Hoe zal president Obama’s Midden-Oosten beleid zijn? De keuze van een religieuze zionist met ook een Israelisch paspoort als chef-staf, doet Palestijnen/Arabieren huiveren. Voeg daarbij een zelf-verklaarde politieke zionist als vice-president, en de voorziene keus van Israel-lobbyist Dennis Ross als belangrijkste onderhandelaar, dan valt deze huiver goed te begrijpen.
Anderzijds ondersteunde Rahm Emanuel, als adviseur van president Clinton, loyaal diens streven naar een rechtmatige en rechtvaardige oplossing van ‘het’ Midden-Oosten conflict.
Zal het pacificeren van de zionistische (Pro-Groot)Israel lobby tijdens de verkiezingsrace een – voor zijn overwinning noodzakelijke – taktiek van Obama blijken te zijn geweest waarvan hij nu gaat afwijken? Ik hoop van wel maar vrees van niet. Bovendien moet men zich afvragen of de tijd voor een rechtvaardige twee-staten oplossing niet inmiddels is verlopen.
"Towards a non-racist and nonsectarian state in all of Israel/Palestine with equal rights for all who live there."
In the first major appointment of his administration, President-elect Barack Obama has named as his chief of staff Congressman Rahm Emanuel, an Israeli citizen and Israeli army veteran whose father, according to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, was a member of Menachem Begin’s Irgun forces during the Nakba and named his son after "a Lehi combatant who was killed" — i.e., a member of Yitzhak Shamir’s terrorist Stern Gang, responsible for, in addition to other atrocities against Palestinians, the more famous bombing of the King David Hotel and assassination of the UN peace envoy Count Folke Bernadotte.
In rapid response to this news, the editorial in the next day’s Arab News (Jeddah) was entitled "Don’t pin much hope on Obama — Emanuel is his chief of staff and that sends a message". This editorial referred to the Irgun as a "terror organization" (a judgment call) and concluded: "Far from challenging Israel, the new team may turn out to be as pro-Israel as the one it is replacing."
That was always likely. Obama repeatedly pledged unconditional allegiance to Israel during his campaign, most memorably in an address to the AIPAC national convention which Israeli peace activist Uri Avnery characterized as "a speech that broke all records for obsequiousness and fawning", and America’s electing a black president has always been more easily imagined than any American president’s declaring his country’s independence from Israeli domination.
Still, one of the greatest advantages for the United States in electing Barack Hussein Obama was the prospect that the world’s billion-plus Muslims, who now view the United States with almost universal loathing and hatred, would be dazzled by the new president’s eloquence, life story, skin color and middle name, would think again with open minds and would give America a chance to redeem itself in their eyes and hearts — not incidently, drastically shortening the long lines of aspiring jihadis eager to sacrifice their lives while striking a blow against the evil empire.
The profound loathing and hatred of the Muslim world toward the United States, which has always had its roots for America’s unconditional support for the injustices inflicted and still being inflicted on the Palestinians, can fairly be considered the core of the primary foreign policy and "national security" problems confronting the United States in recent years. Why would Obama, a man of unquested brilliance, have chosen to send such a contemptuous message to the Muslim world with his first major appointment? Why would he wish to disabuse the Muslim world of its hopes (however modest) and slap it across the face at the ealiest opportunity?
A further contemptuous message is widely rumored to be forthcoming — the naming as "Special Envoy for Middle East Peace" of Dennis Ross, the notorious Israel-Firster who, throughout the 12 years of the Bush the First and Clinton administrations, ensured that American policy toward the Palestinians did not deviate one millimeter from Israeli policy and that no progress toward peace could be made and who has since headed the AIPAC spin-off "think tank", the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
Neverthess, since it is almost always constructive to seek a silver lining in the darkest clouds, a silver lining can be found and cited..
Palestinians Thursday blasted President-elect Barack Obama’s choice of Rahm Emanuel as White House chief of staff – and the appointee’s father may have poured fuel on the fire.
Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel is no pal of ours, Israel’s foes say
JERUSALEM – Palestinians Thursday blasted President-elect Barack Obama’s choice of Rahm Emanuel as White House chief of staff – and the appointee’s father may have poured fuel on the fire.
Dr. Benjamin Emanuel, once a member of the Irgun militia that fought for Israel’s statehood, was asked in an interview with the Hebrew daily Maariv if his son’s appointment would be good for Israel.
"Obviously, he will influence the President to be pro-Israel," said the elder Emanuel, who immigrated to the U.S. from Israel in the 1950s.
"Why shouldn’t he do it? What is he, an Arab? He’s not going to clean the floor of the White House."
There was no immediate comment from Rep. Emanuel’s congressional office. While Palestinian leaders maintained a diplomatic silence, many ordinary Palestinians reacted with fury in comments posted on Web sites and chat rooms.
"With the appointment of this Zionist, Barack Obama is proving that he is more Zionist than the Zionists," said Subhi Abu Ishira on the Palestinian NGO network, referring to the anti-Arab remark by Benjamin Emanuel…
U.S. Jews laud Obama pick of Rahm Emanuel for chief of staff
America’s Jewish community welcomed U.S. President-elect Barack Obama’s pick of Rep. Rahm Emanuel for the post of Chief of Staff, saying that the choice demonstrates that Obama has learned from the mistakes of previous Democratic presidents…
"Emanuel has deep Jewish roots and strong ties to the Jewish community. Emanuel, the son of an Israeli immigrant, has a proven commitment to Israel’s security and served as civilian volunteer on an Israeli military base during the Persian Gulf War of 1991,"..
The son of a Jerusalem-born pediatrician who was a member of the pre-state Irgun, Emanuel was a key figure in the administration of former President Bill Clinton, where he was known for his blunt management style. His selection is a shift in tone for Obama, who chose more low-key leadership for his presidential campaign.
In the tense talks with the Palestinians at Wye Plantation in 1998, the Israeli team headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was especially wary of one of President Bill Clinton’s aides – Rahm Emanuel. His fluent Hebrew, his instinctive grasp of the "Israeli" mind set and above all his complete loyalty to his boss made the Israelis afraid to talk near him…
‘Het probleem is dat onze Eerste Ministers zich pas herinneren dat het hun plicht is vrede te sluiten als ze volkomen aan de grond zitten’ (Advertentie van Goesj Sjalom in Ha’aretz op 23 mei 2008).
Aanvulling op 11 nov.:
Conned Again? – Obama, Rahm-bo and the End of the New American Century
If the change President-elect Obama has promised includes a halt to Americas wars of aggression and an end to the rip-off of taxpayers by powerful financial interests, what explains Obamas choice of foreign and economic policy advisors? Indeed, Obamas selection of Rahm Emanuel as White House chief of staff is a signal that change ended with Obamas election. The only thing different about the new administration will be the faces.
Rahm Emanuel is a supporter of Bushs invasion of Iraq. Emanuel rose to prominence in the Democratic Party as a result of his fundraising connections to AIPAC. A strong supporter of the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee, he comes from a terrorist family. His father was a member of Irgun, a Jewish terrorist organization that used violence to drive the British and Palestinians out of Palestine in order to create the Jewish state. During the 1991 Gulf War, Rahm Emanuel volunteered to serve in the Israel Defense Forces. He was a member of the Freddie Mac board of directors and received $231,655 in directors fees in 2001. According to Wikipedia, during the time Emanuel spent on the board, Freddie Mac was plagued with scandals involving campaign contributions and accounting irregularities.
In Hail to the Chief of Staff, Alexander Cockburn describes Emanuel as a super-Likudnik hawk, who as chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in 2006 made great efforts to knock out antiwar Democratic candidates.
My despondent friends in the Israeli peace movement ask, What is this man doing in Obamas administration?..
Dennis Ross has long associations with the Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. A member of his Clinton era team, Aaron David Miller, wrote that during 1999-2000 the US negotiating team led by Ross acted as Israels lawyer: we had to run everything by Israel first. This stripped our policy of the independence and flexibility required for serious peacemaking. If we couldn’t put proposals on the table without checking with the Israelis first, and refused to push back when they said no, how effective could our mediation be? According to Wikipedia, Ross is chairman of a new Jerusalem-based think tank, the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute, funded and founded by the Jewish Agency.
Clearly, this is not a group of advisors that is going to halt Americas wars against Israels enemies or force the Israeli government to accept the necessary conditions for a real peace in the Middle East.
Ralph Nader predicted as much. In his Open Letter to Barack Obama (November 3, 2008), Nader pointed out to Obama that his transformation from an articulate defender of Palestinian rights . . . to a dittoman for the hard-line AIPAC lobby puts Obama at odds with a majority of Jewish-Americans and 64 per cent of Israelis. Nader quotes the Israeli writer and peace advocate Uri Avnerys description of Obamas appearance before AIPAC as an appearance that broke all records for obsequiousness and fawning. Nader damns Obama for his utter lack of political courage [for] surrendering to demands of the hard-liners to prohibit former president Jimmy Carter from speaking at the Democratic National Convention. Carter, who achieved the only meaningful peace agreement between Israel and the Arabs, has been demonized by the powerful AIPAC lobby for criticizing Israels policy of apartheid toward the Palestinians whose territory Israel forcibly occupies…
Aanvulling op 12 nov.:
Will an Obama Administration be ‘good for Israel’?
Even before the voting began, Israeli politicians and pundits were asking: Will an Obama Administration be good for Israel? Be good for Israel is our code for Will the US allow us to keep our settlements and continue to support our efforts to prevent negotiations with the Palestinians from ever bearing fruit? For Americans the question should be: Will the Obama Administration understand that without addressing Palestinian needs it will not be able to disentangle itself from its broader Middle Eastern imbroglios, rejoin the community of nations and rescue its economy?
The Israel-Palestine conflict should be of central concern to Americans, near the top of the new Administrations agenda. It may not be the bloodiest conflict in the world its minor when compared to Iraq but it is emblematic to Muslims and to peoples the world over of American hostility and belligerence. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not merely a localized one between two squabbling tribes. It lies at the epicenter of global instability. Go where you may in the world and you will encounter the same phenomenon: a sense that the suffering of the Palestinians represents all that is wrong in an American-dominated world…
Paying for Eight Years of Bushs Delusions (By Robert Fisk in The Independent and Truthdig)
..and he [Obama] will have to tell Israel a few home truths: that America can no longer remain uncritical in the face of Israeli army brutality and the colonisation for Jews and Jews only on Arab land. Obama will have to stand up at last to the Israeli lobby (it is, in fact, an Israeli Likud party lobby) and withdraw Bushs 2004 acceptance of Israels claim to a significant portion of the West Bank. U.S. officials will have to talk to Iranian officials and Hamas officials, for that matter. Obama will have to end U.S. strikes into Pakistan and Syria.
Indeed, theres a growing concern among Americas allies in the Middle East that the U.S. military has to be brought back under control indeed, that the real reason for General David Petraeus original appointment in Iraq was less to organise the surge than it was to bring discipline back to the 150,000 soldiers and marines whose mission and morals had become so warped by Bushs policies. There is some evidence, for example, that the four-helicopter strike into Syria last month, which killed eight people, was if not a rogue operation certainly not sanctioned by Washington or indeed by US commanders in Baghdad.
But Obamas not going to be able to make the break. He wants to draw down in Iraq in order to concentrate more firepower in Afghanistan. Hes not going to take on the lobby in Washington and hes not going to stop further Jewish colonisation of the occupied territories or talk to Israels enemies. With AIPAC supporter Rahm Emanuel as his new chief of staff our man in the White House, as the Israeli daily Maariv called him this week Obama will toe the line. And of course, theres the terrible thought that bin Laden when hes not shopping at U.S. military post offices may be planning another atrocity to welcome the Obama presidency…
Aanvulling op 13 nov.
Obama’s first two crucial appointments represent a denial of the wishes of his supporters on the principal issues on which they voted. The vice-president-elect, Joe Biden, is a proud warmaker and Zionist. Rahm Emanuel, who is to be the all-important White House chief of staff, is a fervent "neoliberal" devoted to the doctrine that led to the present economic collapse and impoverishment of millions. He is also an "Israel-first" Zionist who served in the Israeli army and opposes meaningful justice for the Palestinians an injustice that is at the root of Muslim people’s loathing of the United States and the spawning of jihadism.
No serious scrutiny of this is permitted within the histrionics of Obamamania, just as no serious scrutiny of the betrayal of the majority of black South Africans was permitted within the "Mandela moment". This is especially marked in Britain, where America’s divine right to "lead" is important to elite British interests. The once respected Observer newspaper, which supported Bush’s war in Iraq, echoing his fabricated evidence, now announces, without evidence, that "America has restored the world’s faith in its ideals". These "ideals", which Obama will swear to uphold, have overseen, since 1945, the destruction of 50 governments, including democracies, and 30 popular liberation movements, causing the deaths of countless men, women and children.
None of this was uttered during the election campaign. Had it been allowed, there might even have been recognition that liberalism as a narrow, supremely arrogant, war-making ideology is destroying liberalism as a reality. Prior to Blair’s criminal warmaking, ideology was denied by him and his media mystics. "Blair can be a beacon to the world," declared the Guardian in 1997. "[He is] turning leadership into an art form."
Today, merely insert "Obama". As for historic moments, there is another that has gone unreported but is well under way liberal democracy’s shift towards a corporate dictatorship, managed by people regardless of ethnicity, with the media as its clichéd façade. "True democracy," wrote Penn Jones Jr, the Texas truth-teller, "is constant vigilance: not thinking the way you’re meant to think and keeping your eyes wide open at all times."
Aanvulling op 13 december:
Barack Obama: Americas First Jewish President (James Petras in ICH)