Obama can’t stop talking about love (and that’s bad news for the Israel lobby)

Israel/Palestine
on 40 Comments

Obama’s got the love drug. He used the word six times yesterday in his Memorial Day speech. At times it came out of the blue:

I love my daughters more than anything in the world…

He used the word love 14 times in Joplin, Missouri the day before.

the actions of these individuals were driven by love — love for a family member, love for a friend, or just love for a fellow human being.

Love isn’t just love between two people, it has a political social dimension. Obama talked about that love in Ireland last week:

as President McAleese has written, “For all the apparent intractability of our problems, the irrepressible human impulse to love kept nagging and nudging us towards reconciliation.”

Obama is a deep, thoughtful man, and he carried that idea of love that can heal a formerly intractable conflict– the words we all use about Israel and Palestine– to England a day or two later. He spoke about the Arab spring in hopeful terms, and about Ireland too. And lest there was any doubt about the lesson to Israelis, Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron said at his joint press conference with Obama that intractable Ireland is an example for the Middle East, and Obama picked up the analogy and ran with it, expressing impatience:


Let me just pick up on what David said about Ireland.  It was inspiring to see, after hundreds of years of conflict, people so rapidly reorienting how they thought about themselves, how they thought about those who they thought once were enemies.  Her Majesty’s visit had a profound effect on the entire country.  And so it was an enormous source of hope.  And I think it’s a reminder that as tough as these things are, if you stick to it, if people of goodwill remain engaged, that ultimately even the worst of conflicts can be resolved.

      But it [now referring to Israel/Palestine-- the original question] is going to take time.  And I remain optimistic, but not naively so, that this is going to be hard work and each side is going to have to look inward to determine what is in their long-term interests, and not just what are in their short-term tactical interests, which tends to perpetuate a conflict as opposed to solving it.

All this love talk is bad news for the Israel lobby, which loves itself. Obama’s speech to AIPAC last Sunday was filled with obeisance, yes, but sand and scorn: “The world is moving too fast.  The world is moving too fast.  The extraordinary challenges facing Israel will only grow.” 

And when he went before the British Parliament last week, Obama mentioned Israel only once. And he did not include it in his list of American interests in the region. No, that list included energy, and implicitly support for “minority rights” in a democracy. 

The United States and United Kingdom stand squarely on the side of those who long to be free.  And now, we must show that we will back up those words with deeds.  That means investing in the future of those nations that transition to democracy, starting with Tunisia and Egypt -– by deepening ties of trade and commerce; by helping them demonstrate that freedom brings prosperity.  And that means standing up for universal rights -– by sanctioning those who pursue repression, strengthening civil society, supporting the rights of minorities. 
     We do this knowing that the West must overcome suspicion and mistrust among many in the Middle East and North Africa -– a mistrust that is rooted in a difficult past.  For years, we’ve faced charges of hypocrisy from those who do not enjoy the freedoms that they hear us espouse.  And so to them, we must squarely acknowledge that, yes, we have enduring interests in the region -– to fight terror, sometimes with partners who may not be perfect; to protect against disruptions of the world’s energy supply.  But we must also insist that we reject as false the choice between our interests and our ideals; between stability and democracy. 

I say that these last two weeks have angered Obama. He is reserved and protean, he sees a mainstream American discourse, urged on by the Arab spring, opening about Israel, and he wants to lead it, and secretly he hates the selfishness of the Israel lobby.

Because love isn’t just social, it’s personal. And Barack Obama is the son of a freethinking midwestern woman who overcame differences to love a Kenyan man. The values he celebrated in Joplin:

As the governor said, you have shown the world what it means to love thy neighbor….And in the face of winds that showed no mercy, no regard for human life, that did not discriminate by race or faith or background, it was ordinary people, swiftly tested, who said, “I’m willing to die right now so that someone else might live.”

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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40 Responses

  1. notatall
    May 31, 2011, 11:51 am

    Hope deferred maketh the heart sick.

  2. Doctor Pi
    May 31, 2011, 11:56 am

    Hi Philip,
    don’t mean to kill your buzz here, but Obama’s use of the word “love” here reminds me so much of Ivan Illich’s thoughts about plastic words.

  3. annie
    May 31, 2011, 12:08 pm

    i love this post. i think you are right again phil.

    • patm
      May 31, 2011, 12:35 pm

      I agree with you annie, and with Phil.

      Obama has every right to be angry at the shameful conduct of America’s Israel Firsters these past few weeks.

      And there’s every reason to believe he knows HOW to love. He seems to have had a loving mother and grandparents, and to have a loving wife and children. The ability to love is learned, it’s not innate.

      Let’s hope he does decide to lead the Arab spring all the way to Palestine.

      • kapok
        May 31, 2011, 2:06 pm

        This is nuts. Attila the Hun loved. Does Obama’s love mean less death from the skies?

  4. kapok
    May 31, 2011, 1:09 pm

    What treacle! Obama loves love? Not as much as being re-elected.

  5. Citizen
    May 31, 2011, 1:10 pm

    Whatever. But there is no way Obama does not appreciate what his mother did in her life, and how her parents rose to the moments. And he will appreciate it more as time goes on. And his steady stare at Bibi during Bibi’s nearly entire arrogant speech in the next TV moment chair, is there for all to see, right along with just how tightly Obama held his thinker’s pose, tight enough to that brown chin that sweat broke out on Bibi’s forehead.

    • kapok
      May 31, 2011, 2:14 pm

      Yeah, my mom too. And? Hugs and kisses all around. And the fairies will sprinkle love all over your farkukte war.

  6. Jim Haygood
    May 31, 2011, 1:34 pm

    Watch what he says, not what he does. Reading John Pilger provides a bracing reality check against wishful thinking:

    ————

    As “Mr. Hopey Changey” (the name that Ted Rall, the great American cartoonist, gives Barack Obama), is fawned upon by the British elite and launches another insufferable presidential campaign, the Anglo-American reign of terror proceeds in Afghanistan and elsewhere, with the murder of people by unmanned drones – a US/Israel innovation, embraced by Obama. For the record, on a scorecard of imposed misery, from secret trials and prisons and the hounding of whistleblowers and the criminalizing of dissent to the incarceration and impoverishment of his own people, mostly black people, Obama is as bad as George W. Bush.

    The Palestinians understand all this. As their young people courageously face the violence of Israel’s blood-racism, carrying the keys of their grandparents’ stolen homes, they are not even included in Mr. Hopey Changey’s list of peoples in the Middle East whose liberation is long overdue. What the oppressed need, he said on 19 May, is a dose of “America’s interests [that] are essential to them.” He insults us all.

    link to lewrockwell.com

  7. Leper Colonialist
    May 31, 2011, 1:59 pm

    POTUS Obama may love his daughters, but he’s terrified of AIPAC. So, guess what that means?

    Yeah, POTUS Obama can stare at the unspeakable Bibi and beam hate thoughts at him, but until he puts concrete political actions on the table, concrete actions unacceptable to Bibi and his ilk, it’s just a pose. It’s neither sound nor fury, and it signifies less than nothing.

    • kapok
      May 31, 2011, 2:45 pm

      Fukkin A! Spouting platitudes helps only the Oppressor.

  8. TemperamentalCow
    May 31, 2011, 2:24 pm

    Many people, myself included, have been abused by parents who loved them very much and didn’t know how to do any better.

    All this time speculating about what’s in Obama’s head is a waste.

  9. American
    May 31, 2011, 2:25 pm

    I don’t know about Obama, he’s a mystery to me.
    Turn the kaleidoscope– get a different picture every time.
    In the end I suppose he’s just another politician who makes nice speeches.
    Not one to upset the political applecart and make real changes.

  10. Taxi
    May 31, 2011, 2:42 pm

    Talk ’bout love and then continue the drone wars against Afghan, Pakistani and Libyan civilians.

    Yea how inspiring.

    The guy’s a politician with a honey’d tongue. Very dangerous type.

  11. mig
    May 31, 2011, 2:53 pm

    I have read some time now Michael Scheuer blog, and he and others do some pretty good points. Some are not imho, but what a heck. :

    Barack Obama: Neoconservative crusader

    While some in the media swoon over President Obama’s “plan” for the Middle East — note the Washington Post’s piece by David Ignatius — and the Israel-First fifth column prepares to teach the Democrats a lesson in 2012, the rest of us common folk can see how irrelevant we are to the foreign-policy plans of Mr. Obama and our bipartisan political elite.

    In his May 19th, 2011, speech, Obama details our elite’s desire to reshape the Muslim world in its image, an image which has nothing to do with America and everything to do with a coterie of very well educated elitists issuing edicts that tell Americans and Muslims to accept behavioral instructions from their betters and then think, act, and vote accordingly. And Mr. Obama, again, demonstrated the bankruptcy of the U.S. educational system. A product of two of our most prestigious universities, Mr. Obama was arrogant, ignorant of the world, and blithely unaware that he is either.

    Adopting the crazed and crusading words of Mr. Bush and the Neoconservatives, Obama began his Middle East speech by saying “we know our own future is bound to this region,” and proceeded to instruct the Islamic world that, because this is true, Muslims must become just like us — or else. From there on, Obama signals his and our political elite’s disdain for Americans and assumes a mantle of interventionism much more encompassing than anything ever worn by the lamentable Woodrow Wilson.

    In his arrogance, Obama condemns “the relentless tyranny of governments that deny their citizens dignity” and argues that “[i]n too many countries, power has been concentrated in the hands of too few,” referring in each case to Arab dictators. He seems unaware that he also described a U.S. government that, under both parties, has for thirty years denied its own citizens dignity at every turn:

    –Both parties have ruined the economy so we have to hold out the begging bowl to Chinese and Arab dictators. They also have created 9-percent unemployment; made the nation hostage to foreign oil producers; put 45-plus million Americans on food stamps; and left 20-percent of American kids without enough to eat.

    –Both parties have made our military contemptible by refusing to allow U.S. forces to win wars our presidents unconstitutionally start.

    –Both parties have refused to enforce existing immigration and border-control laws so that Mexico’s impoverished population, endemic corruption, and drug-related violence are flowing into our southwestern states. The Democrats also use this festering wound they and the Republicans created to prepare the ground to abridge the 2nd Amendment.

    –And while all this goes on, both parties steal money from the pockets of U.S. citizens to give to Israel, spend on the defense of the Saudi tyranny, and fund an Egypt run by a military dictatorship.

    Obama and his bipartisan colleagues do not seem to realize that tyranny can be defined not only as political and physical oppression by foreign regimes, but by the callousness, indifference, incompetence, and lawlessness of the United States government. Ought not Washington give top priority to the “dignity” of U.S. citizens, who are, after all, the ones who pay taxes and see their soldier-children die to help Bush and Obama chase the insane goal of giving dignity and U.S. wealth to foreigners?

    In his ignorance of the world, the super-Wilsonian Obama then performed as an interventionist extraordinaire, detailing his diktats to the Muslim world and Israel:

    –Obama out-Bushed Bush and the Neoconservatives by a country mile, calling for U.S.-dictated (and enforced?) regime change in Libya, Syria, Bahrain, Iran, and Yemen.

    –Obama unilaterally declared Islam out and secular democracy in. He then redeclared Mrs. Clinton’s cultural/feminist war on Muslim society and Islamic culture by announcing that Washington demands the implementation of “free speech, the freedom of peaceful assembly; freedom of religion, equally for men and women under the rule of law; and the right to choose your own leaders — whether you live in Baghdad or Damascus; Sanaa or Tehran.”

    –Obama dismissed some of the age-old and lethal religious problems in Islamic civilization — Coptic Christians-vs.-Muslims, Shia-vs.-Sunni — as meaningless rivalries akin to those between Kiwanis and Rotarians. Obama never recognized that he, Mrs. Clinton, Senator Graham, and Senator McCain ensured the slaughter of more Egyptian Copts by promoting “democracy” in Egypt, and that he and Bush increased the hatred of Sunnis for Shias by making Iraq a Shia state, a move that increases the chance of regional sectarian warfare. He finishes with a goal that could not be enforced by all the military might at America’s disposal: “Coptic Christians must have the right to worship freely in Cairo, just as the Shia must never have their mosques destroyed in Bahrain.” Obama also seems to forget that he, Bush, and Petraeus got a semblance of stability in Baghdad because they allowed the Shias’ sectarian cleansing of most of the city’s Sunni population.

    –Obama intervened more deeply into a Muslim-Israeli religious war that is irrelevant to U.S. national interests and security. He ordered Israel to obey his new policy on a return to the 1967 borders, thereby undermining its right to defend itself as its leaders see fit. No country has a “right to exist,” but all have an absolute right to defend themselves. Obama, in dictating to Israel, takes the fallacious right-to-exist doctrine and adds to it the caveat “as long as Barack and Hillary approve.” [1] On this issue, Obama once again proves he, his party, and the Republicans cannot get a handle on the Founders’ simple definition of non-intervention, which is; do not get involved in foreign disputes and wars in which you have no interest. (NB: Some U.S. citizens who call themselves non-interventionists also misdefine non-interventionism on this issue by arguing that non-interventionism means being anti-Israeli and pro-Palestinian.) The appropriate non-interventionist position is: A pox on Israel and Palestine, both are absolutely unessential to U.S. interests or security and should receive no U.S. funding or protection. [2]

    –Obama abolished the sovereignty of the nation-states he dislikes and promised to direct U.S. officials to use money and technology in an interventionist campaign across the Muslim world that will create chaos, violence, and Islamist strength, not democracy. “Our message is simple,” Obama said, in words fit for a man unfamiliar with reality, “if you take the risks reform entails, you will have the full support of the United States. … Across the region, we intend to provide assistance to civil society, including those who may not be officially sanctioned, and who speak uncomfortable truths. And we will use the technology to connect with — and listen to — the voices of the people.”

    After detailing his interventionist, democracy-mongering, and probably war-producing agenda, Obama caps his crusader presentation with a monumental lie: “So we face a historic opportunity … There must be no doubt that the United States of America welcomes change that advances self-determination and opportunity.” For Obama and our bipartisan governing elite nothing could be farther from the truth. These men and women welcome “self-determination and opportunity” only if it results in secularism and Western-style democracy, which, of course, requires the destruction of Islam.

    In his May 19th speech, Obama declared war on most of the world’s Muslim population; made himself the agent through which Professor Huntington’s warning of a “clash of civilizations” will become reality; and ensured that the remembered words and deeds of Osama bin Laden will continue to inspire young Muslims to hate and fight the U.S. government for its unrelenting interventionism in the Muslim world.

    ——————————————————————
    1.) One can never rule out the chance that Obama cleared his remarks with Netanyahu before he spoke. By insisting that HAMAS must recognize Israel’s “right to exist,” Obama and Netanyahu may be betting that HAMAS stands by its guns — as it will when asked to surrender because of a “right” dreamed-up by the West — and thereby can be made to take the fall for another breakdown of the “peace process.”

    2.) If Obama blind-sided the Israeli government, the one positive aspect of his intervention is that he might have cost himself and the Democrats the 2012 election by alienating the Israel-First fifth column of U.S. citizens, much of the media, AIPAC, and the AIPAC-suborned Congress. Electing the Republican Party as it is currently configured is no improvement, but Obama’s defeat would show Americans how deeply U.S.-citizen Israel Firsters have corrupted their political system, while simultaneously cutting Israel’s throat with their maximalist, Muslim-hating positions. With this corruption manifest, Americans might then begin to eradicate these agents of a foreign power from U.S. political life.

    link to non-intervention.com

  12. patm
    May 31, 2011, 3:04 pm

    America has to have a president. Who would you rather it be?

    Sarah Palin? Some other right-wing wacko? Or the guy you’ve got?

    • Taxi
      May 31, 2011, 5:37 pm

      It’ll be nice if we had a non corporate whore for president, don’t you think?

      But unfortunately both sides of the isle are corpowhores.

      The two party system is bad for America and good ONLY for corporations.

    • Chaos4700
      May 31, 2011, 7:19 pm

      You know actually, I think we’d be better off with no President at all with the way US politics are going. Same with the Senate. The House of Reps is salvageable as far as I can tell, and it’s the single most deeply democratic element of our so-called democratic government.

      Nothing has changed from Bush to Obama where it comes to foreign policy. And almost nothing has changed domestically. TARP? Obama picked up that torch. Leaving the money trail for health care squarely in the hands of private industry? Obama did that (and it’s hilarious to me that Republicans got the free market solution they were hoping for and now they shriek that it’s “socialism!” just because they got it from a black man). Defund and destroy ACORN? Obama obligingly stood aside and he’s doing the same for efforts to outlaw Planned Parenthood as well.

      You ask us if we’d rather have right wing policy-making in the White House right now. My response is, we already do and I hate every minute of it.

      • patm
        May 31, 2011, 8:28 pm

        “You ask us if we’d rather have right wing policy-making in the White House right now. My response is, we already do and I hate every minute of it.” Chaos4700

        We had 5 parties vying for votes in Canada’s recent federal election. The two major parties were pretty much interchangeable; the more right wing Tories won. They had more corporate money and Christian Zionist money. Ugh!

        I confess I’m not very hopeful about the future of left-wing parties anywhere in the world. Glaciers melting, climate refugees on the move, water wars, food shortages, bigger and more deadly storms.

        People will panic and listen to any demogogue who promises safety.
        I think the screws will tighten down hard on the good people of planet earth.

      • Chaos4700
        May 31, 2011, 10:08 pm

        Well, south of your border is your Ghost of Christmas Future. If you think things are bad in Canada now, just wait until your right wingers feel comfortable enough to privatize your health care system.

    • RoHa
      May 31, 2011, 9:42 pm

      “America has to have a president.”

      Why? American presidents haven’t done anyone any good for a long time. Shouldn’t Americans try something else?

  13. Sumud
    May 31, 2011, 4:41 pm

    Phil – please have a read of this article by Joseph Massad and let us know if you still think Obama is a love machine. I’m not convinced.

    Are Palestinian children less worthy?

    Note the article’s sub-title: Although Palestinian children endure lives of suffering, Obama’s love for their Israeli counterparts knows no limit.

  14. bindup
    May 31, 2011, 5:49 pm

    Phil and Annie are on to something – ie that listening hard to what Obama says can teach us something, even when the contrast between the suffering we see on the ground, and the mere “words” of his speeches, makes our blood boil.

    I’m guessing that Obama see leadership very differently than most of us do. I think he sees his task as laying the basis for “real” change , and that means his “moves” are not all-about-him. They’re about us. Specifically, it seems to me that his overall strategy is to clear a space for the rest of us to step up. If we don’t agree with him, he expects us to organize. If we do agree with him, he still expects us to organize.

    Given the considerable constraints of US politics, it’s a brilliant approach. So Obama puts “settlements” front and center, exposing the problem, and the perpetrator, to a US audience that’s mostly ignorant of Pal/Is realities. Next, he puts “’67 borders” front and center. Ditto. All the while, essential actors, large and small, around the world and within the region,are taking the initiative.

    Looking at the world stage, what can we next expect?

    PA Unity government gets off the ground in time to put Statehood resolution before the Security Council in July. Palestine lobbies hard so that if/when US vetoes, it will veto (more or less) alone, which is essential if Palestine is to successfully invoke “Uniting for Peace” GA Resolution 377 (Read JPost editor David Horowitz on 377 ) , and force a vote on the matter in the General Assembly.

    This summer/fall is the two-state moment. It may be (very) brief, in which case on to one-state. But things are moving and Obama, I believe, sees his task as positioning the US in “the very center” (to use Justice Goldstone’s phrase at the Stanford Debate), where truth, & respect for the humanity of all parties, must be acknowledge, which would be no small achievement in itself.

    Either way, something entirely new is breaking out, and I think Obama gets that only we, the people, can effectively align our country with the good in it.

    • Donald
      June 1, 2011, 10:13 am

      “I’m guessing that Obama see leadership very differently than most of us do. I think he sees his task as laying the basis for “real” change , and that means his “moves” are not all-about-him. They’re about us. Specifically, it seems to me that his overall strategy is to clear a space for the rest of us to step up. If we don’t agree with him, he expects us to organize. If we do agree with him, he still expects us to organize.”

      You are propounding the theory that Obama is the 11 dimensional chess player who secretly agrees with you. It’s one of those theories that is irrefutable, because it doesn’t matter if Obama prosecutes whistleblowers and overlooks torture (indeed, it continued under his administration) and if he kills hundreds of civilians with drone strikes–he secretly “wants” to be pressured by people to his left. That’s also why he lashes out at lefties who do try to pressure him. It’s also why his most enthusiastic defenders join in trashing people to his left.

      There’s no evidence that Obama is anything other than a fairly smart politician, slightly left of center on some issues by US political standards, but very much in the mainstream on foreign policy. He sees the I/P conflict as a problem for America and he’s probably exasperated by Netanyahu’s unwillingness to throw the Palestinians the minimal number of “concessions” that he could then sell as a generous peace offer. And Netanyahu has humiliated him in public. That’s gotta sting.

  15. MHughes976
    May 31, 2011, 5:53 pm

    The love talk is an expression of Obama’s basic Christianity – I don’t think he’s a neo-pagan, as the alarming Michael Scheuer (thanks to mig for the reference) would have it. The Christian intellectual class thinks that the solution lies in both sides’ loving and seeing the value of the other, becoming increasingly moderate and eventually agreeing a mutually cooperative 2ss. I no longer think that this approach is morally or theologically adequate. Indeed it lapses into sentimentality.

    • Taxi
      May 31, 2011, 6:42 pm

      Now the birther nutties out there are gonna be calling Obama the ‘moslem pagan’. (And apparently pew research says 1% of Americans BELIEVE he’s secretly jewish).

    • bindup
      May 31, 2011, 7:12 pm

      I’d put it this way: with regard to human relations, basic respect for the human person before us, along with standing up for the truth of a situation, are two aspects of the very same thing, which is the basis of a sustainable life together. This basis must by necessity acknowledge the reality we are.

      But what is that “reality” we are ? That we grow and change, and are each somewhat “unknown” to both ourselves and others. That means that I make a big mistake when I reduce others, much less myself, to the ideas and feelings they (or I) hold.

      So, to get real, if I berate another person (much less myself), the most healthy reaction on their part (or mine) is to recoil. In fact, a steady deluge of scorn, prejudice, and ad hominem attacks tends to “weaponize” people. Hence the undeniable fact of on-going “cycles of violence”, even when, especially when, we deny we have any common interest.

      The trick is to tell the truth without dripping with scorn, to love without falling into the “sentimentality” of avoiding hard truths. But I’ve seen people do it: that is, be hard as nails with respect to truth, but also respectful of others’ basic humanity.

      This is not sentimentality. It’s the toughest, most resilient, process there is. It’s life itself.

      I think Moses pointed to what’s at stake in his parting words: I’ve set before you life and death, blessings and curses; now choose life, so that you and your children may live. (Deut 30:19)

      • Donald
        June 1, 2011, 10:38 am

        Ah, so that’s where you are coming from. I suspected that the other day. I won’t argue against it because in theory I agree and I’ve even tried that with RW before losing patience months ago. I don’t agree that one should “lay off” on RW as you suggested in that other thread. His arguments are not those of some lonely crank–they are the arguments that dominate our mainstream discussions in the US. Change the phrasing and RW could be Tom Friedman or Barack Obama. But I do agree it is better to respond to his points without dripping with scorn. However, for that to happen one probably needs a tag team, so that someone else takes over refuting his points when patience begins to lapse.

        Plus, I’m not sure a philosophy that requires people to be saints actually works that well by itself. If you look at real life cases there’s usually some coercion or non-Gandhian factors that were at least as important. Gandhi’s movement didn’t work too well for Gandhi–the British left because they couldn’t afford to stay, and the Partition was an enormous bloodbath. And independent India turned its back on Gandhi. MLK had success, but ultimately it was outside coercion that put an end to Jim Crow. The rest of the US found the South to be an embarrassment. And I can tell you that white racists in the South didn’t like MLK and did not feel respected by him. They despised him. He is widely admired now because he’s safely dead and his more radical criticisms (which strongly resembled those of Jeremiah Wright) are forgotten. (Obama, btw, knew that full well when he threw Wright under the bus.)

      • bindup
        June 2, 2011, 12:52 am

        You are propounding the theory that Obama is the 11 dimensional chess player who secretly agrees with you.

        I don’t think Obama agrees with me, secretly or otherwise. :)
        I just think his ME failure (settlement stop & 67 borders as basis for negotiations) has also provided a very high profile reality check on the Israeli narrative that benefits us.

        Whereas I tend to see Bush’s failures as… just damn bloody failures.
        (yep, Afghanistan could be Obama’s dbf)

        You’re right about “saints”. But I think there are a lot more of those types around than just the famous ones and that it’s all of our moments of saintliness that actually hold things together. If there’s anything the Palestinians I’ve met have shown me, it’s that scorn-free truth telling is an exercise in samoud, not a capitulation.

  16. DICKERSON3870
    May 31, 2011, 6:36 pm

    RE: “Love isn’t just love between two people, it has a political social dimension.” – Weiss

    RABBI LERNER:

    “We need to build millions of little moments of caring on an individual level. Indeed, as talk of a politics of meaning becomes more widespread, many people will feel it easier to publicly acknowledge their own spiritual and ethical aspirations and will allow themselves to give more space to their highest vision in their personal interactions with others. A politics of meaning is as much about these millions of small acts as it is about any larger change…” – Michael Lerner
    ~
    “Instead of a bottom-line based on money and power, we need a new bottom-line that defines productivity and creativity as where corporations, governments, schools, public institutions, and social practices are judged as efficient, rational and productive not only to the extent they maximize money and power, but to the extent they maximize love and caring, ethical and ecological sensitivity, and our capacities to respond with awe and wonder at the grandeur of creation.” – Michael Lerner

    SOURCE – link to wisdomquotes.com

    • DICKERSON3870
      May 31, 2011, 7:21 pm

      P.S. AN EXCELLENT DOCUMENTARY, SOMEWHAT RELATED
      Glass: A Portrait of Philip in Twelve Parts, 2007, NR, 119 minutes (Streaming available from Netflix until 6/1/11, approx 3:00 PM ESDT tonight)
      Filmmaker Scott Hicks [the Director of Shine (1996)] takes you behind the scenes to spend a year in the life of legendary composer Philip Glass as he travels the globe writing and recording music. Featuring exclusive interviews with Glass’s family and colleagues as well as glimpses into the composer’s private life, this portrait of one of modern music’s most celebrated talents also includes appearances by Ravi Shankar, Woody Allen and Martin Scorsese.
      Availability: Streaming and DVD (Streaming until 6/1/11)
      NETFLIX LISTING – link to movies.netflix.com
      Glass: A Portrait of Philip in Twelve Parts (2007) official trailer HD HQ (VIDEO, 03:06) – link to youtube.com
      GLASS: A PORTRAIT OF PHILIP IN TWELVE PARTS (2007), Part Five – Riding to Work on Mars (VIDEO, 11:55) – link to youtube.com

      • DICKERSON3870
        May 31, 2011, 7:45 pm

        RE: “3:00 PM ESDT tonight” – me, above
        SHOULD HAVE READ: 3:00 AM ESDT tonight

  17. Keith
    June 1, 2011, 12:13 am

    “Obama is a deep, thoughtful man….”

    Obama is a political harlot. I believe that educator John Dewey once said that “Politics is the shadow that big business casts upon society.” Big business, particularly Wall Street, runs this country and the American empire. Obama knows his place and will play his role accordingly. To read too much into Obama’s verbal ambiguities (much less his facial expressions) is to take comfort in self-deception. Not a good strategy.

  18. kalithea
    June 1, 2011, 12:18 am

    Haim Saban noticed too and he’s gonna teach Obama how to LOVE Israel. Money talks.

    link to friday-lunch-club.blogspot.com

  19. Citizen
    June 1, 2011, 8:24 am

    Did you all notice when Obama was asked (in the context of his hard line against Iran) didn’t Israel have nukes and threaten to use them, and didn’t he think that was a factor in Iran’s behavior, that Obama responded, “Well, I don’t care to speculate there (as to whether or not Israel has nukes).”

    What does Uncle Sam really gain by continually ranting on about Iran’s potential to get the bomb, even a tiny one, but steadfastly refusing to discuss or even mention the fact Israel has over 200 of them? Why doesn’t the American public ever even mention this fact, and why doesn’t the MSM tell them? It’s not even relevant?

  20. ig
    June 1, 2011, 10:38 am

    According to Aluf Benn of Ha’aretz, Obama was under the impression that the Israelis did not object to his pre 1967 lines formulation when it was written into his speech.

    Maybe there was less to the pre 1967 remark than many assume. On the other hand, maybe the report is false.

    The Americans were surprised. The impression they had gleaned from the prime minister’s messengers to Washington – President Shimon Peres and Netanyahu’s adviser Yitzhak Molcho – was that Netanyahu would reservedly welcome the president’s idea of “1967 plus swaps” and might even privately agree to Obama’s formula during his visit to the Oval Office. But Netanyahu continued on his offensive, lecturing Obama on Jewish suffering in front of the cameras.

    link to haaretz.com

    I also have read that George Mitchell wanted to present an American peace proposal as a starting point for negotiations. This is not something the Israelis or Dennis Ross desire. According to reports in the Israeli papers, Mitchell resigned because of the President’s refusal to present an American plan.

    • Taxi
      June 1, 2011, 2:27 pm

      “Mitchell resigned because of the President’s refusal to present an American plan.”

      You mean because he was continuously stabbed in the back by both Ross AND Obama!

      Heck Mitchell knows that only an IMPOSED peace plan would work – in other words, only a third party sword can unravel the Palestinain-isreali G0rdian knot.

  21. Ismail
    June 1, 2011, 1:03 pm

    Speculating about the contents of Obama’s heart (and I have no reason to think that it’s anything but an empty vessel, but never mind) has nothing to do with politics. He endorses love? Excellent. Me, too. But he does not act in a loving way – to Palestinians, to Americans, to anyone (OK, maybe to Michelle, who urges us to plant gardens while the Husband-in-Chief appoints agribusiness ogres to Agriculture Dept posts….family tradition, this rhetorical affection for rainbows and granola and hearts bursting with love while casting one’s political lot with Tyson and drones and torture).

    And microscopically parsing his speeches to discover some hidden nugget of a potential call-to-arms to his progressive base reminds me of nothing so much as the wishful delusions of a battered spouse explaining to incredulous friends that her tormentor has a really good heart and this time, he really, really means to do right.

    Psychologism has taken over political reasoning. Obama’s mom’s freethinking choice of spouse is a reliable predictor of….what, exactly? A boilerplate recitation of brotherhood, unity and self-sacrifice in the face of a natural disaster that could have come from the mouth of Bush? (I propose the regular application of Ismail’s Law to any political speech: insert a negative into the speech under scrutiny – if it is unthinkable that anyone would ever utter the resulting opinion, the speech is meaningless. To take the example that Phil provided, imagine someone saying, “I am disturbed by the selfless acts of bravery foolishly performed by some for the sake of their neighbors” Imaginable that you would ever hear a politician say such a thing (Objectivists excluded)? Nope. So, a meaningless puff of hot air, designed to burnish his image with his base at a cost of precisely zero.

    I am immensely angry at Obama, and tremendously frustrated by those (some of whom – Phil, for example – I have tremendous respect for) who furnish apologies for his bad behavior. The exact analogue is the PEPs; those who have keen insight and good politics and good hearts but who inexplicably have a blind spot when it come to I/P.

    • Citizen
      June 1, 2011, 5:27 pm

      Michelle’s nice garden to feed her kids natural foods was made by the US Park Service. You pay for it. Obama is a sham; he doesn’t even believe in free speech: link to salon.com

      Some constitutional scholar Obama is.

  22. eljay
    June 2, 2011, 7:48 am

    >> Because love isn’t just social, it’s personal. And Barack Obama is the son of a freethinking midwestern woman who overcame differences to love a Kenyan man.

    Not sure how any of that explains Obama’s apparent love of war and empire.

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