Obama, Israel, and Palestine

Barack Obama has finally made his long-awaited pilgrimage to Israel, a rite of passage that no aspiring American politician, let alone a presidential candidate, can afford to miss or ignore. There (or rather here), Obama uttered all the politically-correct words that Israeli leaders and especially Israel-firsters back home would want to hear. He called the creation of Israel in Palestine in 1948 a “miracle,” utterly ignoring the near obliteration of Palestine and expulsion to the four corners of the world of the vast bulk of its indigenous Christian and Muslim inhabitants. The presidential hopeful told Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that “I have come to communicate to you my fervent support for Israel.”

In Sderot, in southern Israel, Obama was quoted as saying the following: “If somebody was sending rockets into my house where my two daughters sleep at night, I would do everything in my power to stop that, and would expect Israelis to do the same thing.” Of course, he mentioned absolutely nothing about the Israeli campaign of murder and terror against Gaza, particularly the year-long harsh blockade of the coastal enclave’s estimated 1.5 million inhabitants, which has killed and maimed thousands of innocent men, women and children whose only “crime” is that they had dared elect a government the Bush administration and Israel didn’t like.

Predictably, Obama lashed out at Iran, saying that “a situation in which Iran was capable of making nuclear weapons would be “game-changing” and would have repercussions across the world. Again, he utterly and totally ignored Israel’s estimated 300 nuclear warheads, as if even alluding to this well-known fact was an earth-shaking taboo. Obama is not ignorant of the facts in the Middle East. He is well-aware of the evil nature of the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the equally criminal treatment meted out to the Palestinian people. He also knows well that true and just peace with the Palestinians is the last item on Israel’s agenda as evidenced from the unmitigated Jewish settlement expansion in the West Bank, especially in occupied Arab East Jerusalem. Nonetheless, Obama is also meticulously conscious of the whoring theatre of American politics where political correctness always exceeds and overrides moral rightness. He knows that the nearly complete Jewish domination of the “media discourse” in America leaves him with only two choices: Either he be conscientious, in which case he would most probably lose; or play the political prostitution game quite skillfully, and have a fair chance of winning. Obama has obviously opted to adopt the later choice.

It is of course true that the sole reason behind Obama’s visit to Israel, a country that got the US involved in two wars in the Middle East and is now hell-bent trying to get the Bush Administration to wage a third war, this time on Iran, has more to do with his efforts to impress American Jewish voters, especially American Zionist leaders, than with showing solidarity with “Sderot” or underscoring his commitment to peace in the Middle East. But this is only partially true. There are far more Hispanic voters in the US than Jewish voters, but Obama has made no pilgrimage to Mexico as he has to Israel. Similarly, there are probably at least as many American Muslim voters as there are Jewish voters, who unlike the Jews are expected to overwhelmingly vote for Obama, given their conspicuously nightmarish experience with the Bush administration, especially its witch-hunting campaign against American Muslims.

Yet we have seen Obama display a virtually phobic reaction toward everything and anything Islamic, from refusing to be photographed with two hejab-wearing supporters recently to him completely disavowing his childhood Islamic heritage as if the religion of Islam, which gave the world so much in terms of civilization and culture, were something to be ashamed of. This probably explains why Obama has carefully avoided visiting the Haram al Sharif esplanade in East Jerusalem, one of the world’s most splendid sites, lest he be caught inadvertently showing signs of respect to the holy place or shaking hands with a Muslim scholar. Then his political opponents back home would rather enthusiastically seize “the golden opportunity” of having finally found the ultimate “proof” that Obama is in fact a “crypto-follower of Osama bin Laden.” After all, Obama’s last name and Osama’s first have 80% similarity!!!

Well, anything could work in a country that can be so easily mesmerized by spin doctors and misled to the abyss by organized mendacity. Yes, it is the spin doctors, the professional liars, that Obama is worried about, I would say much more than he is about Jewish voters. This is why he probably doesn’t want to give them any chances, even at the expense of whatever moral credentials he might have. I know that the hardcore Jewish leadership in America doesn’t really like or trust Obama, mainly because in the tone of his voice they detect a propensity to refuse total submission to Jewish power. This is the reason that their support of the black candidate is shrouded with more than a thin façade of hypocrisy and disingenuousness.

But why would the “omnipotent lobby” not unmask its doubts and lack of certitude about Obama and switch support to Senator McCain, who is with Israel, heart and soul? Well, because they are worried that in case Obama won the race, they lobby would probably fall out of favor with the next master of the White House. And that would be very bad for Israel. Hence, their uttered slogan is “we must not allow this Negro to outsmart or outmaneuver us.”

Surely, American Zionism and its powerful lobby, which effectively controls American politics and policies, is fond of Obama’s tongue. But they are not so sure about Obama’s mind and heart. So, far Obama has done a remarkable job hiding whatever discrepancy there might be between his tongue and his conscience. This is what irks Israel’s firsters most.

Well, let us hope that Obama will be the next President of the United States. At least if he can’t stand up to Israel , whose former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was rumored to have said “We, the Jews, control America and the Americans know it,” he, at the very least, would be the lesser of the two evils, since a McCain’s presidency would mean another four years of George W. Bush’s policies.

Khalid Amayreh is a journalist living in Palestine. Read other articles by Khaled, or visit Khaled's website.

6 comments on this article so far ...

Comments RSS feed

  1. Martha said on July 24th, 2008 at 8:08am #

    Let us hope Khalid Amayreh grasps a clue. For reasons outlined by Amayreh, Obama is not worthy of a vote. It takes a lot of gall to list all these outrages and then conclude “let us hope that Obama will be the next President of the United States”. This is truly a pathetic article.

  2. Michael Dawson said on July 24th, 2008 at 10:30am #

    “the nearly complete Jewish domination of the ‘media discourse’ in America”

    I understand why Palestinians lapse into this kind of talk, but that still doesn’t make it right, either factually or ethically.

    The US is dominated by corporate capitalists, not Jews. The media system is corporate capitalist, not Jewish.

    And, as a reminder, there is an extremely important difference between “Jewish” and “Zionist.” Not all Jews are Zionists. Neither Jewishness nor Zionism are valid biological categories.

    Israel operates at the pleasure of the United States. Its insane theocratic criminality genrates the primary excuses for US threats and interventions in the region. Without the Israeli drama, these threats and interventions would otherwise be perceived by ordinary Americans as the evil oil-seeking international crimes they are, rather than as some noble attempt to defend the “miracle” of white people/”Judeo-Christianity.”

    Two wrongs don’t make a right…

  3. hp said on July 26th, 2008 at 8:33am #

    Neither do three.

  4. Giorgio said on July 26th, 2008 at 5:02pm #

    According to Alex Cockburn in an article entitled “How Bush is Wiping out McCain” the latter’s hopes of become the next president are dim, as
    Cockburn states:

    “Two mean-spirited men by nature, Bush and McCain have never liked each other much and this natural animosity was fanned by the vicious nomination fights of 2000, when Bush routed McCain with salvoes of slurs, including one about a black “love child” supposedly disfiguring the senator’s escutcheon.

    Both are now in poor political shape, with contradictory strategies for rehabbing their fortunes.

    The president is saddled with an approval rating bumping along in the 20s. Each day he is served another platter of contemptuous stories about “the worst presidency of modern times”, the lack of any enduring “legacy”, the approaching Democratic landslide that will put the Republicans in the wilderness for at least two terms.”

    Well, that may be so, unless the Republicans do a U-turn in the next few months and go all out in support of RON PAUL, and nominate him their presidential candidate instead of McCain. Then Obama will have a tough nut to crack and it won’t be easy street for him up to November!

  5. Deadbeat said on August 6th, 2008 at 8:43am #


    You’ve provided the most lucid analysis of the state of the elections. You’re right it would be more practical for the Republicans to place Ron Paul as their nominee and that would really provide a contrast to Obama on foreign policy.

  6. Sonia said on August 10th, 2008 at 7:57pm #

    LOVVEEEEDDDDDD ITTTTTT….i totally get what ur saying…even though i hate obama’s guts i’d rather have him than mcCain. “the lesser of two evils” is right.
    anywaz keep up the good work…i loved your article. not sure if your a journalist but if your not than you’d better get on it. you’d make a great one.
    good luck! =)