Student confronts Obama at Tampa town hall over human rights hypocrisy

Israel/Palestine
on 124 Comments

The above video is from a town hall meeting President Obama held today in Tampa. I’m sure the president was expecting questions about creating jobs or the health care bill, but instead he got:

Last night you spoke in your State of the Union address you spoke of America’s support for human rights. Then, why have we not condemned Israel and Egypt’s human rights violations against the occupied Palestinian people? And yet we continue supporting them financially with billions of dollars from our tax dollars?

Wow. The question was asked by University of South Florida student Laila Abdelaziz, who volunteered for Obama on his campaign. It’s obvious that Obama was totally unprepared to answer the question, and he tread water until he was able to make a half-hearted appeal for a two state solution (completely ignoring the question in the process).

You can read the transcript of the exchange here, and after the town hall Abdelaziz told local radio station WMNF:

Of course we love a two state solution, but there has to be trust and dialogue between two sides. The Palestinian people are ready for a two state solution, but the Palestinian people are the ones being occupied by Israelis. How are the Palestinian people supposed to do anything if they’re the ones being occupied? The occupiers have to allow for something to happen which they have not yet allowed to happen. I asked President Obama why he says America as a nation supports human rights, but at the same time, one of our greatest allies is Israel, a country that does not support human rights, and has many human rights violations. President Obama did not really answer my question or address it, so I’m really disappointed right now.

About Adam Horowitz

Adam Horowitz is Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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124 Responses

  1. Taxi
    January 28, 2010, 11:37 pm

    Obama’s a hasbara clown.

    Caught with his hasbara pants down.

  2. Kathleen
    January 28, 2010, 11:37 pm

    Obama rolled right over to the Israeli lobby and Israel. He said his pledge of allegiance to Israel about three times, then patted Netanyahu on the back. Never mentioned the continued expansion of the illegal settlements. How Israel has basically ignored his demand for a freeze announcing plans for expansion.

    Obama rolled over

  3. Adam Horowitz
    January 28, 2010, 11:51 pm

    Just for the record, sorry about the annoying ad with the video. I couldn’t find another version to post.

    • Cliff
      January 29, 2010, 10:30 am

      Adam, will you look at Baruch Rosen’s posts a moment? He’s obviously a troll. And I’m hoping people here email you and Phil to do something about it.

      • potsherd
        January 29, 2010, 10:54 am

        Very true. BR is spamming the site with the same posts over and over again.

      • Chu
        January 29, 2010, 11:01 am

        He overwhelms the threads with stale propaganda. The arguments are not to convince anyone, but only interrupt dialogue.

      • Mooser
        January 29, 2010, 11:22 am

        I use the “report abuse” button to report abuse. It violates the basic principle I learned in Napa; “always hold your mud”, but on the other hand, confession is good for the soul.

        Anyway, where does that button link to? The blogs owners, or the web-host for comments? Is there a post or link explaining that? Thanks.

      • Mooser
        January 29, 2010, 12:23 pm

        Okay, the “report abuse button goes to a plug in which, I believe, collects them for the blog’s owners.
        The comment policy is accessed at the top of every page.

      • Tuyzentfloot
        January 29, 2010, 4:46 pm

        The comment policy could use an update to include threadcrapping.

      • Mooser
        January 29, 2010, 5:56 pm

        At least the comment policy no longer includes the Witty exception (don’t be “viscious” to poor Richard)

  4. Avi
    January 29, 2010, 12:22 am

    It is an insult to hear Obama speak. The idiotic mantra is upsetting and on top of it all, after people have been oppressed for so many years under the crushing boots of occupation, he has the chutzpah to say something along the lines of “We need to listen to the grievances of the Palestinians, but they must renounce violence first”.

    Well, Mr. Obama, in the words of Jon Stewart, “Go f**k yourself!”.

    • Citizen
      January 29, 2010, 11:03 am

      I feel the same way, Avi. Obama is a traitor to both his white mother and his black father–he hits a home run for the team they both worked against. If I had to say who the team is that he is on, it would be Goldman Sachs. Not to worry, that’s the same team the Repubs work for…

      • Mooser
        January 29, 2010, 5:57 pm

        “Obama is a traitor to both his white mother and his black father–”

        Thank Gos black people have you looking out for them.

      • Citizen
        January 29, 2010, 6:25 pm

        Yeah, otherwise they’d have to rely on you, Mooser. No hope there at all.

  5. Donald
    January 29, 2010, 12:29 am

    Obama thinks only the Palestinians have to renounce violence –Israeli violence doesn’t exist and mention of Israeli human rights violations is “demonizing”. Demonizing is bad, but it’s okay to single out Hamas and Hamas alone as violent–that’s not demonizing. Sound like anyone we know here?

  6. jan_gdyn
    January 29, 2010, 1:46 am

    Disgusting, untruthful, answer from a despicable politician. This is beyond repair. Blaming the ‘local politics’, pathetic.

  7. Brewer
    January 29, 2010, 2:43 am

    “the Middle East is obviously an issue that has plagued the region for centuries”

    Ignorance or a lie?

    This perfidious carpet-bagger was a friend of Rashid Khalidi and I carried in my heart a picture of him dining with Edward Said throughout the primary and Presidential election that told me he at least knew.

    It is a lie.

    And I supported him all the way.

    Excuse me, I gotta go find my thesaurus. Scumbag ain’t strong enough. I’ll come back when I find an apt epithet.

    Off topic but this clash between Finklestein and Charny is superb:
    link to gilad.co.uk

    • Mooser
      January 29, 2010, 11:27 am

      It’s hard, isn’t it? I am beginning to believe, as my wife suggested, that Obama is just a very timid man. He’s got a basic lack of moral courage, and possibly it’s never been tested this way before in his career.
      But he’s failing, badly, in every area. And can he be so politically naive that he doesn’t know the Republicans, together with the military and Federal Agencies (infected by the Bush burrowers) will reward him for his compromises by destroying him, and laughing about it?

      What a chump! The First Chump!

      • Brewer
        January 29, 2010, 5:58 pm

        I’m better now. The emetic effect of that clip has left me purged but with a more positive outlook.

        Like so many, I had hoped Obama would apply pressure by stealth and I had feared he would, just as subtly, be emasculated and hung out to dry by the Neo-con machine.

        Now I hold no hope of the former and I don’t give a rat’s arse about the latter. The two outstanding planks in Obama’s platform were, for me, curtailing the power of Lobby and Justice in the Middle East

        What a dreadful week for all seduced by the prospect of “change”.
        First the Supreme Court Campaign Finance ruling, now this.

        Oh well. What’s one more double-dealing brown-nose in Washington? We’ve all known what we are up against for a long long time.

        Now where did I put that ploughshare?

      • Citizen
        January 29, 2010, 6:28 pm

        Nothing like a status quo brown nose spending our lives and treasure.

  8. Richard Parker
    January 29, 2010, 4:41 am

    It’s very obvious that the question was planted (or not controlled properly). It was articulated by a strident lefty, wearing a Communist red outfit, with a very un-American name, who may be no more than a first-generation American citizen. That obviously raises the question of dual loyalties.

    The response of the President: “Umm..er.. err..Hold on one second. I gotta answer my question. Lemme just talk about the Middle East generally……The Middle East is obviously an issue that has plagued the region for…..centuries, and the remainder of the response (which totally avoided the question asked) is the answer of a quick-thinking President who can think and speak on his feet.

    He was obviously thinking that, if he fucked up and gave the right answers, Fox News would be all over him.

    “The Middle East is obviously an issue that has plagued the region for…..centuries” is a profoundly new view of the situation, that has never been articulated in that way before, and is clearly not quite true.

    Nor has the proposition that the “Middle East” is obviously an issue. That the entire Middle East is an issue, and has been, for centuries, is a possibly laudable statement for the President of a country barely 2 centuries old, to make, even if he perhaps exaggerated a little while speaking on the hoof.

    Your wonderful president, after an initial few hesitations, dealt very well with an underhand question that had not been pre-screened by his minders.

    • Psychopathic god
      January 29, 2010, 9:39 am

      You’re European, Richard, correct? I’m not sure Americans are, at this point and of the generation of the questioner, as attuned to “commie=red” as elder Europeans might think us.
      If the questioner’s attire had any symbolism, it was to remind Obama that Florida is a key state in electoral politics, and that it shifted from “blue” (Democratic) to “red” between the 2004 and 2008 elections.

      Florida has a powerful Jewish population; Brad Westerfield recognized this back in the 1950s when he mused on how it was that a minority population of Jews could sway national politics: Jews can shift electoral college votes in key states. Obama’s campaign recognized it in 2008 when a video made the rounds of the ‘tubes; prepared by a Jewish girl, it urged young American Jews to tell their grandmas in Florida to vote for Obama, or grandkids wouldn’t visit….

      Yesterday, Obama promised Florida federal seed money of $8.5billion to build a hi-speed rail system, in order to keep Florida blue. An unemployed civil engineer, one of the 11.8% of Floridians who is unemployed, wrote an interesting article speculating on the reasons for that federal largesse link to dailykos.com

      I don’t think the question was “underhand” at all; it was courageous and necessary.

      • America First
        January 29, 2010, 9:52 am

        Yesterday, Obama promised Florida federal seed money of $8.5billion to build a hi-speed rail system, in order to keep Florida blue.

        What happened to the spending freeze?

      • homingpigeon
        January 29, 2010, 10:31 am

        I think Richard was engaging in such elegant sarcasm that it might not be noticed. The surreal and the real have become one.

      • Citizen
        January 29, 2010, 11:15 am

        The freeze is supposed to be intact; the seed money for the train from Tampa to Orlando is to be financed by the original US bailout money.

      • Mooser
        January 29, 2010, 11:29 am

        I, too, thought I detected a modicum sarcasm.

    • Citizen
      January 29, 2010, 11:11 am

      Yeah, he dealt very well the unscreened question–good food for the ignorant. You like that?

  9. Citizen
    January 29, 2010, 4:59 am

    Like every other American politician, he was not thinking on his feet on the issue raised by the questioner– it merely took him a few seconds because to spit out the usual total canned hasbara spiel they all have at the ready. Absolutely disgusting. One of our strongest ally, shared values, vibrant democracy, critical to us, need to insure Israel’s
    survival…plight of Palestinians is a concern because it makes USA and Israel less secure…2-state solution, compromise needed from both sides; first step Pals must recognize Israel and renounce violence… no demonization…

    • Citizen
      January 29, 2010, 5:09 am

      Hardly one of our strongest allies. Alongside which allies?
      What shared values?
      A democracy? Only for Jewish Israelis.
      How is Israel critical to us?
      What interest do we have in its survival?
      What 2 state solution with eternal settlement expansion?
      Compromise? Who compromises when they have all the marbles?
      No demonization–state violence hurts less than non-state violence?
      Disgusting.
      Imagine how Obama & Co must disrespect all of us.

      • Psychopathic god
        January 30, 2010, 8:40 am

        In fact, one of the larger tragedies emerging from the AIPAC control of the presidency is that international deals of major import are taking place, and Obama is missing in action — busy memorizing his AIPAC talking points.
        ~While Obama is spending federal taxdollars on railroads to Disneyland, Germany is signing multi-billion dollar deals with Saudi Arabia and the emirates to build railroads across the desert to the Red Sea. The plan is to neutralize Iran by bypassing the Persian Gulf for shipping to the Mediterranean.
        ~Thus, Germany’s sale to Israel of submarines capable of being fitted with nuclear warheads and intended to patrol the PErsian Gulf puts Israel in on the deal. Fancy that: Israel and Germany, together at last.

        The tragedy that is brewing in this scenario is the determination to gang-rape Iran; That makes no sense from any perspective: 70million people have to grow, love their children, work, create; Iran has resources that the world needs — shall Iran drink its oil? Doesn’t it make more sense to treat people with respect and dignity, and recognize that each has something the other needs, and trade it honestly?

      • Citizen
        January 30, 2010, 11:01 am

        The Krauts are once again the land of either/or. They were once at the Jewish throat, and now they are at the Jewish feet. We Americans have to stop this new form of goose-stepping.

  10. UNIX
    January 29, 2010, 5:54 am

    Does the president fully support Jewish settlement expansion?

  11. Julian
    January 29, 2010, 6:11 am

    You all wanted Obama. Phil called him “my President” over and over again to hammer home how happy he was with Obamas victory. Now all I read are complaints. You progressive Israel haters are just never satisfied.

    • MRW
      January 29, 2010, 6:39 am

      . Now all I read are complaints.

      That’s because some of the qualities of the human mind is that it can pay attention, assess, and change. Usually in response to new input. And sometimes on a dime.

    • Citizen
      January 29, 2010, 7:11 am

      I voted for Ron Paul.

      • Mooser
        January 29, 2010, 11:36 am

        Good for you! And I probably would have heaped sarcasm on you for annoucing it! And now I regret throwing my vote away on Obama!
        Why did I bother? They could have just left Bush in office, and saved the cost of the inaugaration. I’m sure Beyonce’ didn’t need the work.

      • Chris S
        January 29, 2010, 3:56 pm

        Good to see you’ve come around a bit on Ron Paul, Mooser.

        I always knew your conscious would allow you to properly resolve your cognitive dissonance. Good for you.

      • cvillej
        January 29, 2010, 4:17 pm

        I think it’s kind of cute that Americans still think their vote matters.

      • Citizen
        January 29, 2010, 6:33 pm

        I am well aware my vote has never mattered.

    • Donald
      January 29, 2010, 7:29 am

      I voted for him in preference to the pair of idiots running against him–I’d read Obama’s AIPAC speeches and expected him to stink on the I/P conflict based on what he said then. It was nice that he appointed Mitchell, but it soon turned out his speeches were the correct gauge of his views.

      As for Phil and others, a fair number of progressives deluded themselves into thinking Obama was one of them. The evidence was pretty strong all along that he was not–the centrism and triangulation on matters of supposed principle were there all along. The self-delusion of Phil and others was irritating, but nobody’s perfect.

      • Donald
        January 29, 2010, 7:30 am

        Pair of idiots–McCain and Palin, that is,not necessarily meaning any of the third party candidates. Though no doubt some were idiots.

      • Citizen
        January 29, 2010, 8:34 am

        I agree McCain and Palin are idiots–very dangerous, both of them.

      • Chris S
        January 29, 2010, 5:50 pm

        Ah, the old Lesser of Two Evils Vote Against the Bad Guys Shtick. i.e. primitive appeal to fear.

        That’s nice. It’s always good to give the reptile brain a workout.

    • potsherd
      January 29, 2010, 9:46 am

      Bullshit. Some of us knew from the beginning of the campaign that Obama was an AIPAC tool.

    • America First
      January 29, 2010, 9:48 am

      All? Make that all but one.

    • homingpigeon
      January 29, 2010, 10:33 am

      I am not an Israel hater. It is just a fraud that I am forced to subsidize. Could we make a deal? No one make me subsidize something I don’t believe in and no one make you subsidize something you don’t believe in?

      Vote Libertarian.

      • Citizen
        January 29, 2010, 11:21 am

        Well, I voted for Ron Paul and contributed money to his campaign, so please tell me where I was wrong?

      • Mooser
        January 29, 2010, 11:51 am

        Did better’n me, that’s for sure! Frankly, I do regret that vote, and Obama would have had no problem winning without my little hoofprint.

    • Mooser
      January 29, 2010, 11:40 am

      “You progressive Israel haters are just never satisfied.”

      I’ve got a better idea, Julian, we can use your method: we can tell ourselves that everything is for the best in this best of all possible worlds, but when it isn’t we’ll start killing people.

    • Cliff
      January 29, 2010, 4:30 pm

      At least Jules is calling us progressive now. We’re moving on upppp

      • potsherd
        January 29, 2010, 4:46 pm

        Julian would call Eisenhower a progressive.

        The more he posts, the worse he looks.

      • Mooser
        January 29, 2010, 6:00 pm

        “The more he posts, the worse he looks.”

        Oh yes, he’s outstanding in his field, pissing into the wind.

  12. MRW
    January 29, 2010, 6:13 am

    Former Knesset Speaker Avraham (Avrum) Burg Joins the Sheikh Jarrah Protests
    link to huffingtonpost.com

    • potsherd
      January 29, 2010, 10:51 am

      The Israeli courts have ruled that the Sheikh Jarrah protests are legal, but the Jerusalem cops declare they’ll break them up anyway.

  13. Gene
    January 29, 2010, 8:19 am

    The part that shocked me most in his response was the ‘what not’. It was so cold and dismissive and for someone who, together with his wife, kept lecturing us about empathy during the campaign, the ‘what not’ showed a total lack of sensitivity.

    His wife also kept telling us that he was ‘special’. He’s special alright. The best description of Obama that I’ve found to date is blathering milquetoast.

  14. jimby
    January 29, 2010, 8:43 am

    This video clip will probably be aired all over the middle east.
    It is an expose of the current mind set in Washington and shames me as a citizen.

    • Taxi
      January 29, 2010, 9:17 am

      When young people in the middle east see this disgraceful Obama performance, there will be one small word on their minds: war.

      • Psychopathic god
        January 29, 2010, 9:44 am

        Given that Palestinians seem to be committed to nonviolent forms of resistance and to smart strategy, I tend toward a more optimistic view: Yes, Obama’s performance was disgraceful, but the question was asked! SOMEBODY is paying attention; SOMEBODY is courageously speaking out! I think the young questioner should be the focus of hope– perhaps the legatee of the hope that Obama promised but failed to deliver.

  15. America First
    January 29, 2010, 9:00 am

    I’m sure the president was expecting questions about creating jobs or the health care bill, but instead he got:

    Did he have a decent answer on jobs?

  16. America First
    January 29, 2010, 9:11 am

    Did anyone catch the drawl at about 1:30? Wasn’t that what Hils was laughed at for?

    • Chu
      January 29, 2010, 9:44 am

      Yeah, sounded like Eddie Murphy doing a Bill Cosby impression. He almost choked there. He was probably thinking of Rahm and Eric Cantor and how upset they would be if he stepped out of line from the usual, “Israel is our ally making the dessert grow bs”. Obama really went to town with that answer. That is what we’ll hear for the next 8 years of his ‘historic presidency’.
      If he ain’t got the balls to say something at this point, we can’t really expect him to say anything to Netanyahu. That answer was just awful and he wobbled all over with goofy knee-jerk pro-Israeli talk. How sad…

      • Oscar
        January 29, 2010, 10:54 am

        There is this strange pledge of allegiance to Israel that all American politicians have to spit out before answering any question on the I/P topic. This pledge of allegiance can have some improvisation to it, but it must contain three elements for the politician to get an attaboy from his AIPAC mind-control monitor:

        1. Israel is our staunch ally and our bond is unshakable*
        2. Israel is a democracy that has shared values with the USA.
        3. Israel’s security is the most important aspect of the US’ foreign policy efforts

        Bonus points if the response includes a gratuitous swipe at Hamas — that they have not renounced violence and they have not acknowledged Israel’s right to exist.

        The line that Hamas refuses to recognize Israel’s right to exist is a canard, and Obama is either a liar or stupid, and probably both:

        Q: The Americans also say your refusal to recognise Israel’s right to exist is problematic.

        A: We have already stated repeatedly that we accept the existence of Israel within the 1967 borders as a political reality even if we do not approve its moral legitimacy.

        Israel on the other hand has never recognised the right of a Palestinian state to exist even under the PA, despite the PA recognising Israel’s right to exist. All Israel has recognised is the legitimacy of the Palestine Liberation Organisation as the sole representative of the Palestinian people.

        From: Q&A: ”Hamas Accepts Existence of Israel Within 1967 Borders”
        Mel Frykberg interviews MAHMOUDI RAMAHI, secretary-general of the Palestinian Legislative Council.
        link to ipsnews.net

      • MRW
        January 29, 2010, 11:48 am

        That’s Obama’s position. The 1967 borders. There was a clip of him getting off the campaign plane, he was jacketless, and he said in the only time I’ve ever heard him be feisty, “Israel’s got to be nuts not to take the 67 borders.”

  17. Citizen
    January 29, 2010, 9:30 am

    How about his initial toss that the middle east was an issue for the region for centuries–talk about Shrub speak. He made no sense at all.

  18. Citizen
    January 29, 2010, 9:39 am

    Obama did not answer that young Palestinian American college student’s question. Gee, what a surprise. He just trotted out the usual canned hasbara. The young lady first introduced herself by name–her name alone drew a chorus of boos from the collegiate audience, exactly like an obviously Jewish name would draw asap boos from a skinhead or neo-Nazi crowd. Obama took the cue, engaged in a bit of banter while getting out his
    can of hasbara; and then he dished it out. Pablum for the masses.

    Meanwhile, here’s a patriotic Jewish pundit talking about the great state of Israel’s future to Israelis and World Jewry:

    “In a realistic analysis of the geopolitical situation our weakness stands out in the
    light of the inferiority of our moral ground”
    link to ynetnews.com

    • Chu
      January 29, 2010, 9:56 am

      …more like a half a six-pack of stale hasbara. Notice how he did the Obama classic. Bring up both sides of the issue and try to walk down the middle of them. That’s why people loved him on the campaign trail – something for everyone to believe in.
      He gonna follow the Clinton model of triangulation, he’s just a better speaker.
      But the Obama shine is fading away with answers like that.

  19. MHughes976
    January 29, 2010, 9:49 am

    I think that Obama is fully aware – with his education and background how can he not be? – that the treatment of the Palestinians is unjust, but he also thinks that he can’t put his domestic agenda into effect (perhaps he’s now perceiving that he can’t do this anyway) if he antagonises the powerful pro-Israel forces. I think that these forces give every indication of not trusting him an inch, so his efforts to please everyone lead to pleasing no one.
    Nothing will ever be accepted as a renunciation of violence by the Palestinians unless it amounts to a recognition of the legitimacy of Israel, and even if they are induced to say such a thing we all know that they don’t believe it. In the same way withdrawal of the demand for a renunciation of violence is withdrawal of unquestioning belief in the legitimacy of Israel and it will be a long time before that is possible anywhere in the West. We’ve just had Holocaust Day in the UK. It will be a long time before we have Nakba Day.

    • potsherd
      January 29, 2010, 11:52 am

      Obama’s domestic agenda is going nowhere anyhow because he is a big fat Zero in leadership. Maybe if he showed some actual leadership on some other front, it might inspire the troops to get active on the domestic agenda. Instead, he came off as a wimp with no balls and proved that anyone can run over him on any issue.

  20. potsherd
    January 29, 2010, 9:50 am

    Speaking of human rights violations: link to ynetnews.com

    Another “Breaking the Silence” moment from female troops. I’d like to see Obama confronted with this evidence and watch how he weasels and squirms.

  21. Baruch Rosen
    January 29, 2010, 9:54 am

    All the Israel haters on here should see this to learn the truth.

  22. Baruch Rosen
    January 29, 2010, 9:57 am

    The way the Kapos on here think. When Israelis are murdered, grievously injured, or bereaved by PLO and Hamas terrorists, that does not count as an offense against human rights. When Arabs living under PLO or Hamas rule are lynched or thrown off buildings, that does not count as an offense against human rights. Defense of human rights consists of a search for occasions to accuse Israel of violating the human rights of Arabs.

    I can see Richard Parker, Adam Horowitz , Avi and Potsherd saying, man he just described us perfectly.

    • Citizen
      January 29, 2010, 11:28 am

      The way the KAPOS on here think? Gee, BR, you should at least see that that the regulars on this blog include many who are not jews.

  23. Baruch Rosen
    January 29, 2010, 10:00 am

    The best article ever. Adam Horowitz this is something you definitely need to read.

    link to jpost.com…aspx?id=167013
    Ending the peace illusion
    By ISI LEIBLER
    1/27/10

    We have to face it – we are nowhere near achieving peace with the Palestinians.
    It is high time that we ceased indulging in theatrics and spoke the truth. We all desperately yearn for peace, and the vast majority of us do not wish to rule over Arabs. If we could convince ourselves that our neighbors would commit to peaceful coexistence, we would make major sacrifices. But alas, the prospects for a comprehensive settlement in the near future are virtually zero.

    Since the Oslo Accords, we have remained in a state of denial, refusing to reconcile with the reality that the duplicitous vleaders, then Yasser Arafat and today Mahmoud Abbas, rather than seeking to create an independent state, were utilizing terror and diplomacy to dismember the Jewish state in stages. We ignored the relevance of Arafat’s repeated call to his people to heed the passage in the Koran relating to the prophet Muhammad consummating the Al Hudaibiya Treaty with the Koreishi Jews and subsequently reneging and killing them. The message clearly signaled that agreements with Jews and non-Muslims may be violated.

    Our passion to achieve peace blinded successive governments into accepting the false premise that Palestinian leaders were peace partners, and repeatedly chant the idiotic mantra that the peace process was irreversible and that “peace in our time” was achievable. This cost the lives of thousands in terror attacks and generated successive wars. In conveying this charade to the world at large, we encouraged the false belief that our conflict with the Arabs was a struggle between two peoples to divide land. We maintained this nonsense even after Arafat and Abbas rebuffed Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert, who had offered them virtually all the territory previously occupied by Jordan and Egypt.

    The Palestinians polarized this further by insisting that the so-called Arab refugee right of return (a formula for the demise of the Jewish state) was a nonnegotiable component of any peace settlement. The Saudi peace plan, praised by the Americans and some foolish Israelis, incorporated this component. President Barack Obama was informed by the Saudis that until the Israelis accepted the plan in its entirety, he should not bother raising the issue with them.

    TODAY, WE face the most intense international pressures we have ever experienced. Many European countries have forsaken us; the Obama administration has distanced itself and absorbed the false Palestinian narrative that the Holocaust was responsible for the creation of the State of Israel.

    Obama has now been in office for 12 months and his negative approach and attempts to appease our enemies have backfired. There is a complete stalemate in relation to Iran. Israelis do not trust him. The intransigency of the Palestinians and their unwillingness to make any concessions has led to a breakdown in negotiations for which we are being blamed.

    Despite the sweeping concessions offered by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his predecessors and the refusal of the Palestinians to return to the negotiating table, Obama alleged that Israel “still found it hard to make bold gestures” and offensively bracketed Hamas and Likud right-wingers as the principal obstacles to peace.

    In fact, the Americans seem to have adopted the Palestinian approach hook, line and sinker. Having abandoned the principal of defensible borders and called on Israel to return to ’67 lines and divide Jerusalem, they are urging that the delineation of future boundaries be dealt with first as a stand-alone issue. But they have yet to reject the Arab right of return.

    Under the circumstances, we should be grateful to Abbas for refusing to negotiate. If the Palestinians demand further concessions without reciprocity, it would simply lead to additional confrontations and intensified global pressures.

    The most frustrating aspect is that there is little doubt that such negotiations are perceived by all Palestinians – the PA no less than Hamas – merely as phases in their ultimate objective of eliminating Jewish sovereignty in the region. Any differences between them are primarily tactical. At least Hamas openly proclaims its objectives. Its charter is viciously anti-Semitic and urges its followers to kill as many Jews as possible and wipe Israel off the map.

    It is time to speak plainly and expose the fact that our “peace partner,” the “moderate” PA, maintains a criminal culture of death and sanctifies the mass murderers within its midst.

    Despite repeated exhortations to end anti-Semitic incitement, little has changed. The PA controlled TV, the media and the mosques continue pouring out hatred against the Jews. And from kindergarten onwards the PA educational system idolizes the shahid (the glorious martyr) or suicide bomber as role models.

    While uttering endearing words about peaceful coexistence to the foreign media, Abbas proudly provides state pensions to families of suicide bombers.

    In recent weeks, a major public square in Ramallah was named to commemorate the 50th birthday of Dalal Mugrabi, the female terrorist who murdered 37 civilians, including 10 children, on a bus in 1978. The allegedly “moderate” Prime Minister Salam Fayyad participated in the ceremony referring to Mugrabi as a “martyr.”

    The same “moderate” Fayyad personally paid a condolence call to the family of those who murdered Rabbi Meir Avshalom Chai, father of seven, last month. In public addresses, Abbas referred to these murderers, members of his own Fatah, as “martyrs executed cold-bloodedly by Israeli forces.”

    Yet the White House continues praising the moderation and leadership qualities of both Abbas and Fayyad.

    The PA has yet to curb terrorist affiliates like the Aksa Martyrs Brigades and other armed Fatah militias which continue to engage in acts of terror. Yet we remain indifferent to the US- trained Palestinian security forces that are supplied with Israeli weapons which, as in the past, will probably ultimately be employed against us.

    SO WHERE do we go from here? We must stop behaving like performers in an Alice in Wonderland pantomime. Netanyahu should cease pleading for negotiations with an Abbas who is unwilling (or powerless) to make any reciprocal concessions. He is aware that the PA in all likelihood will ultimately either merge with or be taken over by Hamas.

    We must now proclaim explicitly that meaningful progress cannot be achieved in the absence of a genuine peace partner, and that we can no longer continue making unilateral concessions which only strengthen Palestinian intransigence. We should continue raising the living standards of the Palestinians and encourage the creation of a middle class in the hope that this will one day encourage them to pressure their leaders into choosing peace over war.

    It is also important that our government tell people the truth. That will strengthen our position in the war of ideas and garner stronger support in the US. It may also encourage the Obama administration to desist from pressuring us to continue making unilateral concessions and ease our growing concern that, like Czechoslovakia in the 1930s, we are being offered as a sacrifice on the altar of appeasement.

  24. America First
    January 29, 2010, 10:00 am

    “Bereaved”: that’s a nice thing, isn’t it?

  25. Baruch Rosen
    January 29, 2010, 10:03 am

    MRW says, Former Knesset Speaker Avraham (Avrum) Burg Joins the Sheikh Jarrah Protests
    link to huffingtonpost.com

    I hope Avraham (Avrum) Burg joins my protest in protesting Palestinians barbarism.
    link to israelnationalnews.com
    PA Defends Right to Publicly Honor Terrorists
    Hana Levi Julian
    1/15/10

    The Palestinian Authority government is defending its practice of honoring terrorists who murder Israelis by naming public places and events in their honor.

    A city square in Ramallah was recently named after Dalal Mughrabi, the lead terrorist in a murderous attack on an Israeli bus traveling on the Coastal Road during the 1970s. Mughrabi, who was killed during the incident, led a team of several other terrorists in murdering 37 Israelis after hijacking the bus in 1978.

    • Cliff
      January 29, 2010, 10:35 am

      yonira, WJ, BSDNow, zamaaz, and all the other Zios on this blog – this jerk posted this exact same article last week, in several threads. We responded to him the first time by referring to the Irgun ribbons and the commemoration of the King David Hotel bombing, as well as other counterarguments to refute HIS implication that this sort of thing is ‘unique’ to Palestinians, Arabs or Muslims.

      None of the Zios here ever renounce this kind of hateful, trolling, spam.

      Email Phil and Adam to drop the banhammer on this jerk.

  26. Baruch Rosen
    January 29, 2010, 10:05 am

    My favorite thing on this site is when people say Hedy Epstein is a holocaust survivor.
    Hedy spent the entire war in England from 39 to 45.
    She’s as much a holocaust Survivor as Winston Churchill.

    • America First
      January 29, 2010, 10:27 am

      Are you criticizing the Holocau$t Indu$try? But at least she didn’t rape a young girl like fellow survivor Roman Polanski did. Since you’re so concerned about child abuse.

    • Citizen
      January 29, 2010, 11:32 am

      Gee, let’s use this focus to narrow down the reparations to Holocaust survivors (which goes to Israel the state not to the actual survivors).

      • America First
        January 29, 2010, 12:46 pm

        Another Polanski gets away with it:

        After 24 years, US oleh will not be extradited for suspected sex

        The Supreme Court accepted an appeal by Yitzhak Mondrovich against his extradition on Thursday, 25 years after he arrived in Israel and 24 years after US authorities indicted him on suspicion of committing 13 sexual crimes against five boys aged nine to 13.

        link to findarticles.com

  27. Baruch Rosen
    January 29, 2010, 10:07 am

    Everyone must read this article.
    Atleast we know Arab homicide bombers who blow up disco’s, pizzeria’s, hotels, buses, shopping centers and everywhere else they can kill Jews. love the radicals on here.

    link to israelnationalnews.com
    Hamas: Left-Wing Encouraged Us to Attack
    How many lives have left-wing statements cost Israel? In a damning condemnation of the Israeli left, a new book about the battles known as the Oslo War quotes Hamas leaders saying that the behavior of Israel’s left-wing encourages them to continue their terrorist attacks.

    The book, “The Seventh War,” by journalists Avi Yisacharov of Voice of Israel Radio and Amos Harel of Haaretz, is based on comprehensive investigations and interviews with Hamas terrorist leaders in Gaza and Israeli prisons.

    Yisacharov told Channel 1 Television yesterday that Hamas leaders had told him clearly: “It was the Israeli left and your peace camp that ultimately encouraged us to continue with our suicide attacks.”

    Yisacharov said he was told as follows:
    “We tried, through our attacks, to create fragmentation and dissention within Israeli society, and the left-wing’s reaction was proof that this was indeed the right approach. When we heard about the ‘Pilots’ Letter’ [written and publicized last year by 27 Israel Air Force pilots who refused to take part in bombing missions against terrorist leaders in Arab towns], and the elite soldiers who refused to serve [in Judea, Samaria and Gaza], it strengthened those in our camp who promoted the idea of suicide bombers…
    “The disengagement from Gaza is proof of our victory. The fact is that Sharon is willing to withdraw unconditionally, and is essentially raising a white flag and retreating. Only by force can we teach the other side what to do.”

    • Mooser
      January 29, 2010, 11:49 am

      “Everyone must read this article”

      Really?

      Okay, here we go with the grandiosity and vicarious brutality stage of ziocaine intoxication. How long till we get to the whiny paranoia stage?

      Baron von Munchrosen, have you ever consulted with a Rabbi, maybe brought him a printout of a thread, and asked him if he thinks you are contributing to Israel’s image, or doing “good for the Jews”.
      You should get the Rabbi to post his support of your position, too, you know like an imprimatur type thing, glat, you know?

  28. Baruch Rosen
    January 29, 2010, 10:10 am

    This is how the Palestinians want peace.

    Palestinian Authority Muslims are taught murdering Jews is the highest goal in life and attains paradise: link to pmw.org.il

    link to world.std.com
    One day after the Ramallah lynching of two Israelis, Ahmad Abu Halabiya, a member of the PA-appointed Fatwa Council, called on listeners to find and butcher Jews “no matter where they are, in any country. Fight them, wherever you are. Wherever you meet them, kill them.”

  29. Baruch Rosen
    January 29, 2010, 10:12 am

    Someone should have asked Obama why is he giving money to racist Palestinians.

    link to freeman.org
    Dr. Muhammad Ibrahim Madi, a Palestinian Authority religious leader: “We will blow them up in Hadera, we will blow them up in Tel-Aviv”
    “We will blow them up in Hadera, we will blow them up in Tel-Aviv and in Netanya… We will fight against them and rule over them until the Jew will hide behind the trees and stones and the tree and stone will say: ‘Moslem! Servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, kill him’. We will enter Jerusalem as conquerors, and Jaffa as conquerors, and Haifa as conquerors and Ashkelon as conquerors….”
    [Preacher Dr. Muhammad Ibrahim Madi, PATV

    link to nationalreview.com
    Following the murderous terrorist attack on Kibbutz Metzer, the PLO cold-bloodedly stated on its official website, “We will continue to strike in any place, targeting their children as well.” Five innocent Israelis, including a mother and her two little boys, were butchered in that attack, all of them, Fatah said, “Zionist colonizers” killed in a “qualitative operation in the settlement of Metzer.”

  30. Baruch Rosen
    January 29, 2010, 10:13 am

    16 years after Oslo, thousands of Jews have been murdered and maimed for life. Jews have been burned by Arab suicide bombers in buses, like they were burned and gassed in the crematoria of Hitler. Arabs kill Jews not because they live in Israel, but because they are alive.
    link to jihadwatch.org
    Hamas Foreign Minister “Zahar:”After we defeat the Zionists we will persecute them… we will persecute them to eternity”

    Rivers of Jewish blood began flowing through the streets of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Hebron, Netanyah, Rishon Lezion and so many more cities and towns in the Holy Land. In pizza shops, cafes, supermarkets, school basketball courts, buses, on the road and in private homes, young infants, children, teenagers, mothers, fathers, grandparents lay strewn in pools of their own blood, their bodies dismantled. Entire families have been destroyed in the blink of an eye.

    Five million Jews are living today on the front lines of one of the most vicious of modern battlefields. With their very attempt to live their daily lives in their own homeland, these Jews have put themselves and their children at risk of being murdered by human beings who have turned themselves into evil monsters.
    They have killed thousands, in order to achieve what Hamas said was the total extermination of Jews. Or as Arafat always said! To eliminate and destroy Israel and create purely Palestinian state with no Jews in it.

    • Psychopathic god
      January 29, 2010, 5:46 pm

      I’ve been reading a series of lectures about the history of Jews at the time of the Roman Empire/Republic. Caesar and Augustus liked the Jews, made extraordianry deals with Jews when a Jewish delegation asked Rome to annex Judea to the Empire. The Romans did annex Judea, AND granted the Jews other extraordinary privileges:
      ~Jews did not need to pay their two-day tax to Rome, as did every other Roman citizen. Instead, Jews could pay their tax to their own religious authority.
      ~Rome would not establish a capital of Judea at Jerusalem, in respect for Jewish sensibilities. Instead, Rome set up an administrative center at Caesarea.

      Now, here’s where things get really fascinating: Casearea still exists; it’s in Israel, between Haifa and TelAviv. Apparently the Rothschilds own it or run it or administer it for their own purposes.
      That’s kinda cool: I wonder if Warren Buffet owns a city that is of international strategic importance and boasts a history stretching back to the Roman Empire.

      Rothschilds figure significantly in the history of Israel: Herzl spun his wheels for over a decade, attempting to gin up interest in transplanting European Jews to Israel. Betimes, Rothschilds figured out there was ‘gold in them thar hills,’ the bank started investing in land and industry in Palestine including a pipeline deal with Iran that transshipped Iranian oil to Eilat, thence through Israeli hands to Europe, producing a lucrative revenue stream for the Rothschilds and for Israel.

      • MHughes976
        January 29, 2010, 6:06 pm

        Could you give me the title of these lectures, Psych? I’ve long suspected that it was a key event in world history when the younger Caesar, the future Augustus, replaced Cleopatra with Herod as Rome’s principal ally in ‘the region’, then a frontier zone menaced by the Parthian Iraqis who had defeated a Roman expeditionary force.

      • Psychopathic god
        January 29, 2010, 6:21 pm

        It’s a Teaching Company series of lectures titled, “The Wisdom of History,” with J Rufus Fears lecturing.

        Fears is pretty right-wing for my sensibilities; he’s also hopelessly enamored of Winston Churchill, whom I think was something of a warmonger.
        Fears touched on Rome-Parthian relations only to the extent of mentioning that rather than wage a costly and futile attempt to conquer Parthian Iran, Rome signed a treaty defining respective Roman and Parthian spheres.

        Several months ago I listened to Garrett Fagan’s lectures on Rome: link to teach12.com
        They’re not as fresh to memory, but Fagan’s approach seemed less agenda-driven than Fears’s.

      • MHughes976
        January 30, 2010, 10:21 am

        Thanks for the information. I’ll see if I can catch up with it.

  31. Baruch Rosen
    January 29, 2010, 10:17 am

    How long can the radicals on here be silent on Palestinian child abuse.
    Then people ask why Palestinian children were killed in the Gaza war?
    Well Duh, when you sacrifice children what do you think will happen?

    link to israelnationalnews.com
    PA Kids Taught to Die in Battle Against Israel
    Hana Levi Julian
    1/26/10

    A Hamas television program for children once again is promoting martyrdom as a positive goal for Palestinian Authority children in Gaza.

  32. Baruch Rosen
    January 29, 2010, 10:21 am

    MHughes976 The Palestinian Nakba was a result of the Palestinians led by Hajj Amin Al Husseini and the Arab armies who tried to commit a Nakba against the Jewish state in 48.
    The Arabs were so confident they would commit they would ethnic cleanse all the Jews and give the spoils to the Greater Syrians. The real name of the so called Palestinians.

    On the day that Israel declared its independence, the Arab League Secretary, General Azzam Pasha declared “jihad”, a holy war. He said, “This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades”.(1) The Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin Al Husseini stated, “I declare a holy war, my Moslem brothers! Murder the Jews! Murder them all!”

  33. Bravo
    January 29, 2010, 10:22 am

    I’m glad she did this, but she should’ve been much more direct. She should’ve said: Currently, Israel and Egypt are denying food, medicine, clothes, and even electricity to Gaza. In fact, after after Israel’s war against Gaza last year, it has been accused of enormous human rights violations by Justice Goldstone and every human rights organization in the area, so why are we still giving billions of dollars to the nation?

    Be blunt so he can’t wiggle out at all.

    • homingpigeon
      January 29, 2010, 10:42 am

      She also should have asked him if he knew what a sharmoot was.

      • Bravo
        January 29, 2010, 10:56 am

        yes, that too.

        also, his theory on Lost.

      • Taxi
        January 29, 2010, 11:00 am

        I know what ‘sharmoot’ means. Sharmoota too!

    • potsherd
      January 29, 2010, 11:53 am

      I wish she’d asked about the iron wall that no one will talk about.

  34. Polly
    January 29, 2010, 10:35 am

    I agree with Richard Parker.
    I see positives everywhere in his reply – the main one being that ‘Palestinians grievances have to be recognized’.
    People far further down the food chain than BAM wouldn’t go within a bulls roar of that.
    And if the cryptonite effect of the lobby is as real as everyone on this board believes (as I do) then what more could the first black president speaking publicly (especially in a state with the huge Jewish constituency South Florida does) possibly say?
    Baby steps folks, baby steps.

    • Bravo
      January 29, 2010, 11:47 am

      Bush said the same thing.

      The only “positive” I saw was evidence that Obama doesn’t believe the BS he’s been forced to say regarding Israel.

      It’s been very obvious from the beginning that he knows what’s really going on over there, the fact that he’s forced to play a different line speaks volumes. And it also makes him come across as worse than Bush.

    • Aref
      January 29, 2010, 7:44 pm

      I am so glad that Mr. Messiah “recognizes” Palestinian grievances!!!! That does a lot of good. especially knowing that in the mean time, his administration is helping in tightening the siege of Gaza so that Palestinian grievances be further “recognized”!!!!
      Unlike many of the so called “left” in the US I am glad to say that I saw through the smoke screen and did not vote for the lesser of the two evils–I voted for Cynthia McKinney. I wish that people get hold of their fear and vote their conscience not out of fear. What would it take to realize that there is in fact little difference between Republicans and Democrats. They are both at the service of the corporations and the highest bidder.

  35. homingpigeon
    January 29, 2010, 10:41 am

    Hey there’s a story about a tribe that was lost about 2700 years ago being discovered in India and now getting a fast track to the settlements on the West Bank.

    link to original.antiwar.com

    Actually, it makes perfect sense. I am a descendent of people who were druids at that time and I would like to gather up some like minded people to go take over some real estate around Stonehenge. The people there now are interlopers.

    • Chu
      January 29, 2010, 11:14 am

      it’s one of the biggest scams of the last 100 years.

      But you got factor in Holocaust sympathy, that’s part & parcel to Zionism’s global enterprise. To question the game is often anti-semitic. Finkelstein knows it all to well.

      We suffered > we deserve

    • Taxi
      January 29, 2010, 11:16 am

      The article says there’s no ‘Jewish’ DNA linked to the Indian tribe. I say they’re just another bunch of swindlers wanting to join the lucrative zionist scam.

  36. America First
    January 29, 2010, 11:19 am

    Here’s the full Defamation (2009) for viewing or download:

    link to wideeyecinema.com

    • Chu
      January 29, 2010, 12:02 pm

      Thanks for the link. It was blocked for the last two weeks. What an indoctrination the students experience.
      The one statement of the student is great, “That’s what makes us special, that no one can stand us, but we are proud of it”.

  37. Mooser
    January 29, 2010, 11:54 am

    Good job in non-troll feeding! I will emulate.

    • MHughes976
      January 29, 2010, 5:42 pm

      The technique of disrupting discussion (ie smothering free speech) by sending multiple posts, often long, usually barely relevant, by throwing worthless weblinks around and by using a provocative tone that tempts people to reply – to feed the troll – is quite annoying. It’s analogous to disrupting a public meeting by making long speeches about half-relevant topics. Sometimes the individuals – or groups pretending to be individuals – who resort to it seem to be political fanatics, sometimes persons in an unhealthy mental state. Firm moderation is called for, I think.

      • Mooser
        January 29, 2010, 6:08 pm

        MHughes976, I’ll never forget what Glen Greenwald said in response one day to a troll very much like our Baron von Munchrosen. The commenter “Electro Robot” made a comment stating that Glenn Greenwald, by virtue of his opposition some on an aspect of the Israeli regime’s policy, wanted to “gas all the Jews”.
        Greenwald replied: “I find it hard to believe a person who is psychologically healthy made that statement. In fact, I don’t believe it”

        I think he summed it up pretty good.

      • MHughes976
        January 29, 2010, 6:17 pm

        Yes, very witty. (An unintended pun in this context, but I might as well stick to it.) I admire people who can remain poised and cool in the face of crazy talk.

      • Mooser
        January 29, 2010, 7:22 pm

        His answer contained in it the best possible rerason we we shouldn’t feed trolls.

  38. matter
    January 29, 2010, 2:02 pm

    Obmabi’s answer showed just how far AIPAC’s fist is thrust up his asshole.

  39. radii
    January 29, 2010, 3:25 pm

    With all due respect guys, it is the question that is relevant! Of course Obama is owned by the israeli lobby – they still have their agents and operatives at work maintaining their stranglehold over our politics and Treasury. We all know what he believes and wants to do, but he can’t – yet.

    But the y0ung lady’s question got past the screeners and next time it will come from a white person, or a black person, or an Asian … or best of all a young, progressive jewish American student. The question(s) will keep coming and and pressure will keep mounting.

    Zionism is so over, yet the zio-fascists will be the last to know and they will inflict so much more pain and suffering before they are put in check.

    • Psychopathic god
      January 29, 2010, 6:01 pm

      baruch rosen’s panic-posts are a clear indication that a nerve has been nicked.

      indeed, radii, the question is the relevant element.

      If Obama is to resist irrelevance, he will recognize, and tell the public, that the most daunting task he and all American Jews face is helping Israel out of its pathology of violence and into a state of civilized participation in a world where the human rights of all persons are respected equally, and where the sovereignty and economic independence of all states are respected.

      As a gesture, Obama could start by closing the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC; remodelling it to include major displays of destruction of indigenous people of North and South America, of Palestine, of Rwanda. Israel would do well to close Yad Vashem and to follow in Iran’s footsteps: in remembrance of Iranians and all people who have died defending their homes, Iran recently opened a Peace Memorial in Tehran. link to csmonitor.com
      The goal of Iran’s Peace Museum is to reject glorification of death and victimhood in favor of validating life. It is a lesson Israel needs to learn.

      • Mooser
        January 29, 2010, 6:12 pm

        “helping Israel out of its pathology of violence and into a state of civilized participation in a world where the human rights of all persons are respected equally,”

        If that is indeed possible. The Zionist leaders may decide it’s not worth it, and mark my words: they will leave the ordinary people of Israel to deal with the collapse, while they slip out of the country, to wherever they can go and not be arrested.

      • MHughes976
        January 29, 2010, 6:13 pm

        While we’re on Iran – it is a bad sign that Tony Blair has used his evidence to the ‘Chilcot’ Iraq War enquiry in effect to urge war on Iran, the Saddam of our times if he is to be believed. Blair must still be in the confidence of important political circles in the United States and Israel. The effrontery of politicians of his stripe and the weakness and hesitancy of his questioners (in this case very British, painfully polite, far too like me) is rather an ugly thing.

      • Psychopathic god
        January 29, 2010, 7:35 pm

        ugghhh! the bastard!! He said the threat of terrorism as came from Al Qaeda and Iran….
        what is he getting out of this?

      • potsherd
        January 29, 2010, 8:16 pm

        It’s a bad sign that Blair isn’t yet in the dock facing treason charges.

  40. MHughes976
    January 29, 2010, 5:54 pm

    I’ve been reading Roland Boer’s ‘Political Myth: the use and abuse of Biblical themes’. I’m not sure it was worth the £15 I paid for it, since it gets involved in some very heavy duty literary theorising, but it does contain the record some speeches by American politicians – H.Clinton, Rice and especially Pelosi – which make one’s heart sink like a stone. One feature is the incantation-style repetition of phrases like ‘we stand with Israel’, ‘blessed land’, ‘beacon of democracy’. They are mainly of 03-05 vintage. The only consoling thought is that by comparison they make Obama’s recent remarks look quite balanced and objective.

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