An excellent point from the great Henry Siegman at Huffington Post. It is about the power of the Israel lobby in American politics, on the Democratic side too. And so the question is: Why is Obama nullifying his own ideas in favor of a Republican neoconservative’s ideas? Didn’t Obama whup the neocons in ’08? No: the neocons have a beachhead inside the Democratic Party because the neocons are the hawkish part of the Jewish family and we are simply too important in Democratic politics to be cast aside. Siegman excerpt– here he urges Obama to hold Israel to the ’67 lines to create a Palestinian state and concludes with that Abrams wisdom:
Yes, when Arab countries sought to prevent Israel’s existence and the U.N. passed the “Zionism Is Racism” resolution, they were the obstacle to peace. Since that resolution was withdrawn and Arab countries abandoned their opposition to Israel and offered not only peace but formal recognition and normal relations in return for an Israeli withdrawal from occupied territories in their Arab Peace Initiative of 2002, it is Israel that has been the main obstacle to peace, because it not only ignored that initiative but perversely increased its settlements and deepened its hold on the West Bank.
The only aspect of Obama’s approach to Middle East peacemaking that Abrams welcomes is his opposition to the Palestinian’s intention to bring the case for their statehood to the United Nations, a prospect that has thrown Israel’s right-wing government and its supporters in the U.S. into a frenzy of accusations that Israel has become the victim of a global campaign of delegitimization.
In fact, the only delegitimization taking place is Israel’s delegitimization of the Palestinians and their right to statehood within the 1967 borders. And it is doing this not with empty rhetoric or resolutions at the U.N. but with brutal “facts on the ground,” dispossessing Palestinians of their homes and lands in the Occupied Territories with its bulldozers backed by the IDF’s firepower, and transferring its own population into those areas in blatant violation of international law. It is a delegitimization that has gone on now for over 40 years. Yet when a resolution condemning this out-and-out rogue behavior was finally brought before the Security Council, the U.S. vetoed it, and now promises to once again veto a Security Council resolution that would affirm the Palestinian right to self-determination.
President Obama’s inspirational speeches in Cairo and at the Department of State notwithstanding, for all practical purposes, it is Abrams’ prescriptions rather than his own that he is allowing to prevail.