Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Obama and Palestine
How the mighty are fallen. After all the positivity and delight following Obama’s election and the hope of a more enlightened age in the United States there has been a gradual diminution of hope. Guantanamo? Promised to close - still open. Wars? Thousands of innocent civilians are killed every year in Afghanistan and Pakistan. ‘Hearts and minds’ are blown away by unmanned drone attacks. And he is supposed to be intelligent. The running sore that is the Israeli occupation of the West Bank which is at the root of most Middle East tension continues to be untackled. Israel has many powerful friends in the US. As Robert Fisk explains in the Independent.  
“So locked into Israel has US foreign policy become, so fearful of Israel have almost all its Congressmen and Congresswomen become – to the extent of loving Israel more than America – that America will this week stand out not as the nation that produced Woodrow Wilson and his 14 principles of self-determination, not as the country which fought Nazism and Fascism and Japanese militarism, not as the beacon of freedom which, we are told, its Founding Fathers represented – but as a curmudgeonly, selfish, frightened state whose President, after promising a new affection for the Muslim world, is forced to support an occupying power against a people who only ask for statehood.”
“Should we say "poor old Obama", as I have done in the past? I don't think so. Big on rhetoric, vain, handing out false love in Istanbul and Cairo within months of his election, he will this week prove that his re-election is more important than the future of the Middle East, that his personal ambition to stay in power must take first place over the sufferings of an occupied people. In this context alone, it is bizarre that a man of such supposed high principle should show himself so cowardly. In the new Middle East, in which Arabs are claiming the very same rights and freedoms that Israel and America say they champion, this is a profound tragedy.”
It is time for Obama to hand his peace prize back.

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