My 72 depressing hours on Obama’s trail

Israel/PalestineUS Politics
on 61 Comments
US and Israeli flags
Image via Blog.StandforIsrael.Org

If you ever had a burning desire to see the American-Israeli alliance shine, there wasn’t a better place to be than Jerusalem last week. Spending 72 hours there, on the trail of President Obama’s tour through Israel/Palestine, was more than enough time to appreciate the enormous work ahead of those wishing to shift policy on the conflict in the U.S. Those three days were full of symbolic gestures that testified to the rock-solid U.S.-Israeli alliance—gestures that obscured the dispiriting reality for Palestinians forced to live under the grinding system of control Israel has imposed on them.

Ben-Gurion Airport on day one of Obama’s tour was ground zero for seeing the alliance up close and personal. You couldn’t walk around the place without seeing American and Israeli flags flying together. An Israeli military band blared out the sounds of Hatikvah, the Israeli national anthem, and the Star Spangled Banner. That band also played out a song, “Jerusalem of Gold,” which celebrates the so-called reunification of Jerusalem, a result of the capture of the holy city by Israeli forces following the 1967 war. Nobody, including the American officials gathered there, batted an eye, though.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Florida Congresswoman who as chair of the Democratic National Committee helped lead Obama’s Jewish outreach during the last presidential election, walked alongside Congressman Eliot Engel and greeted the Israeli officials lined up. President Obama did the same, and even shook the hand of Naftali Bennett, the new Israeli cabinet official who wants to annex Area C and further solidify Israeli apartheid.

At that exact moment, it seemed as if nothing could shake the decades-old American posture towards Israel. If the rise of Bennett and other racist, right-wing officials determined to colonize the West Bank doesn’t shake that posture, what can?

The next two days of Obama’s jaunt through Israel/Palestine were full of other depressing moments.

There was the press conference where Obama fawned over Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, repeatedly referring to him as “Bibi.”

There was Obama paying homage to Zionist icon Theodor Herzl.

And yes, the much-heralded Obama speech to Israeli youth was the icing on the cake of the tour that showed the world how strong America’s ties to Israel were.

For a few brief moments, Obama spoke the truth about the situation that Palestinians were living under. But they were hollow words, given the fact that it is Obama, on the same trip, who announced the extension well into the future of American military aid to Israel. That speech to Israeli youth, as other analysts have observed, also saw Obama affirm the Zionist narrative of Jewish redemption in the land of Israel, with no mention of how that “redemption” was carried out through the ethnic cleansing of 750,000 Palestinians who were never allowed to return to their land.

The Jerusalem Convention Center speech should be remembered as the moment where the U.S. president promised unconditional support for Israel no matter what it does; more colonies, more apartheid, more war crimes will be funded by America, no questions asked.

On the other side of the ugly separation wall, the story wasn’t much different. There, a small group of protesters in Ramallah sought to penetrate through the careful choreography of the Obama trip by yelling for the president to go home. But they were stopped on a march by walls and walls of Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces. The Western-trained and financed forces were there to protect the Muqata as the meaningless Obama press conference with PA President Mahmoud Abbas carried on.

The Obama visit to Ramallah was meant to shore up Abbas’ position as the true and legitimate Palestinian leader, no matter what actual people on the ground think. That shoring up is fundamentally about protecting Israel from the wrath of Palestinians who first have to deal with a leadership primarily interested in their self-preservation, rather than a true liberation struggle. The Obama administration understands the need to preserve the Oslo-initiated status quo, where the PA puts down unrest in the West Bank in exchange for Western support. That’s what the millions of dollars in aid recently released to the PA from the U.S. was all about.

This distressing reality is enough to make you want to bury your head in the sand. Day in and day out, Israel further strengthens its hold on the West Bank, and the U.S. just sits back and nods. The PA carries on with empty talk and continued lip-service to negotiations that has only got the Palestinians more settlements.

But of course, the answer is not to bury your head in the sand, though that’s the easy thing to do. It is Palestinians who suffer from the status quo every day, and they have not yet given up. It remains the responsibility of the Americans who fund the conflict, and who are the main reason why Israeli apartheid can continue to exist, to speak up and say enough.

The odds are stacked against those wishing to see a shift in American policy towards Israel. Despite those odds, though, calls for justice for Palestine should continue to ring out. Perhaps eventually, those calls can create a deafening ring that is impossible to ignore. Until then, it remains imperative to continue to at least try and expose the toxic system Israel has created, and the American support than enables that system to carry on without any costs.

61 Responses

  1. Ramzi Jaber
    March 29, 2013, 11:58 am

    AMEN. AMEN. AMEN. Well said Alex, totally echoes my feelings during these 72 hours.

    He didn’t even have the courage to visit the racist separation wall, give a speech to Palestinian youth, pay tribute to all those who were killed/injured/imprisoned, or utter the word 1967. What a coward!

    1S1P1V – one state, one person, one vote. March on.

    • just
      March 29, 2013, 6:35 pm

      1S1P1V indeed!

      Well said, Ramzi!

      • Ramzi Jaber
        March 30, 2013, 12:09 pm

        Just, thanks for your support.

    • susan1
      March 29, 2013, 9:13 pm

      Out of the margin: One-state paradigm and nonviolent resistance are now standard fare on US left Ramzi, didn’t you bother to read the document written by Khalil Shikaki , a link to which was provided at the end of Weiss’s article? Did you read Shikaki’s analysis detailing how Palestinians are RELUCTANT to give up the possibility of a sovereign state in the occupied Palestinian territories , NEXT to Israel ? or do you prefer to see the conflict and the suffering of the Palestinian people,( you know the ones who actually live under Israeli military occupation) continue for many, many more decades if a compromise temporary or permanent solution involving 2 states is not reached ? I think the conflict can only drag on painfully for decades if both parties want to insist on playing the” zero sum game.” See article by Phil Weiss – “Out of the margin: One – State paradigm and nonviolent resistance are now standard fare on U.S. left” by Philip Weiss on March 24, 2013 23

      • libra
        March 30, 2013, 7:49 am

        susan1: I think the conflict can only drag on painfully for decades if both parties want to insist on playing the” zero sum game.”

        I can only agree with this statement. But then isn’t the never-ending search for a two-state solution the ultimate “zero sum game”? Haggling over the same small pizza rather than making a bigger one to share. This explains why after decades of “negotiations” we still are no nearer two-states despite nominal Israeli and Palestinian majorities supporting this outcome, as Khalid Shikaki states in his document. In this light, Ramzi’s call for a single, democratic state is the exact opposite of a “zero sum game”.

        Frankly, it does not matter whether Ramzi has read Khalid Shikaki’s document. I finally plowed through all ten pages of his rather dense and repetitive prose. He offered no new insights either on the current situation or how to go forward. Ultimately, his is a voice from the past. unable to offer fresh ideas because he simply cannot see a single, democratic state working. So he never even attempted to imagine the significant benefits such a state could bring to both the Palestinians and the Israelis, not to mention the Middle East region as a whole.

      • Ramzi Jaber
        March 30, 2013, 7:53 am

        susan1, I have a lot of personal stories to share with you about living under occupation. I also have a lot of stories to share with you about waiting for the 2SS. But guess what, 46 years of TALK about 2SS yielded nothing but more suffering, pain, deaths, land theft, and yet another generation born and grew under oppressive occupation.

        So, continuing to do the same thing again and again while hoping for the end of occupation is not going to change anything. Another 46 years??

        The reason 2SS continues to be pushed is because the PA and a few select elites in Palestininan society are now so intricately vested (i.e. lots of money and power) in it and in the occupation itself. The PA security forces are doing Israel’s dirty work against its own people!!

        Also, when the US is strongly pushing 2SS, one has to stop and think why is that. My basic axiom: Anything the US is pushing is not good for Palestinians as the US is Israel’s agent. Where have they been for 46 years????

        Finally, all this talk about a 2SS with a JEWISH State of Israel cannot work. Did anyone really stop for a second to think what does that REALLY mean? What will happen to the 22% non-Jewish Palestinians? Will the DEMOCRATIC State of Israel force all of its Palestinian citizens not to have more than one child per family or maybe none? Maybe force them to have medical procedures to ensure their fertility rate is cut or drops to zero? Maybe they plan to deport them all? What is the answer?? A 2SS with Israel insisting to be Jewish CAN NEVER be achieved until Israel publicly articulates what is it going to do with its 22% Palestinian citizens and what is its plan as that percentage gets to 50% +1 in 50 years?

        So, 1S1P1V is the best solution for all and the best protection for the rights of all citizens of the DEMOCRATIC State of the Holy Land, Christians, Moslems, and Jews alike.

      • Sumud
        March 30, 2013, 8:36 am

        Did you read Shikaki’s analysis detailing how Palestinians are RELUCTANT to give up the possibility of a sovereign state in the occupied Palestinian territories , NEXT to Israel ? or do you prefer to see the conflict and the suffering of the Palestinian people,( you know the ones who actually live under Israeli military occupation) continue for many, many more decades if a compromise temporary or permanent solution involving 2 states is not reached ?

        You might want to read Shikaki’s article again. It’s not like the 2 state solution is just there for the taking and all Palestinians need to do is step up and take it. Shikaki sees very little hope for the 2 state solution and acknowledges in the piece it is now all but impossible.

        Oh yes, one more thing: before you lecture Ramzi Jaber about what Palestinians do and don’t think you migh… … …well, I’m gonna leave you to work out why that’s a bit silly.

  2. broadside
    March 29, 2013, 12:36 pm

    For my money, the real grovelling on The Groveling Tour was the laying of the wreath at Theodor Herzl’s grave. It’s as if Obama said to Netan, er, Bibi, “Tell me what you’d like me to do. Anything.” And Bib, er, Netanyahu looked around the room at his cronies, looked at Obama, and said, “Lay a wreath at Theodor Herzl’s grave…?” And Obama said, “Fine.” Whether they waited for Obama to leave the room before they started laughing is anyone’s guess.

    • Kathleen
      March 29, 2013, 5:37 pm

      Really thought Obama would really focus on the facts on the ground and put some pressure on Israel which Dr. Zbigniew Brezinski and others recommended. Clearly that is not happening. Instead Obama kissed BB’s ring and confirmed nothing has or will change and many are facing time to push hard for
      ONE STATE ONE PERSON ONE VOTE.

    • talknic
      March 29, 2013, 10:47 pm

      The level grovelling is shown by non-Jewish President/s of the United States wearing kippa/s ..

  3. W.Jones
    March 29, 2013, 1:27 pm

    Seventy-two hours. The three days in the tomb. May Passion Friday in the Holy Land have a hidden joy.

    An inner redemption in the spirits of the native people where they have been freed from compliant acceptance of imprisonment. May Mondoweiss also feel this inner redemption. On the outside, a monumental Wall of separation. On the inside, wings that carry one above it.

  4. Kathleen
    March 29, 2013, 1:58 pm

    Alex such an honest yet brutal post. So appreciate your observations. Israel with Obama’s assistance closes the door to a two state solution. The reality on the ground tells the real story.

    One state, one person, one vote!

    • Joe Ed
      March 30, 2013, 9:03 am

      Too late for one state or two state.

      Israel has got to go. It is inevitable. If Israel continues to exist and its supporters/agents in the American elite continue to call the shots, the world is headed for WWIII and it will be horrific

      • eljay
        March 30, 2013, 10:48 am

        >> Israel has got to go.

        Israel must be reformed. Supremacist “Jewish State” must go. It’s an immoral and unjust construct that should never have been permitted to exist in the first place.

      • just
        March 30, 2013, 2:50 pm

        Please eljay, with all due respect, tell me why it is an “immoral and unjust construct”?

      • eljay
        April 2, 2013, 7:55 pm

        >> Please eljay, with all due respect, tell me why it is an “immoral and unjust construct”?

        Seriously? Please, with all due respect, tell me:
        - What is moral and just about an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist state?
        - What is moral and just about using terrorism and ethnic cleansing to create such a state?
        - What is moral and just about the 60+ years, ON-GOING and offensive (i.e., not defensive) campaign of aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction and murder used to maintain and expand this state?

        I very sincerely would like to know.

  5. yrn
    March 29, 2013, 2:01 pm

    “Yes to Israel.” 64% of Americans support Israel over the Palestinians – a survey of the Institute “Gallup” published on the eve of the visit of U.S. President Barack Obama Middle East. U.S. support for Israel is that three years but over 60% support in the latest poll is the highest surveys recorded the “Gallup” in 25 years.

    • Shingo
      March 29, 2013, 4:46 pm

      64% of Americans support Israel over the Palestinians – a survey of the Institute “Gallup” published on the eve of the visit of U.S. President Barack Obama Middle East.

      And yet, the eat of the world ranks Israel alongside North Korea and regards Israel as the greatest threat to world peace.

      Those efforts to brainwash the Americam public and keep them ignorant are paying off.

    • talknic
      March 29, 2013, 10:43 pm

      @ yrn Polls are irrelevant to the actual legal status of Israel’s internationally recognized sovereign extent and Israel’s actions as the Occupying Power over non-Israeli territories.

      They’re also irrelevant to how the US recognizes Israel and irrelevant to the US’s legal obligations to International Law per the Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States (1933/34)

    • radkelt
      March 29, 2013, 11:28 pm

      yrn says:
      March 29, 2013 at 2:01 pm
      “Yes to Israel.” 64% of Americans support Israel over the Palestinians – a survey of the Institute “Gallup” published on the eve of the visit of U.S. President Barack Obama Middle East. U.S. support for Israel is that three years but over 60% support in the latest poll is the highest surveys recorded the “Gallup” in 25 years.”

      Mr. Kippot above devastates us antis. Of the 64% cited above, what %
      are “below average, reputed to be 50% of the sample” what % polled
      were of the “Jewish Persuasion” What % wear tin-foil hats? etc.

      Some polls indicate a persistant conviction that the earth is flat, that
      some corporeal bodies commute between heaven and earth, that
      democracy is alive and well in the USofA.

      In short, polls have an increasingly dubious value inside a body
      incessantly drowned in a corporate media tsunami. Not to say
      they are totally devoid of significance, but the message begs
      critical interpertation, sorely lacking in the MSM discourse.

    • Hostage
      March 30, 2013, 1:55 am

      64% of Americans support Israel over the Palestinians

      Gallup’s annual World Affairs survey only asks Americans to rate a list of more than 20 countries. I would rate Israel higher than Palestine in a number areas too. But that doesn’t mean that I blame the Palestinians for their economy or living conditions; support Israeli policies; or want the US government to give Israel any foreign assistance appropriations.

      FYI, Israel consistently scores at the bottom of opinion polls in the rest of the world, e.g. BBC Poll: Israel’s global image plummets: Israel ranks among states perceived to have most negative influence on world, according to BBC poll; only Iran, Pakistan do worse — link to ynetnews.com

  6. James Canning
    March 29, 2013, 2:20 pm

    I have stated a number of times that the power of the Israell lobby in the US is growing. Not much in this piece to prompt a revision of my viewpoint.

  7. James Canning
    March 29, 2013, 2:21 pm

    When the Pope visited the West Bank, he wanted to deliver an address with the Separation Wall as a backdrop. Israel refused to allow it. Obama clearly did not want any use of the Separation Wall as a backdrop.

  8. James Canning
    March 29, 2013, 2:23 pm

    Israel indeed has created a “toxic system” that the US foolishly helps to keep in place. One worries that “supporters” of Israeli oppression of the Palestinians will bring about a US war with Iran, in order to reinforce insane colonisation programme.

  9. Avi_G.
    March 29, 2013, 2:53 pm

    Excellent article, Alex.

    Keep up the good work.

    Abbas’ position as the true and legitimate Palestinian leader, no matter what actual people on the ground think.

    The march is on to install puppet regimes in the region, whether by force or through coercion.

  10. Citizen
    March 29, 2013, 2:55 pm

    It occurs to me that there is nothing in Obama’s mother’s life that suggests she would not be pro-Palestinian and back BDS to the hilt. Ditto for her father, and relatives in Africa. As for his maternal grandparents–I don’t know. Wonder if Obama ever thinks about this when he’s alone. I wonder how much Michelle Obama knows about the I-P conflict…

    • just
      March 30, 2013, 12:14 am

      All good questions that should be asked (yelled) from the rooftops….

      (I thought I already did that… oh, well, plow ahead)

      Yell more loudly! BDS! 1S1P1V!

    • kalithea
      March 30, 2013, 12:32 am

      True. but then Obama threw everything that used to matter including his integrity under the bus to pursue the “American” dream, correction…the Zionist dream.

  11. Chu
    March 29, 2013, 2:59 pm

    Whatever happened to free will? Obama neo-toady for AIPAC.
    This trip proved it. Even at the start of the student speech, he
    made light of the conflict beteen him and Yahoo, saying the
    media did this. That was the only part of the speech that seemed
    to ring true. Perhaps it’s all one sick perverted illusion.

  12. American
    March 29, 2013, 3:05 pm

    Well, it’s going to get more and more depressing and gawd only knows where it going to end.
    Congress is still pushing resolutions for attacking Iran, laying the groundwork.
    Everyone speculates about what Obama what might have said to Netanyahu privately, that Obama might have pushed on some issues—like giving him credit for Israel’s apology to Turkey…but that’s not really accurate, Israel was already engaged in negotiating with Turkey on compensation for the Turkish citizen killed.

    But the real point is, it doesn’t matter what Obama might have pushed Netanyahu on in private talks, because what Obama did with his ‘fawning’ was let Netanyahu know that the Lobby, not the US President has the final and only say so on Israel.
    This does not deter Netanyahu from striking Iran, it actually let’s him know that if he does, no matter what the US Military command will say, no matter whether Obama wants to or not, the Lobby and the US congress will make sure Obama involves us in Israel’s war…as he said he’s a politican and has ‘to be pushed politically” and the Lobby and congress will push him.
    So regardless of what Obama said to his Israeli youth audience about peace with Palestine, Netanyahu saw that Obama would do nothing to impede Israel doing whatever it wants…Netanyahu walked away with confirmation that the Lobby still rules –and with a promise of aid increased to 4 billion till 2027 and 200 million more for Isr missiles defense.

    • kalithea
      March 30, 2013, 12:13 am

      Yep…this was the “Bibilove” trip.

      Aside from the ingratiating nature of the trip and speech, the real gag moments were by far when he referred to BIBI and the “Zionist dream”. One man’s dream is another man’s nightmare. One man’s “bibi” is another man’s tyrant.

  13. ivri
    March 29, 2013, 3:50 pm

    The almost total convergence of US and Israel political lines is not that so hard to understand: In this dangerous world the US must have some real allies and not least so in the important Mid-East region. As the situation stands now the Arab world is in a miserable state and cannot fulfill that function – it is so both in how countries there conduct their own affairs and how they tend to blame others for all the problems. Apart from some Gulf emirates the US practically gave up on all of them as reliable and effective partners. Turkey competes with Israel on the “good friend” status but it is tilting too hard towards Islamism and autocratic ruling style by Erdogan. This leaves Israel as the key real ally and hence the Gallop results, Obama`s attitude and likewise the entire political and military establishment in the US (there are other factors too that connects Israel and the US and they serve to fortify the above). As the world gets even more dangerous for the US the value of real (and effective!) allies will only increase.

    • kalithea
      March 30, 2013, 12:04 am

      Aye! Dense Neocon rubbish.

    • Sumud
      March 30, 2013, 8:44 am

      As the world gets even more dangerous for the US the value of real (and effective!) allies will only increase.

      Can you please name ONE positive thing that Israel has done for the US, ever? You, know, the kind of thing that would demonstrate that Israel is an valuable ally to the US.

      • just
        March 30, 2013, 2:57 pm

        *crickets*

      • Djinn
        March 30, 2013, 10:45 pm

        It has never attacked the US military; oh wait hang on… It has never attacked US citizens; nope can’t run that one either…It supports the US financially; yeah OK that really won’t fly…It sends troops to fight alongside the US in its never ending imperial quest; dammit I’m outta ‘arguments’

        I have some sympathy for the Zionist trolls here, unless you’re pathological liar, it’s a hard road.

    • Misterioso
      March 31, 2013, 12:51 pm

      “In this dangerous world the US must have some real allies…”

      Your comment is comparable to praising the arsonist for allegedly helping put out the fire.

      Emerging reality:

      The bombshell briefing by senior military officers presented to Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Michael Mullen in 2010. The team was dispatched by Commander General David Petraeus to brief the Pentagon on intelligence that Israeli intransigence in the peace process was jeopardizing American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and America was perceived as weak, ineffectual, and unable to stand up to Israel.

      Ha’aretz, January 13, 2012:
      “‘Israel is supposed to be working with us, not against us,’ ” Foreign Policy quoted an [American] intelligence officer as saying. ‘If they want to shed blood, it would help a lot if it was their blood and not ours. You know, they’re supposed to be a strategic asset. Well, guess what? There are a lot of people now, important people, who just don’t think that’s true.’”

      In its 2004 report, the U.S. Senate 9/11 Commission declared that “mastermind of the 9/11 attacks,” Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s “animus toward the United States stemmed not from his experiences there as a student, but rather from his violent disagreement with U.S. foreign policy favoring Israel.”

      In its analysis of terrorism, the Pentagon’s Defense Science Board concluded that “Muslims do not hate our freedom,…they hate our policies. The overwhelming majority [object] to what they see as one-sided support in favour of Israel and against Palestinian rights….”

      Ha’aretz, July 28, 2012
      link to haaretz.com
      “Former U.S. officials say CIA considers Israel to be Mideast’s biggest spy threat”

      EXCERPT:
      “…despite statements from U.S. politicians trumpeting the friendship, U.S. national security officials consider Israel to be, at times, a frustrating ally and a genuine counterintelligence threat.

      “In addition to what the former U.S. officials described to AP as intrusions in homes in the past decade, Israel has been implicated in U.S. criminal espionage cases and disciplinary proceedings against CIA officers and blamed in the presumed death of an important spy in Syria for the CIA during the administration of President George W. Bush.

      “The CIA considers Israel its No. 1 counterintelligence threat in the agency’s Near East Division, the group that oversees spying across the Middle East, according to current and former officials.”

    • RoHa
      April 5, 2013, 2:29 am

      “In this dangerous world the US must have some real allies and not least so in the important Mid-East region.”

      What is the use of an ally in a region when that ally is universally hated by the rest of the region? The end result is that countries that were generally disposed to be friendly towards the US find themselves pushed into opposing it.

  14. Steve Macklevore
    March 29, 2013, 3:57 pm

    Try to remain positive.

    The number of good people in the world far outnumber the bad.

    Outside the United States, Israel is deeply unpopular, even hated in many countries. There is some evidence that the younger generations of American Jews may be less willing to adopt an “Israel right or wrong and here’s a fat cheque to ensure it stays that way.”

    Above all else is the endurance of the Palestinian people. It’s been an open secret that since 1967, the broad aim has been to make conditions so intolerable that the Palestinians “voluntarily” leave for Jordan and elsewhere. Despite everything they show no signs of doing that.

    Above all else we must continue to make our voices heard. Otherwise with the ‘right’ American President and the ‘right’ Israeli Prime Minister, and the ‘right’ conditions (e.g an International community distracted by something like the Invasion of Iraq in 2003), Israel will attempt to ethnically cleanse the West Bank, while blithering on about how much it’s hates doing so. The slow motion ethnic cleansing that is going on now can be resisted to some extent. A full scale ethnic cleansing might be accomplished in a few weeks and be irriversable!

    • kalithea
      March 29, 2013, 11:58 pm

      “The number of good people in the world far outnumber the bad.”

      I disagree. If that were the case, this injustice would be a thing of the past already. This crime is happening precisely because people are ignorant, comfortably numb, indifferent and/or inhumane.

  15. just
    March 29, 2013, 4:22 pm

    Alex– thank you for validating my impression of the grand tour of Obama’s Obeisance.

    Also, thank you for your searing honesty– this article is one I can definitely pass on to even the most undereducated of US folks. (too many to count!)

  16. Blownaway
    March 29, 2013, 4:27 pm

    Hopefully the one thing that came of it is that Palestinians see that they have gotten nowhere and will continue to go nowhere as long as they put their faith in America and leaders who are bought and paid for by America

    • Djinn
      March 30, 2013, 10:46 pm

      Palestinians have known that for a very long time now.

  17. ritzl
    March 29, 2013, 5:23 pm

    Thanks, Alex. Pitch perfect. I think it’s hard to be so close to these things and not be sucked in.

    Kudos.

  18. eGuard
    March 29, 2013, 8:21 pm

    Thanx Alex. And still, still, something smells. Isn’t it this: no Palestinian in sight?

    • just
      March 30, 2013, 12:23 am

      There are many Palestinians “in sight”! Nothing “smells” except the oppression of millions of Palestinians.

      There are many potential leaders and peacemakers always from all sides, but when the US is obviously so tethered to only one side– well then, what?

      It takes two to tango, and in this land, perhaps three– all are brothers and sisters. I/P has become the most uncivil of all “civil wars”, and it must come to a just resolution for all.

      But then, that is just my opinion.

  19. susan1
    March 29, 2013, 10:28 pm

    James, what I wonder and worry about is that your American nation is in serious danger of precipitating a possible conflagration in Asia via the aggressive and unnecessary provocation of flying Stealth bomber fighter planes over South Korea . right next door to America’s number one foe North Korea. At the present time you ought to be more concerned about your country’s aggressive policy towards the North Koreans, which is a manifestation of your country’s ” INSANE” drive to maintain itself as a superpower , no matter what. Bear in mind what RUSSIA is saying at the moment, Russia is warning that the North Korean situation could ” spiral out of control” It may be that the woes of the Middle East are the least of it.

    • Citizen
      April 1, 2013, 11:51 am

      Yep, susan1. It’s a major worry for me too. OTOH, the new baby leader of N Korea is trying to establish, to entrench his power by yanking on the superpower’s tail in public, threatening to nuke the USA and/or its nearest territories. The USA can not just sit and do nothing–remember, N Korea and the USA have been a technical state of war since the early 1950′s–there’s only a truce between them. Too, the US has been devoting more military-backed strategy to that area of the world because to some extent, mostly because of BRICS competition stuff, it’s more important these days. As, I see you know, from your comment. I guess, the ultimate question is who is getting more aggressive these days in that area of the world, the US or N Korea? It’s reciprocal because of the growing importance of the Asian region economically, and hence, a threat to USA’s imperial hegemony, but also because of the new baby chief of N Korea’s own insecurities in his position. Russia’s warning should be heeded by both sides as indeed, things could “spiral out of control.” Much like the Iranian nuclear capability dilemma. Look at the local ignition of WW1 (ending in the Versailles Treaty which directly triggered WW2). Do you, or anyone here, know if Iran and N Korea are talking? And what is AIPAC saying about N Korea these days?

  20. kalithea
    March 29, 2013, 11:52 pm

    “For a few brief moments, Obama spoke the truth about the situation that Palestinians were living under. But they were hollow words, given the fact that it is Obama, on the same trip, who announced the extension well into the future of American military aid to Israel. That speech to Israeli youth, as other analysts have observed, also saw Obama affirm the Zionist narrative of Jewish redemption in the land of Israel, with no mention of how that “redemption” was carried out through the ethnic cleansing of 750,000 Palestinians who were never allowed to return to their land.”

    What about the 350,000 Palestinians cleansed in 67? Let’s not forget their pain.

    Whatever positive footnote Obama dedicated to Palestinians in his delusional speech (if you can call expressions like “it’s not fair”‘; “it’s not just”; “it’s not right” appropriate condemnation of: settler violence, theft and destruction of property and ethnic cleansing in other words, war crimes and crimes against humanity) he voided by dedicating 95% of his spiel to endorsing Zionism, attempting to legitimize it by tying it to Jewish tradition and faith, regurgitating Zionist propaganda and fear mongering hasbara.

    So whatever little attention he gave Palestinians with one side of his mouth he took back with the other, because Obama excels at paying lip service and talking out of both sides of his mouth.

  21. clubroma
    March 30, 2013, 4:01 am

    I believe that all American schools, whether kindergarden, secondary or college, should fly the Isreali flag next to the American flag. I’m sure that the Congress will agree. The indoctrination should begin at a young age. After all, its Americans who will not only pay for the wars, but you’ll fight them as well. Surely it is plainly obvious that the United States of America is little more than a jewish colony.

    • MK_Ultra
      March 30, 2013, 4:15 pm

      Indoctrination in the US starts in the church. Christians are big fans of the jews on account of them bring them to the rapture and all that. Keep that in mind.

  22. NickJOCW
    March 30, 2013, 8:40 am

    Some things dissolve over time others break in an instant. Either way, there is one moment when they are whole and another when they are not. I understand and sympathize with Alex’ depression. However, one shouldn’t take the rituals of such a visit at face value. The Palestinian issue must surely have been excluded quite deliberately, not for lack of empathy with Palestinians but because the urgent purpose was to paper over cracks in the US/Israel alliance, an alliance the US cannot risk falling apart at this moment because of wider issues in the ME. I see Obama’s very excesses and the insincerity of the whole thing to be a sign of the fragility of the alliance. And Michelle didn’t accompany him? I don’t know whether it appeared in Haaretz but there was a considered piece by Aluf Ben in France 24 which is worth drawing into the debate.

    …Obama has no clear-cut solution to the Iranian problem, or to the disintegration of Syria. He’s also finding it hard to bring his influence to bear on the political crisis in Egypt and to assuage Israeli concerns that the Muslim Brotherhood is planning to annul the Israel-Egypt peace treaty. So he’s playing for time by reassuring Israel, by whispering sweet nothings of unconditional love and support into the ears of the Israeli people, and by publicly referring to the prime minister by his nickname.

    link to france24.com

  23. Citizen
    March 30, 2013, 9:45 am

    Obama’s speech to the carefully selected Israeli students in Israel was advocating blood-and-soil tribal nationalism. He even said America is not a free, safe haven for Jews, not even for the Jews born, bred, educated, and successful in America. This amounted to a rejection of the USA as the major standing iconic protectorate for all mankind, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, color, etc. The Enlightenment is a failure. For some reason, there’s something about Jews so they cannot be free and safe, ever, except in Israel, their homeland no matter where they were born and bred, etc. link to counterpunch.org

  24. Sumud
    March 30, 2013, 10:44 am

    Now is not the time to become disheartened.

    BDS is in it’s eighth year, and took 30+ years to end apartheid in South Africa. European nations are fed up with Israel and considering sanctions – less than 10 years after BDS commenced this is tremendous progress.

    Don’t forget that the US supported South Africa almost right up until the end of apartheid, and apartheid looked rock solid and like it would never end. Then it did.

    Don’t discount black swan events, and don’t forget that globally, US power is in decline. Public support for Israel in the US is not deep, and it is underpinned by hasbara – AKA a pack of lies. When they actually look into it, no intelligent person is fooled by it.

    The whole package is a LOT shakier than you think.

    • just
      March 30, 2013, 3:16 pm

      I hope you are correct, Sumud.

      However, SA and Israel are quite different when viewed through the “world lens”. The ME has oil, SA has diamonds. Geographically they are different. And, sadly enough, no “white” nation really ever gave a minute of time worrying about people of color.

      The Judeo/Christian nations have done a verrrrrrrrrrry fine job of demonizing the Muslims. (Hardly anyone I know realizes that all 3 religions are Abrahamic and that they do have more in common than they do have differences– they just think that all Muslims are ‘jihadist terrorists’!)

      Until we change that propaganda and get rid of it, not much will change. Ignorance is not only bliss to some, it is agony and bloodshed to far too many. Again, that is just my opinion.

  25. Rachel_Roberts
    March 30, 2013, 3:44 pm

    Don’t despair, Alex!! This is the saddest thing I have read all morning! What this shows is that we need to get organized. Right now, this viewpoint has no counterbalance, so elected officials have no reason to do anything differently. I think there is ample room for ending their total rampage on our congress, but it means elbow grease in terms of organizing and fundraising.

  26. Blank State
    March 30, 2013, 8:33 pm

    Amazes me seeing polls cited that claim majority support for Israel. Equaling amazing is the long boring debates centered upon Jewish or Palestinian history. It really prompts me to celebrate my ignorance about both the polls and the history. The bottom line, reduced to simplicity, is how Israel is treating the Palestinians, TODAY. And discarding all the horseshit, history, polls, and fluff, one can only reach the conclusion that Israel’s actions in regards to the Palestinians are DESPICABLE. The polls insinuating American public support mean NOTHING, except that our media, and our politicians, with a helping hand from the hasbara efforts have managed to HIDE the despicable and inhumane practices of Israel from the average ignorant and purposely misled American.

    And the history??? WHO GIVES A SHIT? What, we will forgive the Dahmers and the Mansons because they had a difficult childhood? So now they have a right to inflict murder, mayhem, and hatred? Like we forgive Israel for today’s abuses, crimes and inhumane policies because of a regretable or difficult Jewish yesteryear???? Horseshit.

    Many here make this issue far far too complex. Because people support evil, it doesn’t make the evil good. And a debate of yesterday to justify the evil of today is merely a distraction from the present.

    • Citizen
      March 31, 2013, 1:00 pm

      @ Blank Slate

      Yeah. In essence of what you say, two wrongs don’t make a right. It is simple, boiled down to that principle. So, if you are an American, what do you think of affirmative action policy? Just curious.

    • Mayhem
      April 1, 2013, 11:25 pm

      What in the hell is going on here?

      And the history??? WHO GIVES A SHIT?

      Has the standard of pro-Palestinian advocacy sunk to new depths?

  27. Tom Suarez
    April 5, 2013, 12:51 am

    Why do many of the commentators refer to “46 years”?
    The 1967 war is a diversion from the core issue. The occupation began in 1948 (really late ’47), and nothing will be resolved if we pretend otherwise. The Partition Resolution was a sham (blatantly contrary to the UN Charter, and would never have survived a court review, which we blocked). The Green Line was NEVER a gift to Israel of the land between it and the Partition; it was ONLY a cease-fire line. And, finally, Israel never abided by the terms of the Partition Resolution which de facto created it, even after promising to in order to gain admittance to the UN.

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