Mr. President, we don’t want a shortcut, we want our freedom

on 92 Comments

This morning Mr. President you are so popular in Israel. You are the king of Israel. You did great job. It will be such a shame if you lose the next elections after such a speech. 

While you where speaking at the UN, Ahed Wahdan, a 15-year-old Palestinian boy who was shot yesterday by Israeli soldiers with rubber bullet in his eye, listened to you. 

Farmers in the Palestinian village Deir Estya, who lost their 500 fig and olive trees after settlers set fire to their lands the day before, also listened to you. They were joined by Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jail, Palestinians under siege in Gaza, Palestinians in refugee camps. We all listened to you, and so did millions in the Arab World. 

We listened to you when you talked about Israel’s citizens who have been killed by rockets fired at their houses, and that other children are taught to hate Israeli children. Do you not think that Israeli children hear what is said by rabbis who preach hate about Arabs? And we listened about Jewish suffering. No doubt Jewish people have suffered Mr. Obama, but let us put things in order: Jewish people are not the victims here. The Israeli state is not the victim; it is the occupier and the oppressor which continues to deny Palestinians living in their homeland and in exile ‘their universal right to live in freedom and dignity’.  

When you fail to mention Palestinian suffer under occupation, when you fail to consider Palestinian children as equal human beings who deserve a better future, who are also entitled to human rights, you might win elections, but you lose your integrity, and you make it clear to everyone why the ‘so called peace process’ should be out of your hands.  

We listened to you when you said “there are no shortcuts”, we couldn’t stop wondering, how come South Sudan deserved such a shortcut? A new precedent has been made with the case of South Sudan, UN recognition in five days. No need to answer, we understand that the interests there are different, and so are the standards and the values.  

You are telling us: after 63 years of ongoing Nakba, dispossession, denial of our basic rights, killing and imprisonment of our people, there are no shortcuts. You are telling us: that after the PLO compromised, recognized Israel and accepted only 22% of Palestine (and Palestinians can’t access 60% of that), there are no shortcuts, and after 20 years of negotiations that lead nowhere there are no shortcuts. Is that why the US vetoed 42 security council resolutions critical of Israel against the whole world? Actually Mr. Obama it is not a shortcut we are looking for, it’s an end to the occupation and apartheid, and that’s the one thing we have learned your negotiation process will not give us.  

We listened to you when you talked about the Arab Spring with such a passion. We listened with much suspicion, as America was very happy with the leaders of those countries who ruled for decades, and did not care then for Egyptian, Tunisian, Libyan, Syrian, Yemeni and Bahraini aspirations for freedom and dignity. And we know that you won’t leave those nations alone.

We listened to you and we did not understand why Palestinian freedom and dignity can wait? The only thing your speech made clear is that you do not dare to speak honestly.

If anything you should have learned from the Arab Spring is that you can’t dismiss the intelligence of the Arabs, especially the new generation. Your popularity, and America’s, in the Arab world passes through Palestine. There is no other way. So far, elections, and the support of the Israel lobby, seem to matter more to you. We understand this. But your image as a hypocrite will be engraved in the minds of people around the world and will be difficult to change.  

You mentioned the word hope many times in your speech. We too have hopes and we believe ‘we can’, even without your support.  

Abir Kopty blogs here. Follow her twitter feed @abirkopty. A media analyst and consultant and political activist, she is a former city council member in Nazareth & former spokeswoman for Mossawa, the Advocacy Center for Arab Citizens in Israel. 

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92 Responses

  1. seafoid
    September 22, 2011, 10:06 am

    Abir Kopty writes on behalf of everyone in the Middle East (bar its 5 million right wing nutcase Zionists) and over 1 billion muslims.

    There won’t be peace until Indonesian and Moroccan Muslims and Christians and the people in Sabra and Shatila are allowed back into Jerusalem.

    • Elisabeth
      September 22, 2011, 6:08 pm

      “There won’t be peace until Indonesian and Moroccan Muslims and Christians and the people in Sabra and Shatila are allowed back into Jerusalem.”

      What the hell are you talking about? Am I missing something?

      • seafoid
        September 23, 2011, 3:40 am


        Jerusalem used to be an open city. Egyptian Copts and Lebanese Maronites and Moroccan Sunnis and many others all made pilgrimages to their holy city. Since 1967 access has been cut off.

        Jewish hegemony is one big failure.

  2. Kathleen
    September 22, 2011, 10:16 am

    A 6o year shortcut. What a sham

    • seafoid
      September 22, 2011, 10:22 am

      The sha’am is the arabic name for the Levant, Kathleen ;)

      • MRW
        September 22, 2011, 1:26 pm

        Is that right, seafoid?

      • seafoid
        September 22, 2011, 1:48 pm

        It’s actually the colloquial name for Damascus IIRC .

        Palestine is part of greater Syria innit and it’ll revert to that state eventually. The crusaders lasted 170 years but Zionism will do well to get to half that.

      • Hostage
        September 22, 2011, 3:23 pm

        Is that right, seafoid?

        From what I’ve read, the transliterations obscure the fact, but the ancients used similar terms for the northern (left) and southern (right) wings of the promised land. For example, all of Jacob’s sons were born in Syria, except Ben Yemen – the son of his right hand.

        The major divisions of the Arab homeland (bilad al-Arab) are bilad al Sham (Syria), bilad al-Yaman (the Land of the South), and Bilad al-Iraq (the Land of the River Banks).

      • seafoid
        September 22, 2011, 3:55 pm

        And Egypt is NOT Arab. It is Nile Valley, even today even down to its rates of female circumcision.

      • DBG
        September 22, 2011, 4:28 pm

        Can anyone get in the Arab League? I wonder if the US will join next.

      • Chaos4700
        September 22, 2011, 6:45 pm

        You know, if you stay out from under your bridge too long, DBG, some poor homeless fellow is going to fall asleep there. You might even miss yourself a goat or two!

      • Hostage
        September 22, 2011, 8:31 pm

        And Egypt is NOT Arab.

        It certainly was outside of the biblical boundaries and those discussed in McMahon-Hussein correspondence.

  3. Exiled At Home
    September 22, 2011, 10:24 am

    Hear, Hear!

  4. justicewillprevail
    September 22, 2011, 10:27 am

    A President so compromised and manipulated by the lobby that he will say anything to satisfy their requirements and stop them wrecking his re-election bid. What a humiliation for the US, screwed and skewered by a tinpot dictator in a fundamentalist little belligerent and brutal state. How does he sleep at night?

    • pabelmont
      September 22, 2011, 10:46 am

      But someone — an EU biggie? — must TELL THE WORLD of the USA’s disgrace. Otherwise there is no disgrace. If everyone says, “Oh!, USA!, wonderful speech, great president, aren’t we, the world, lucky to have you?” then there will be no disgrace.

      Perhaps there will be a major, major vote in favor of Palestinian [1] state and [2] membership. after that speech, such would be one way to point to Obama’s disgraceful conduct.

      • MHughes976
        September 22, 2011, 11:09 am

        Well, I wouldn’t put too much trust in our rather odd collection of leaders in the EU, who have other things on their minds. I think they do manage to typify their electorates in one respect, ie in that general Western desire that the whole troublesome thing would just go away. Why won’t these strange foreign peoples just make an agreement, stop bothering us and let us have some oil?

      • Koshiro
        September 22, 2011, 6:13 pm

        The method used up to now – and I am choosing my words carefully – has failed. We must therefore change our method!

        We must stop believing that a single country, even the largest, or a small group of countries can resolve so complex a problem. Too many crucial players are being sidelined for our efforts to succeed.

        I would like to say that nobody imagines the peace process can happen without Europe; nobody imagines it can happen without all the permanent members of the Security Council; nobody imagines it can happen without the involvement of the Arab states that have already chosen peace. A collective approach has become essential to creating trust and providing guarantees to each of the parties.

        That is from French President Sarkozy’s speech at the UNGA. Read the whole thing (as far as it relates to Palestine) here:

        It’s pretty much the speech Obama should have held and would have held if he wasn’t an amoral coward. The “single country, even the largest” bit is not particularly ambiguous.

      • Hostage
        September 22, 2011, 6:51 pm

        The “single country, even the largest” bit is not particularly ambiguous.

        Bear in mind that the General Assembly has been calling for an international peace conference to impose a solution since the early 1980s. That sort of thing, conference-style diplomacy, is hardly without precedent in the earlier Concert of Europe, League of Nations, & the UN. The Versailles Peace Conference had a Committee devoted to the issues of creation of new states and minority protections. The I/P conflict stems from the impunity enjoyed by Zionists to ignore their own commitments made during those conferences. The notion that the UN can’t run the negotiations is utter nonsense at this point. The last real progress under US leadership occurred during the Carter years. The Quartet refused to make Israel comply with the recommendations from the Mitchell report contained in its own Road Map. The UN needs to stop outsourcing its functions and responsibilities.

      • justicewillprevail
        September 23, 2011, 7:51 am

        Sarkozy’s proposed alternative was full Palestinian statehood by 2012, with negotiations from now until then to achieve that. Israel turned it down flat, without so much as a pause to examine the proposals. As it has every time a real proposal has been submitted, unlike the fantasy/pretend endless negotiations which is Israel’s modus operandi by which means they defer forever the Palestinian state, whilst affecting to negotiate and ‘want peace’. Quelle surprise, as the French might say. The liars outed once again.

  5. eljay
    September 22, 2011, 10:28 am

    Well said, Ms. Kopty!

  6. annie
    September 22, 2011, 10:41 am

    Abir Kopty speaks for me too.

  7. Kathleen
    September 22, 2011, 10:53 am

    He is assuring he will fill his campaign coffers with this speech

  8. Kathleen
    September 22, 2011, 10:59 am

    Whoa Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett rip Obama a new Israeli Palestinian “ineptitude” hole
    “But it is the Palestinian issue that highlights the extent of Obama’s craven ineptitude.”

    Can anyone explain why in the hell Chris Matthews etc have swung so far wrong by having people like Frank Gaffney, Bill Kristol, David Frum who have told so many lies and are partially responsible in so many Iraqi deaths and will not have former Bush administration official Flynt Leverett or Hillary Mann Leverett on his program?

    • MRW
      September 22, 2011, 1:31 pm

      Yeah, I can explain, Kathleen.

      It’s called producers’ rights. They’re fools. They’re idiots. But c’est la vie. They’ll never know until they’re dead. But their grandchildren will face the mockery. Payback long after anyone can do anything about it.

      • Kathleen
        September 22, 2011, 3:30 pm

        So how did Dylan Ratigan get Glenn Greenwald on his program (although has not been back since) or Rachel Maddow having Professor Juan Cole on or Carter on the other night who said what Maddow will not go near about the I/P issue.

  9. Chaos4700
    September 22, 2011, 11:04 am

    The United States I was taught about in school is dead. I hope the Palestinians have better luck with the democratic state they will earn themselves, then we had with the one we collectively threw away when we allowed Israel to run our foreign affairs.

    • Kathleen
      September 22, 2011, 11:17 am

      “The United States I was taught about in school is dead.”

      Never existed. Yes we have done some humanitarian things around the world. Yes we have some honorable goals in our constitution. But a nation born via genocide, slavery and Manifest destiny is a nation doomed ultimately to fail if we do not change our ways.
      Can we reduce the damage? Can we slow it down? Can we stay focused on justice in the mean time? Can we keep trying to improve? Yes yes yes

      • seafoid
        September 22, 2011, 1:22 pm

        There are many sleazebags in the US and most Zionists are but there are also the Kathleens and the Annies and the John Trudells and the Philip Glasses

      • Citizen
        September 22, 2011, 5:18 pm

        Yes, seafoid, and that’s exactly what is causing a storm within the Jewish community in USA rights now–the fear that Joe & Jane Blow may actually wake up:

        Jewish American elite fears goy voters may inquire into actual facts re Israel due 2 who-loves-israel-more contest…

        Here’s the link again:

      • Kathleen
        September 23, 2011, 9:09 am

        “Jewish American elite fears goy voters may inquire into actual facts re Israel due 2 who-loves-israel-more contest”

        And the myth that Phillip at times cultivates is that many Jews just did not know. Almost total bull. I like when he points out the pressures that many Jews are to shut up or not look deeper. But excusing this silence for decades or canonizing those who are now willing to stand up now that it has become more acceptable is more ethnic centric behavior. Acknowledge apologize for keeping your mouth shut for so long and push forward.

      • yourstruly
        September 22, 2011, 3:26 pm


  10. Taxi
    September 22, 2011, 11:04 am

    “Your popularity, and America’s, in the Arab world passes through Palestine.”

    We’ve been told this by all kindsa Arabs thousands of times! When the heck are we gonna actually HEAR it! And as far as I’m concerned, it’s a frigging morally reasonable assessment/request. But of course there’s no room for ‘reasonable morality’ on Capitol Hill – only the grease of corruption: money – PLENTY PLENTY PLENTY money: WALL STREET/NRA/PHARMA/EXXON/AIPAC.

    These guys are fleecing AND endangering the fabric and citizenry of this country – let alone causing the deaths and miseries of literally millions of people here and around the globe.

    • justicewillprevail
      September 22, 2011, 11:27 am

      Well at least the US and Israel have one thing in common: neither of them are real democracies, but are run by corporate, military and ideological interests who offer no choice to voters, just plenty of propaganda.

      • Citizen
        September 22, 2011, 5:45 pm

        It’s really hard, given America’s campaign funding system, and in view of Congress as basically bribe-takers, not to view contemporary America as a plutocracy with a veneer of democracy.

  11. Jan
    September 22, 2011, 11:52 am

    Yesterday the state of Georgia murdered a likely innocent man. Earlier in the day at the United Nations President Obama likely murdered a future state of Israel.

    Both murders were crimes against humanity.

    • Bumblebye
      September 22, 2011, 12:25 pm

      Did you mean the future state of Palestine?
      Or do you mean the end of the Zionist state will be nigh due to the changes that will be necessary in enfranchising the Palestinian population?

      • Jan
        September 22, 2011, 5:04 pm

        Sorry, I did mean Palestine, not Israel.

    • Kathleen
      September 23, 2011, 9:19 am


      And Rachel Maddow, Al Sharpton, Dylan Ratigan, Chris Matthews, Ed etc will spend hours on the Troy Davis issue but never ever touch the deaths of innocents in the I/P conflict. And all of this week not one of them took this opportunity to help educate the American public about the facts on the ground.

      They could have Dershowitz on. They could have Finkelstein on if they want to go for the facts or push the envelope. Or they could go soft and have Flynt Leverett, Phyllis Bennis on.

      Not one of them have really tried to really inform the public. Last night Rachel Maddow went into her screaming adolescent and attacked the Iranian President like an insane hormonally imbalanced nut. She never actually addresses what the man said. And some of it nutty just like Obama or Bush but some of it actually makes sense

  12. dbroncos
    September 22, 2011, 12:03 pm

    Obama’s tone was defiant, even belligerent, at times. As if by adding more bass and force to his delivery that he could somehow convince the world of Israel’s righteous cause or that he was something other than Netanyahu’s eager do-boy.

    • seafoid
      September 22, 2011, 3:22 pm

      There is something about the Obama capitulation that goes right to the heart of the inability of the lobby to do anything useful with its immense power.

      In the old days when feudalism was the system in Europe the lord of the manor had the right to sleep with any bride of the village on the night of her wedding. It’s called droit de seigneur, the right of the lord. It’s about power and showing who is in charge. The shtetls knew all about it BTW.

      And that is what the lobby did last night. It took the Palestinian cause, stripped it and raped it in full view of the world BECAUSE IT CAN.
      Except the world isn’t fucking feudal any more, Israel.

      Zero credibility and that wild sated look in its eyes with the jizz dripping onto its trousers.

      • annie
        September 22, 2011, 3:36 pm

        It took the Palestinian cause, stripped it and raped it in full view of the world


      • libra
        September 22, 2011, 4:50 pm

        seafoid: “Except the world isn’t fucking feudal any more, Israel.”

        Great post seafoid, though I would argue that neoliberalism is increasingly looking like a global form of neo-feudalism. And neoliberalism in many ways seems to be the flip side of the neoconservative coin.

        So, for our new Lords of the Manor, “droit de seigneur” surely provides multiple benefits just at it did in the past. Benefits that flow that more easily when you have both the White House and Congress in your pocket.

      • Citizen
        September 22, 2011, 5:51 pm

        I see the current status quo system as regressive, as feudal; it’s quite clearly so once you get beyond the agrarian and lock into the corporate cubical space most in the Western World live in; with the former 3rd World playing catch up and beating us in some respect. The monetary system is actually in charge of the neo-feudal system, same as usury called the tune in the waning of the Middle Ages.

      • seafoid
        September 23, 2011, 5:05 am


        Fair point about neoliberalism. And of course if you are a peasant in the third world there isn’t much sign of progress away from the Middle Ages. And workers in the West see their benefits cut. But we privileged people do not live in a feudal system as of today. We still have rights. We expect others to have them too.

        So when the lobby parade the inferiority of the Palestinians and spit on and humiliate them through the voice of the POTUS it may be entirely consistent with the narrative in Israel but it is incoherent in the framework of how the rest of the world thinks

        This quote from the FT sums up the problem Israel and the lobby have :

        “The strategy seems to be to destroy as much value of the company as possible by consistently underestimating the power of story and overestimating their ability to control it.”

      • piotr
        September 23, 2011, 3:58 am

        According to Wikipedia, there was no “law of the first night”, all sources are from fiction.

        OTOH, a lord had legal authority over serfs with no right of appeal, so a practice could exist.

      • seafoid
        September 23, 2011, 4:57 am


        I know that in particularly poor parts of rural India in places like Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh that if a farmer can’t pay his loans it is not unknown for the lender, usually the local zamindar or landlord, to kidnap a female of the family. Afterwards the woman may be killed by her family in order to retain the family ” honour”

        Droit de seigneur type behaviour is alive and well.

        I could give you some more information about how the women from certain castes in Tamil Nadu were historically required to appear in public exposing their breasts . There is no limit to the human imagination for mental cruelty. And Zionism is just another manifestation.

      • piotr
        September 23, 2011, 8:46 am

        Actually, until 800 years ago “topless unisex” dress was standard in India and more generally, South Asia, as can be seen in sculptures, but also attested in literature. Famous traveler Ibn Battuta was a cleric from Morocco who worked in many communities as qadi (he reached China going from job to job). Once he got a position of a court qadi for the Sultanate of Maldives, and he approached Sultana that it would be better if she and the other Ladies of the Court were covering their breasts; Sultana advised him to shut up and discouraged Ibn Battuta left for another country.

        This custom could be more persistent among tribal and untouchables, but not necessarily “cruel”.

        Kidnapping females for debt is possible but somehow I doubt if it was associated with honor killing. I never heard about honor killing among Hindu, but I read on selling girls to brothels, and of course, there was peonage. That said, I think that India is making a lot of progress

      • seafoid
        September 23, 2011, 9:41 am

        “This custom could be more persistent among tribal and untouchables, but not necessarily “cruel”. ”

        Rural India can be hell on earth

        If they ventured out during the day, they had to tie a coconut leaf to their body, which they pulled along wherever they went. The frond swept the ground and wiped out their footmarks. They could not even spit on the ground as the others did so routinely. Instead, they had to spit into a halved coconut shell, which hung from their necks.

        Chadayan was a Kothukkaaran, a long established resident of the colony. He could do what he pleased to Mary. Nobody would be able to question him. When the panchayat met, he always handed out severe penalties and beatings, so people did not have the courage to cross him. He was always on the lookout with his snake’s eyes, to pick on people who were doing wrong. So all the Kothukkaarar and Karaikkaarar were in his hands. Chadayan could easily find an opportunity to call her family to stand trial in front of the panchayat, on the pretext that they had not done the washing properly. Arokkyam’s family was the lowest servicing clan for the whole town.

        “Tell them to bring out the clothes, Saami.”
        “She’s out of doors. Go and take them yourself, from the corner where they are lying.”


        Chadayan sat in the front verandah, fidgeting with his leg continuously. Mary never came here by herself. Arokkyam would always send Peter along with her. Now Mary wished desperately that she had brought him. She made a prayer, in her mind, to Saint Anthony of Melnariappanur.

        “Saami, push the clothes out with a stick.”

        “Chi, who can touch all that pollution? How can a man do it?”

        “Where are the clothes, Saami?”


        “Ammov, I’ve come; it’s the Vannaati’s daughter. Who’s at home?”

        Mary went inside to look. Chadayan’s wife, Amaravati, was nowhere to be seen. Chadayan’s was a big house with an upper storey. In the whole colony, his was the only house with rooms upstairs. Everyone in town called Chadayan, ‘the owner of the house with upper storey.’

        “Don’t, please, Saami.”

        “It’s wrong, Saami.”

        “It’s not right, Saami.”

        “I’ll lose my reputation, Saami.”

        “I won’t be able to show my face in the street, Saami.”

        “The family will be finished, Saami.”

        Excerpts from Beasts of Burden, translated from Tamil by Lakshmi Holmstrom. Published by East West Books (Madras) Pvt. Ltd

        Price of indignity

        Twenty-one-year-old, Sumangalam (name changed), a Puthirai Vannar girl of T Nedungal village in Cheyyar taluk of Tiruvannamalai district, was raped by a Parayar community boy two years ago. The girl’s parents came to know about the rape only on the seventh month of her pregnancy. Even at that stage, the boy’s parents tried their best to abort the child and took Sumangalam to different hospitals. Doctors, however, refused to do the abortion.
        Sumangalam’s parents then approached the village ‘elders’ for justice. The village panchayat, comprising of members of the Parayar community, heard the case and handed out a verdict. The panchayat directed the boy’s family to pay up Rs 15,000 as penalty for the rape. Rs 8,000 was deposited in the child’s name and Rs 5,000 in the mother’s name. (Rs 2,000 was ostensibly court charges for the panchayat.) Her family was forced to vacate the village after they took up the matter to the police station on the advice of some activists.

  13. Kathleen
    September 22, 2011, 1:23 pm

    NYT: Obama rebuffed as American influence wanes
    France’s Sarkozy steps into the void as US effort to head off a Palestinian bid fo

    • Walid
      September 22, 2011, 2:23 pm

      An Obama shortcut that Abir didn’t mention was Libya. The new regime in Libya comprised of former terrorists was accepted at the UN 5 days ago and hasn’t even yet constituted a governement.

      Palestine’s problem in being loved by the US is that it doesn’t have oil.

      • Kathleen
        September 22, 2011, 2:48 pm

        Oh yeah that Al Queda asset head of the Libyan rebels that Escobar reported about and a few weeks later NPR whispered about it.

        Those Libyan rebels fighting for their freedoms and justice carrying guns, blowing up things, killing people that MSNBC’s Richard Engel and Rachel Maddow kept their focus and cameras on for weeks. While always ignoring peaceful Palestinian protest and Palestinians push for freedom and justice. No hypocrisy there. Shameful

      • American
        September 22, 2011, 3:19 pm

        “Palestine’s problem in being loved by the US is that it doesn’t have oil.”

        Palestines problem is it doesn’t have a mafia like Palestine Lobby like Israel.

      • Citizen
        September 22, 2011, 6:20 pm

        Well, yes, seems you need either oil or an AIPAC to really get Uncle Sam going strong in support for of you. Before the AIPAC motor got really greased up evangelical Christians were the likes of former Prez Carter and that guy the top politicos use to trot out with the high forehead and hair; I forget his name but he was once the only prominent Christian Evangelical preacher regularly around the WH. Ah, now I remember, Billy Grahm.The Hagees are a political force now because Israel Firsters see a use for them, and similarly the Christian Coalition. Every ruthlessly ambitious political animal in USA today sees where the compass points–straight to AIPAC/ADL etc.

      • lysias
        September 22, 2011, 4:29 pm

        There seems to be gas and oil under the sea off the coast of Gaza. Unfortunately, Israel is doing its best to steal it.

      • Kathleen
        September 23, 2011, 9:30 am

        “regime in Libya comprised of former terrorists was accepted at the UN 5 days ago and hasn’t even yet constituted a governement.”

        Links? Proof?

  14. Philip Weiss
    September 22, 2011, 2:58 pm

    Erdogan said this on Charlie Rose last night: There is no peace in the Middle East until the Palestinian issue is resolved. Thank you Abir for helping to explain this.

      • annie
        September 22, 2011, 3:54 pm

        hey thanks lysias

      • annie
        September 22, 2011, 4:13 pm

        from the ‘Erdogan spoke at the UN’ link:

        said that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was the main hindrance to world peace.

        Israel, he said, flouts the United Nations’ authority. “It has failed to abide by 89 biding UN resolutions and has ignored hundreds of others… This is a blow to the sense of international of justice.”

        He urged the international community to “heal the bleeding wound that is the human tragedy suffered by the Palestinian people,” and “show Israel that it is not above the law.”


      • DBG
        September 22, 2011, 4:25 pm

        Wow, the main hindrance to world peace is I/P. he lives in a pretty sheltered world.

      • libra
        September 22, 2011, 5:50 pm

        DBG: “Wow, the main hindrance to world peace is I/P. he lives in a pretty sheltered world.”

        Well Mr. Man of the World, what’s your candidate as the main hindrance to world peace. Iran perhaps?

      • James
        September 22, 2011, 5:51 pm

        how many morons walked out on erdogans speech? i know they did for the iranian leader…

        “Erdogan said that the “Israeli mentality” was the reason for the crisis, adding that the normalization of Jerusalem-Ankara relations was unlikely unless Israel “changes its tune.”

        thanks lysias

      • DBG
        September 23, 2011, 9:55 am


        the world is a lot bigger than the middle east. That is why I was ridiculing the comment by Erdogan, do you really think that the end of Israel will cause war to stop in Africa and Asia?

      • Kathleen
        September 23, 2011, 10:07 am

        Cspan has cut away from playing Erdogans full speech at the UN. They cut away to some really boring congressional meeting where they were talking about some issue in the 1950’s.

        I lobby seems to have taken over the programming at CSpan. All week they have not taken this opportunity (the Palestinian bid) to have guest on from different perspectives. Folks who could direct people towards facts on the ground, the UN site and information there.

      • Kathleen
        September 23, 2011, 10:11 am

        Oh yeah get on the bad bad bad Iran bus just the way the Iraq war thugs , Israel and the I lobby want you too. Rachel Maddow sure follows orders. She acts like a child when it comes to Iran. She does not have guest on who can talk about Iran based on facts like Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett. Micheal Scheuer, Professor Juan Cole.

        Rachel Maddow acts like a spoiled child when it comes to Iran. They are bad bad bad Israel and Jane ‘waddling on over to interfere in the Aipac investigation” Harman, Micheal “niger documents” Ledeen tell us so.

    • lysias
      September 22, 2011, 3:49 pm

      Geert Wilders was harshly criticized by the Dutch Prime Minister in the Dutch Parliament today for having called Erdogan an “Islamic monkey” [Dutch: “een islamitische aap”]: Dutch PM and Wilders clash over Erdoğan remark. For Dutch, see Rutte botst hard met Wilders.

      Correction: I didn’t read those articles carefully enough. It was another deputy from Wilders’s party, Raymond de Roon, who used the “Islamic ape” phrase, but Wilders defended it.

      • Kathleen
        September 23, 2011, 10:13 am

        Too bad about Wilder. But not surprised facts do not matter to him when it comes to Israel

    • Jan
      September 22, 2011, 5:08 pm

      Phil – Is it possible that the US does not want peace in the Middle East? As long as the pot is boiling Israel can whine about its victimhood and the weapons manufacturers can continue making and selling their obscene weapons while laughing all the way to the bank.

      Peace is not something that the Americans, the Israelis or the weapons manufacturers want.

      • James
        September 22, 2011, 5:53 pm

        that is the view that i hold jan… these folks don’t want peace… the banking industry definitely doesn’t want peace either… war= money..

      • American
        September 22, 2011, 6:36 pm

        Up until recent times, before Bush, the US foreign stragety for the ME was what was called “Off Shore Blancing”. Meaning ‘projecting’ just enough power to keep any one country from controlling the ME. The goal was “Stability” for the sake of our oil interest. This was the only reason we intervened against Saddam in the Gulf War.

        Now that stragety is shot to hell.

        The only possible threat to the stability we desire is Iran. Iran is only a threat because the US has rejected every overture and every effort made by Iran for years since the Shah fell, to have a “mutual respect and agreement’ pact with the US.
        Israel can ‘t have that. When the Shah was in Iran Israel had trade relations with Iran and got oil from them. Since the Shah was the US boy Israel got a lot of very favorable trade terms with Iran to make Israel happy.
        When the Iranians kicked the Shah out they also kicked out the overly favorable trade terms with Israel. Much like what Egypt has done now that Muruback is out. Israel has agitated against Iran ever since then because Iran does have influence in their region and if Iran could ditch the US puppet and Israel others would get ideas also.
        Israel can’t afford for the US can’t have a strong and influential ally in the region that would make Israel even more useless to the US.
        Gotta have enemies and potential enemies of the US for Israel pitch it’s ‘only ally’ claim.
        Saudi is the only Arab state Israel can’t do anything about. All they can do on that one is send their hasbara out to pitch how horrible Saudi Islam is for human and women’s right.

      • lysias
        September 22, 2011, 6:41 pm

        “Merchants of death” is what arms makers were called in hearings after World War One.

    • American
      September 22, 2011, 5:20 pm

      King of Jordon said that too in this interview on NPR:

      “No matter what’s happening in the Middle East —— the emotional, critical issue is always the Israeli-Palestinian one.”

      Inskeep: As you know, King Abdullah, Turkey has downgraded the state of its relations with Israel. Your country, we’ll remind people, has relations with Israel. Have you considered downgrading your relations with Israel?

      Abdullah: No. But it’s funny that you should mention this issue because, again, if we have a very negative impact coming out of the United Nations — in other words that the Palestinians are really short-handed on this issue — you saw recently what happened in Egypt with the attack on the Israeli Embassy; Turkey downgrading its relationship, Egypt having problem with Israel. We have, as you mentioned, peace with Israel. We’re actually the last man standing. So there is going to be immense pressure and people asking, ‘Why are we having this relationship when it’s not benefiting anybody?’ Obviously, my answer is you always benefit from peace. But practical steps on the ground — we have seen no intention from the other side to try to move the process forward.

      Inskeep: You’re saying you could be forced to take steps against Israel?

      Abdullah: I’m not the type of person that is forced. But having said that, there are going to be a lot of questions, not just in my country, but across the Middle East. Is Israel going to continue to be “Fortress Israel”? Or, as we all hope, become accepted into the neighborhood, which I believe is the only way we can move forward in harmony. No matter what’s happening in the Middle East — the Arab Spring, et cetera, the economic challenges, high rates of unemployment — the emotional, critical issue is always the Israeli-Palestinian one.”

      • Kathleen
        September 23, 2011, 10:14 am

        King of Jordans comments at the UN were crisp and clear

    • Citizen
      September 22, 2011, 6:30 pm

      I watched a Rose interview with a top Saudi Arabian diplomat a few nights ago. The guy answered every one of Rose’s questions regarding Israel-Palestinian issues the same way the non-hasbara regulars on this web site would have answered. It was uncanny. So guys, we are not alone in our thinking with some top folks in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi guy was very well informed and Charlie Rose never asked any follow-up after each response; he just went on to his next question. He did not look happy, wise, full of inquiry, but weary, much more so than he usually is on his show.

  15. yourstruly
    September 22, 2011, 4:01 pm

    no peace in the Middle East until the palestine issue is resolved?

    make that no peace in the world until the palestine issue is resolved

    because the zionist theft & occupation of palestine is what stokes the anger that underlies all the violent messianic movements in the middle east & central asia

    justice for palestine + troops out now & there’ll be no cause in those region “worth” dying for

    the good example of justice & peace in the middle east will be reproduced wherever there are violent conflicts

    with peace on earth and goodwill to all living beings sure to follow

    • Charon
      September 22, 2011, 6:58 pm

      I agree that this issue has a major impact in the world and once it is resolved it will be more peaceful. But the US and all of the West need to stop supporting puppet dictators and police states. This support is the reason for the status quo with Iran. Israel has done their fair share of trouble making though other than the military conflicts (destroying Iraq and Syria’s nuclear facilities, the wars in Lebanon, the peace treaty with Egypt which is the reason for martial law,etc.). They also have nukes and are crazy enough to use them.

      If the powers that be really wanted peace this would’ve been resolved ages ago and the dictators could all be removed in favor of real democracies. But because of the oil, not going to happen any time soon. It sounds repetitious but it’s true. It is all about the oil.

      • yourstruly
        September 22, 2011, 9:41 pm

        agree with everything you’ve said

        to accomplish all these goals (including justice for palestine), what it’ll take is worldwide social transformations, with perhaps the most critical transformation, that which takes place in the u. s. of a.

  16. American
    September 22, 2011, 5:51 pm

    I have always thought Seale and Fisk had the best fingers in the wind on how the ME was going. This just says what’s been predicted all along.
    The thing is one never knows what is going in the back rooms between US-Isr-ME countries most of the time or when the secret deals can’t hold the status quo together any longer. So no one can say if or what will be the last straw or when. The zios and Israelis think it can go on forever. It’s funny (sick funny) how they thought their Clean Break theory and invasion of Iraq would bring all their enemy States down like dominos and realign the ME under their power.

    “New geopolitical map of the Middle East is being drawn”
    There’s a rebellion against US-Israeli policies — in effect a rebellion against their hegemony in the region

    By Patrick Seale, Special to Gulf NewsPublished: 00:00 September 23, 2011

    • Taxi
      September 22, 2011, 6:42 pm

      Patrick Seale is by far a better mideast analyst than Fisk (not dissing on Fisk, just saying my opinion). Seale is less ‘commercial’ and he doesn’t need to go get his information from shopkeepers and street vendors like Fisk does. Patrick Seale’s ear is to the ground and his Arabic is accented and perfect – unlike Fisk who’s Arabic is a bit of a mish-mash spoken with a thick middle-class British accent.

      I’ve actually met both men and I found them both delightful and smart company. Seale is older than Fisk, with more experience in the region – also Seale is married to a Syrian, Rana Kabbani, the niece of the great poet Nizar Kabbani.

      • American
        September 22, 2011, 8:51 pm

        Thanks Taxi, very interesting tidbits to know….
        Actually I’ve read more of Seale since I cam across him than I have Fisk.

  17. dbroncos
    September 22, 2011, 6:29 pm

    Obama got what he wanted from Netanyahu: a scratch behind the ears and some wet food in his bowl.

  18. crone
    September 22, 2011, 8:08 pm

    Obama won’t win a 2nd term.

    • biorabbi
      September 22, 2011, 9:06 pm

      A President Romney or Perry would be more pro-Israel than Obama, and our President is more zionist than many faux stalinists(progressives)woud have dared possible. It’s one of the things I love about Obama.

      • annie
        September 22, 2011, 10:22 pm

        A President Romney or Perry would be more pro-Israel than Obama

        yeah, and it might teach dems they can’t keep relying on much of their grassroot support while screwing us over.

    • Charon
      September 22, 2011, 11:22 pm

      Considering his competition, I’m pretty sure he will. Unless Ron Paul pulls of a miracle and wins the primaries.

      Perry is publicly saying that faith and prayer will be central to his policies and I’m sure Jesus will be his running mate. Romney is a Mormon and no offense to any Mormons out there but he doesn’t stand a chance. We’ve only had one Catholic president.

      There are a lot of nutters who would vote for these guys, but not enough. At least I don’t think there would be enough.

  19. atime forpeace
    September 22, 2011, 9:03 pm

    I’d like to raise my cup and make a toast Mr President, To Shame!!! Hear hear!!!drink from the cup.


    Will you ever surprise us, Mr President? Will you ever show them what you can do for Peace?
    Surprise us please.

    That Peace price must mean something. Oops i meant prize.

  20. atime forpeace
    September 22, 2011, 9:23 pm

    Sam 8:18

    And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the LORD will not hear you in that day.

    Or surprise us.

  21. piotr
    September 23, 2011, 4:16 am

    Rep. Israel from NY proposed a resolution in Congress that could be excellent: break military cooperation with all countries that would vote for Palestinian statehood. We would liquidate military installations in the entire middle east, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and hopefully a nice swath of Europe. Think of savings! All the troops, supporting personnel, logistical chains — gone!

    And there are also bills with good chances of passing that started to alarm Israel. How about USA getting really offended at UN for, say, accepting Palestine as “observer state” and WITHDRAWING from UN. No more veto. Too bad that UN charter does not reserve veto to permanent members of UNSC who are not behind in paying membership dues.

  22. piotr
    September 23, 2011, 4:59 am

    On another note, I checked the press in the homeland of Eva Smagacz. The largest newspaper does not mention the issue at ALL (??!!). It may have something to do with the owner being Jewish. But there is a commentary on Turkish plan to have naval escort of ships to Gaza, basically “the can do it and they should do it”. What was surprising to me is that the author is a rather conservative Jew.

    But other newspapers cover it, and they are rather positively describing Palestinian attempt, mention “failure of the West” etc. Mind you, it used to be hard to find a more pro-American country, Reagan was in very high regard etc. Now Congressional Republicans are described as irresponsible demagogues (Poland has to shortage of domestic examples of the species). Radio news had a 12 minute segment with some background information about the occupation titled “country behind barbed wire”. Predictions are that Polish government will abstain.

    On-line comments are split between pro-Palestinian and “paleo-antisemitic”.

    My general impression is that the regard for both USA and Israel declined quite a bit in the last few years. This is not the most current example, but during the previous election campaign for Parliament the “moderates” proposed to make partial privatization of hospitals and “the right wing” was accusing them that they will ruin health care “and it will be as awful as in USA”. The end result was that “moderates” won and did not make any privatization. Now there are elections again, and the “right wing” spend last few years accusing the “moderates” of being traitors who sold Poland to Russia and Germany, but somehow for the sake of election campaign they stress how cool are the girls that pose for their posters. (Amazingly, according to opinion polls the new approach helped a lot, but luckily Poland has proportional representation and the right wing has no chance for ruling coalition.)

  23. Remax
    September 23, 2011, 5:05 am

    This thought occurred to me during last night.

    Circumstances over which the US had little control have awakened the Arab world to the indignities of decades of subservience and exploitation. US Islamophobia and deadly military incursions into Islamic lands have forged deep seated anti-American attitudes among significant numbers, which economic irresponsibility and moral depravity have confirmed. Events during the last year have forced the veil from Obama’s eyes and he sees there is no longer hope of fundamental rapprochement between the West and the Arab world for the foreseeable future because it would call for seismic changes in far too many areas of US life and attitudes. Israelis have been accepted on the Western team and thus the Palestine statehood issue is no longer about Palestinians and their lives and land but about taking up position for a far greater conflict the US sees ahead. And indeed may well intend to provoke.

    • yourstruly
      September 23, 2011, 8:07 am

      ….no longer hope of fundamental rapprochement between the West and the Arab world for the foreseeable fuure because it would call for seismic changes in far too many areas of US life and attitudes.

      far too many?

      such as supporting nationalization of oil during the ’73 oil embargo

      like whait happened back then in a major U.S. metrropolitan area

      when a referendum* was circulated to people who were stuck in their cars in long lines circling gas stations, waiting their turn at the gas pump. at six or so of thse stations, when asked if they’d sign the referendum, most people couldn’t sign fast enough. we attained about 500 signatures, but then the embargo ended & the effort collapsed. had we been able to introduce the referendum earlier, we’d have collected many thousands of signatures.

      oh, but there’ll never be another oil embargo?

      yeah, and there’ll never be a collapse of our health care system

      never be the abandonment of public education

      never be a scuttling of social security

      never be an awakening of the american people

      except when conditions are just right

      and how close are we now?

      *put together with the help of several faculty memberss of a local university, submitted to and authorized for circulation by the appropriate state agency

  24. DICKERSON3870
    September 23, 2011, 10:13 pm

    RE: “Mr. President, we don’t want a shortcut, we want our freedom” ~ Abir Kopty

    THE FREEDOM N_ZI* SEZ: “No freedom for you!” I’ve got a reelection campaign to finance and run!
    * The “freedom n_zi” is very loosely based on the Seinfeld “soup n_zi” episodes.

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