we saw its effects in Gaza this week. So who, Clinton or Obama, would be more likely to pursue an independent line with Israel? Clinton might have more confidence to take risks because she knows her support from the Jewish community is solid. Or Obama might show more imagination and be less bound by old habits of thinking. If he is elected, it will be after overcoming doubts sown by the Christian-Zionist right about his “pro-Muslim sympathies.” This very fact may make him feel he owes less to the Israel lobby.
Here’s an article that is cautiously optimistic about Obama, from our point of view.
Thanks fellow for your clairvoyant analysis there. I wholeheartedly hope that he’s honest and independent enough to get rid of the enormous, anti-democratic and detrimental influence of the pro-Israel lobby. I secretly admire the persona and hope he’ll succeed if only because he represents the lesser dubious of all presidentiables. Thanks for the link… I’m going to devour this right now!
So Obama is tastier than the others? (I know you said devour the article, not Obama, but…) I wouldn’t want to dine on McCain… hard to chew, hard to swallow. And Hillary might be too salty. But Obama is smooth like good whisky.
My pendulum swings between distaste for everything political — a dirty game my friend calls it — and cautious optimism as I say above. Still, trusting the honor of politicians is a fool’s game.
Sure! Obama is the one who wins if Americans had to cast their votes based on who’s the most appealing or attractive of all the candidates.
Thank you indeed for the very interesting article. I liked the parallel made in the opening of the piece with the young JFK, testing the waters before being rebuffed and intimidated by that rich and influential Jewish would-be sponsor. There is certainly a taboo that has been broken in the US: Now everybody can indeed talk about the Israel lobby without necessarily being ostracized or labelled anti-Semitic; and that’s a major step forward. Another breakthrough I think is the use of the internet to raise funds as an alternative way to bypass the traditional fundraising industry, plagued by lobbyists of all sorts, and Obama has proved this method to be efficient. I agree that within the current political system, “the dirty game” as you call it, and given the pervasive influence of the lobby, no candidate could ever reasonably envisage gaining the White House, without giving the pro-Israel camp the guaranties they want. The problem is that these mafia-like organizations and the people who work for them are unscrupulous, sadistic and cruel. They are going to give Obama an offer he can’t refuse: either you side subserviently with Israel’s interests, as dictated by agents of the lobby now in every level of the state apparatus and the mass media, or we’ll drag your reputation in the mud and we’ll destroy your political career forever. Character assassination!
I raised the issue caused by that Obama AIPAC speech in a phone-in program, hosted by the British MP, George Galloway, a year ago, and his response then was surprisingly similar to yours, eatbees. He said that Obama’s body-language at that meeting didn’t enchant many of the people present and he invited me then, to read articles like the one you suggested. I really hope that my scepticism about Obama will prove to be wrong and that your enthusiasm for the man and the character will prove to be right. Not only for justice in Palestine, but also for the peace in the world.
But putting all that aside, the real change that can come to America will be brought by Americans like you, who are aware of what their govt is doing in their name and the disastrous impact that that has on world’s peace and perception of America.