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Obama took on the Cuba lobby– when will he take on the Israel lobby?

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President Obama’s historic opening to Cuba yesterday made many of us think about the long cold war against the Palestinian people. In both cases, a policy of isolating a people because they have political views our government disagrees with has gone on for decades without changing that society. The world wants us to bend. But a powerful domestic lobby has enforced the U.S. policy, even as many murmur about it being at odds with the national interest.

So Obama’s eloquent announcement gives everyone who toils in Palestinian solidarity hope. He began with a declaration of change, “Today, the United States of America is changing its relationship with the people of Cuba.” He spoke of colonialism, and echoed the Cuban narrative. He faulted his predecessors without naming them, and put together a powerful coalition of political actors on his side– Republican and Democratic senators and most important, the Pope. In the end, Obama did not give a fig about the Cuba lobby. He calculated that he could break it because the old think one way but the young are looking forward; and he acted forcefully and used the drama of the prisoner release and the Raoul Castro telephone call to lead Americans away from a crazy policy.

Yesterday we all got to imagine the Pope providing political cover to the president by hosting Palestinian leaders. We got to imagine Congress shifting in response to American public opinion. We got to imagine our president showing leadership and acting in defiance of the lobby. We got to imagine Marwan Barghouti leaving an Israeli prison lean and gray, with a tooth or two missing, but ready to serve.

The pity is that Obama imagined all that too, six years ago. His opening to Palestine and the Arab world took place before his opening to Cuba, because Palestine and the Arab world are more important. He understood that our awful policy on Palestine was endangering Americans and throttling foreign policy in the Middle East, and he gave his first interview to Al Arabiya in 2009 and made that trip to Cairo in June 2009 and in a policy called, “A New Beginning,” said the settlements must end. He put Palestine ahead of Cuba.

And he got crushed for it, by the domestic lobby. Obama’s first-year initiative on Israel and Palestine was the equivalent of Hillary’s healthcare bill. It was the obvious and biggest priority, but she didn’t know how to do it. Obama didn’t know how strong the lobby was and how wily Israel is. By early 2011 he had backtracked completely on the declaration that the settlements must end, and vetoed a UN Security Council resolution saying just that. He accepted lectures from Benjamin Netanyahu in the White House, so that he could make things right with Alan Dershowitz and Haim Saban and Penny Pritzker and other gatekeepers of the lobby and so get a second term. At the Democratic Convention his political henchmen put down a floor demonstration on behalf of Palestinian rights to Jerusalem. He did it because he believed he had to, politically.

Fuel the Momentum
The two main differences between Obama’s move on Cuba and his move on Palestine are: the strengths of the two lobbies, and mature leadership in the Cuba case as opposed to cowardice in the Israeli one.

Yesterday the rightwing Cuba lobby was shrieking on the American cable networks, but the pushback was just as strong. NY Rep. Charles Rangel said that Florida Senator Marco Rubio was too emotional about Cuba because his parents left the place– “It’s not going to be him with his emotional connection… who decides this.” Others also implicitly dismissed the older Cuban generation’s feelings about the country as emotional. One CNN commentator said that the older Cuban Americans “feel a lot of personal pain.” The suggestion was, Don’t blackmail the president because of your ethnic/historical issues. Obama leaped without knowing how much support he will have; but it seems inevitable that as he builds political consensus on the people’s interests, all but the hard core will fall into line behind him.

The ethnic-historical issues of the Israel lobby are not nearly so easily dismissed. The Holocaust, which haunts western policy on establishing a Jewish state, is much bigger than the Cuban revolution. At yesterday’s Hanukkah celebration in the White House, the president welcomed Bronfman fellows from Israel– emissaries of a religious state. And American Jews don’t just hang out on Calle Ocho in Little Havana in Miami. We are all over the Establishment, and the emotional connections to Israel on the part of many of these folks is strong. Wolf Blitzer can be detached and appreciative about the Cuba opening. But he once worked for AIPAC, the big Israel lobby, and is still inscribed with pro-Israeli propaganda. Remember him in the tunnels outside Gaza last summer? Alan Dershowitz just wrote a book about the tunnels. He’s an Israel propagandist; and he was on CNN last night.

Yet, the lobby is weakening. The same generational issues that affect Cuban politics affect the lobby’s strength. Younger Jews aren’t drinking the Koolaid, non-Zionist groups are organizing and gaining numbers, principally Jewish Voice for Peace.

That’s where presidential leadership comes in. Obama acted yesterday to nail down a phrase in the second paragraph of his obituary: he made a historic opening on Cuba, after five decades of failed policy. He could solidify that foreign policy legacy by speaking unilaterally on Israel and Palestine, acknowledging decades of failed policy, and saying that it is time to start talking about one person, one vote for all living between the river and the sea.

It’s not going to happen in this administration, but the Cuba announcement brings that day closer. The best thing about yesterday’s news from the Israel-Palestine standpoint was that Obama cleared away an imperial anachronism. He opened the window and let in the air; in era of growing globalization, he signaled respect for a foreign people, no matter their views. The embargo of the revolution makes no more sense than the blockade of Hamas. The other big story of the day– the Sony North Korea hacking– had a similar lesson. As of this week, no US movie studio will embark again on an assassination movie about a foreign country by name. (Doesn’t the decision to make that movie about an actual foreign leader look arrogant in retrospect?)

If Cuba deserves freedom, so does Palestine. Imagine our president addressing the fraught history of Israel/Palestine conflict with the same respect for Palestinians that Obama showed to Cubans yesterday.

“Today, I am being honest with you.  We can never erase the history between us, but we believe that you should be empowered to live with dignity and self-determination.”

Imagine our president beginning a speech with a powerful declaration of change: “Today, the United States of America is changing its relationship with the people of Israel and Palestine.”

About Philip Weiss

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

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59 Responses

  1. a blah chick
    December 18, 2014, 11:21 am

    “Obama leaped without knowing how much support he will have…”

    I find it hard to believe that no political feelers were put out to “test the waters” so to speak. Also it would not surprise me if the business community wasn’t on board either. Cuba is a virgin market for Mcdonald’s and Starbucks.

    • amigo
      December 18, 2014, 12:51 pm

      “Cuba is a virgin market for Mcdonald’s and Starbucks. – See more at:”abc

      And Soda Stream.

    • Theo
      December 18, 2014, 1:14 pm

      According to information I have there were a secret negotiations between the USA and Cuba since a year, so Obama did not take any chances. I dare to say that well over 50% of the educated americans are tired of this constant hate against that poor nation and we know that with sanctions you will never accomplish anything. It did not work against Cuba, nor against Iraq, Iran or presently against Russia. It is a two edged sword, both parties will suffer and it just creates hate against our nation. The russians do not blame Putin, they blame the west, especially the USA, and right so.
      As far as the israeli lobby, there one should not expect much. His WH is full of zionists, his greatest donations came from GoldmanSachs, and in Chicago his first supporters were mostly jewish lawyers and businessmen. Even a dog will not bite the hand that feeds him and I sure he has great plans after 2016, such as publishing books, speaking invitations, etc.

    • bilal a
      December 18, 2014, 9:48 pm

      The Lobby / Adelson are all on board with bringing back casinos -human trafficking to Cuba:

      Nicolaus Capital Markets gaming analyst Steven Wieczynski said a new port in the Caribbean could draw significant interest from North American passengers.

      “With a potential lifting of tourism restrictions in the cards for Cuba, we see a number of potential long-term opportunities for our gaming, lodging, and leisure coverage,” Credit Suisse gaming analyst Joel Simkins told investors.

      http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/las-vegas/southern-nevadans-weigh-benefits-opportunities-cuba

      “Here we are protected, partnership with a friendly government, 90 miles away”

  2. Kay24
    December 18, 2014, 12:02 pm

    I think it is almost an impossibility that one day Obama, or any other President, will stand up in front of the nation and say it is time to change our policies regarding the Palestinians, and say “no” to it’s occupier. As long as the Israeli lobby holds a gun to the heads of the every Congress, and buys them during their election campaigns, unlike the Cuban lobby, the Israeli lobby has a stronger hold in our country. We are under occupation too, and Israel will never pull out of the US, to do so will mean the end of it’s ability to get away with all it’s war crimes, the aid, the weapons, and it’s influence in the media.
    Only imagination can make it different. Nothing will ever change.

  3. stopaipac
    December 18, 2014, 12:04 pm

    Keep in mind that Obama has plenty of support for changing policy on Cuba from many Democrats in Congress. In contrast, while a handful of Congresspeople have spoken of “concerns” they have about Israeli policy, NOT ONE has spoken of any consequences for these policies. While Barbara Lee and Keith Ellison, perhaps leaders in talking of “concerns” about Israeli policy, are firm supporters of “robust military aid” to that extremist apartheid regime, we cannot expect Obama or any President to take action in any meaningful way.

  4. petersz
    December 18, 2014, 12:43 pm

    The question is will Obama do the same with Iran with 30 years of failed policy? American corporations must be itching to do business and are no doubt lobbying.

  5. just
    December 18, 2014, 12:58 pm

    I felt more than a bit of hope and change yesterday.

    I’m looking forward to more.

    Menendez, Ros- Lehtinen, Rubio, and Cruz need a bit of reality.

    • a blah chick
      December 18, 2014, 2:53 pm

      “Menendez, Ros- Lehtinen, Rubio, and Cruz need a bit of reality.”

      If anyone has video of Ileana’s head exploding I would pay to see that!

  6. Atlantaiconoclast
    December 18, 2014, 1:04 pm

    Only telling the truth about Israel’s long history of false flags, some against the US, will change this special relationship

  7. Daniel Rich
    December 18, 2014, 1:04 pm

    And the Chinese are laughing all the way to the bank.

    The Chinese cars that are changing Cuba.

  8. Steve Macklevore
    December 18, 2014, 1:22 pm

    “Obama took on the Cuba lobby– when will he take on the Israel lobby?”

    Never.

    • John O
      December 18, 2014, 1:55 pm

      Possibly. But in my experience, when you slap down one bully, it gives a lot of people courage – both to give that bully an even bigger long-deserved kicking, and to take on other bullies too. (My experience is of workplace bullying.)

  9. Daniel Rich
    December 18, 2014, 1:23 pm

    off topic: to all concerned, “Chag Chanukah sameach.”

  10. Taxi
    December 18, 2014, 2:28 pm

    I see israel eventually becoming our new ‘Cuba’ – if it lasts that long.

  11. Ageel
    December 18, 2014, 2:29 pm

    Not going to happen. I don’t think there’s anyone who can take on the Israel lobby. Not at this point.
    Incidentally, just read an article in which one of Israel’s ministers says that the Palestinian bid to the UN is ‘an act of war’. Does this mean they will strike the Palestinians again should they go through with their UN bid?
    http://www.presstv.com/detail/2014/12/18/390766/palestinian-un-bid-act-of-war-israel/

    • eljay
      December 18, 2014, 2:44 pm

      >> Ageel: … Incidentally, just read an article in which one of Israel’s ministers says that the Palestinian bid to the UN is ‘an act of war’.

      To Zio-supremacists:
      – 60+ years of theft, occupation, colonization, oppression, torture and murder for the good of Jewish supremacism in a supremacist “Jewish State” is morality (goal + methods); but
      – a demand for justice, accountability and equality is “an act of war”.

      Zio-supremacists are truly messed up, both mentally and morally.

      • Marnie
        December 19, 2014, 1:45 am

        For them, Palestinians just living is an act of war.

        How long will it be before they hit Gaza again?

      • Taxi
        December 19, 2014, 3:18 am

        Marnie,

        I consider one of the reasons behind the European Court striking Hamas off its terrorist list as a wily maneuver to block any claimed ‘legitimacy’ for israel to strike at “terrorist” Hamas in Gaza in the near future. I’ll go further than that by saying that gathered intelligence by the EU and USA indicated that israel was readying to strike at Gaza again by no later than February 2015 – what with israeli elections announced for April and all that – and with the fact the israeli voters are fond of electing leaders who spill Arab blood the most. Sadistic Israel has plans to strike at Gaza during the height of winter, just so that Palestinians can feel the wrath of both israel and nature.

        The EU, always bearing the financial brunt of israeli assaults on Gaza, is no longer prepared to keep spending billions on fixing up and rebuilding over years what israel keeps illegally destroying in mere days. So it serves the EU in a financial way, not just in a human rights way, to stop israel from willy-nilly striking at Gaza and claiming the presence of “terrorist” Hamas as an excuse.

      • Kay24
        December 19, 2014, 7:13 am

        Taxi you make excellent points. A really good comment. I agree with what you say.

        Chances are the Beebs will show just how tough he is before the elections, and polls show the majority of Israelis love a good fireworks show over Gaza. The move to stop listing Hamas as terrorists may not give the legitimacy for future massacres in Gaza.

  12. Boomer
    December 18, 2014, 2:31 pm

    Phil, I think the events of this week regarding the Palestinian efforts at the UN, so well-reported here, answer your question. Evidently the U.S. has, as usual, worked actively to weaken, undermine, and impede Palestinian efforts, in service of an ever-greater Israel. All Obama had to do, if he wanted to change course, was to instruct his people to refrain from trying to weaken, undermine, and impede Palestinian efforts. He could have “led from behind,” as one of his aides described his style in another matter. From behind Palestine and Europe, that is. All he needed to do was to refrain from threatening to veto a resolution with more substance. Congress would have complained, pundits would have complained, some rich contributors would have complained, but none of them could have stopped the UN. Only Obama could do that. If Obama was unwilling to take such a passive “action” toward justice now, I can’t imagine when or why he would behave differently in the future.

    • Marnie
      December 19, 2014, 8:17 am

      Hey Taxi –
      I learn so much from you all here I can’t thank you enough, except to add to the pot before December 31.

      I was thinking it would be soon too – they’ve felt the oppression of the IDF in the hottest of summer and again in the cold, wet winter. The cruelty knows no bounds. If the EU is tired of footing the bill to rebuild Gaza, fine, put the pressure on the state of Israel and BDS them till their heads explode. That was interesting news. Thanks for helping to clear this up.

  13. Taxi
    December 18, 2014, 3:20 pm

    The Cuban Lobby is Aipac’s best friend – tight as Dick’s hatband, they are. They share the same love of spite, vindictiveness and gangsterism. In fact, some Miami Cubans are even more zionists than Theodore Herzl himself! I should know: I’ve met and spoken and argued with a few of them in my travels.

    Obama lifting the embargo is also a subtle but clear message to aipac: ‘I’ve kicked your best friend in the head and I can kick yours in too’, (by not using vetoes and other political chess moves, for instance). ‘I can do alotta damage in two years so don’t push it!’, he’s saying to his vicious detractors.

    Oh yeah, you’d better believe Obama is seething with controlled rage at aipac and at everything isreal – not just at Netanyahu and his cabinet, but at EVERYTHING israel. They all positively disgust him to the core as a president and as a black human being. He’s endured six long years of their racism, sabotage and public humiliation. Zionism and zionists have just about ruined everything for Obama’s historic presidency and he’s had to bite his lip blue about it for all this time. Post mid-term elections now, when there’s so little to lose, he’s un-biting his lip some and sticking his tongue right out at them.

    • CloakAndDagger
      December 18, 2014, 8:24 pm

      @ Taxi

      I hope that you are right and that he will take the next two years to do all the things we expected him to do in the previous 6. It is certainly true that a president is most capable of being brave in either the first two years of his first term or the last two years of his second term. So, if he is going to do anything, now is the time for it.

      Keeping my fingers crossed and hoping…

      • Taxi
        December 19, 2014, 2:00 am

        The world, including the architects of American Empire, are sick of the ball-and-chain that is israel. This week, for the first time, the world bombarded israel with several successful diplomatic strikes – even shockingly allowing the European Court to remove Hamas from its terrorist list. I don’t define the timing of all these strikes this week as coincidental in the slightest. With Hamas’ removal from the EU’s terrorist list, America and Europe have clearly signaled to israel that they have reached their limit with israel’s ongoing international-scaled crimes and they’re now willing to play harball. Yes, admittedly, they softened one blow by allowing the European Parliament, by a close vote, to reject the recognition of a Palestinian state, but to nevertheless recognize it “in principle” – they now have that “in principle” recognition IN WRITING – very easy now for the EP to bureaucratically recognize Palestine at the next Palestine session. The western powers gave israel here a final and fair warning. The world is saying: without a 2SS, there will be blatant Apartheid: an intolerable state that the world will NOT befriend and allow to prosper.

        The “two year window” in the French proposal matches Obama’s remaining ‘two years’ in office. World leaders know they cannot anymore, at election time, ignore their own domestic outcries against israel and defend hefty aid packages to israel without appearing to be in support of Apartheid – a position that would threaten the success of their domestic candidacy. For western politicians, it is just as vilifying and ruinous to be associated with supporting Apartheid as it is with being an antisemite. Any politician worth their salt will avoid these two labels attached to their name at any cost.

        America and Europe, behind the scenes, are lining up their ducks to impose a solution on both the Palestinians and israelis. No one can stop this drive now. And they have plenty of time to set it up institutionally, legally and policy-wise. They have plenty of time to prepare their public through government PR and media – the imposing of a 2SS can easily be explained as the world saving israel from itself.

        “The Status Quo is Unsustainable” – and the zero hour is fast approaching.

        And no matter aipac’s powers and monies and all that – the giant stride to avoid an all out ‘holy war’ in the holy lands, promoted by continuing israeli settlement activity, trumps any shrieking lobbyist and their zionist billionaire paymaster.

        Whether israel will accept an imposed solution or go to war with the whole world (a war they would surely lose), is yet to be seen. These are the only two choices left for israel: cooperate on a 2SS based on the ’67 border, or be globally ostracized to breaking point.

        It would be most ironic for a people who survived an imposed holocaust to commit mass suicide over their attachment to a failed ideology practiced by a failed state.

        No wiggle room left for israel on this issue – no more peace charades – no more buying of time to create more ‘realities on the ground’. Finish – finito – the end of all that! This week the western world took a step or two in a long-overdue new direction – and there is certainly no going back.

        I predict that aid to israel will be a controversial issue during this coming 2016 elections, and by 2020 elections, American voters will loudly demand aid be stopped to the only Apartheid state in the word – and the politicians will be forced to finally take notice.

        So, adding the numbers, israel and aipac have some 10 years before internal collapse and utter cultural, political, economic and diplomatic ruin.

      • Annie Robbins
        December 19, 2014, 2:44 am

        brilliant taxi, i couldn’t agree more

      • CloakAndDagger
        December 19, 2014, 10:24 am

        @ Taxi

        That’s a very insightful and plausible analysis of current events and projections for the future!

        If events come to pass as you predict, and there is certainly reason to think that they might do just that, it would follow that now is the time of extreme danger for all the key players.

        I would expect a surge in false-flag “terrorism” outbreaks (ala 9/11) as well as “accidents” and “suicides” involving key players in this game (on both sides). It would not be a good time to take rides in small planes or have bouts of sudden depression! Cornered animals tend to behave irrationally.

        We “little people” are not privy to the machinations, and the veils-behind-veils, and what takes place on the other side of closed doors in the WH and embassies around the world. It always amazes me that more doesn’t leak out, humans being what they are. There is clearly an advanced application of game-theory in progress, and we can only hope the good guys win (although it is very hard to discern any white-knights thus far).

    • catporn
      December 19, 2014, 1:22 am

      If only, if only. I’d love to believe this was possible, the news about Cuba is a welcome first step and makes America, or should I say Washington, appear a little less petty, vindictive, preposterous.
      Just imagining there’s a tornado of ire under Obama’s cool exterior that’ll be used to smash the lobby’s hold on your nation makes me feel sort of warm and fuzzy.

      • Marnie
        December 20, 2014, 4:45 am

        “It would be most ironic for a people who survived an imposed holocaust to commit mass suicide over their attachment to a failed ideology practiced by a failed state.” Yeah, the irony, but I could definitely see that happening. I still can’t get the antics of the belligerent Caroline Glick out of my thoughts, the drama and everything that went with it was well-rehearsed and practiced, like a horrible play.

        Barack Obama is a cool, level-headed dude. I’m looking at him as a man who has had nothing but strife and has had to go to battle over the most mundane issues of a presidency simply because he isn’t a white man. I don’t care what people think about him so much but no one has the strength that he has to be the president of the untied states that seems almost the same as it was in the 1960s. At this point in his presidency with nothing to lose he could really show his stuff and I hope and pray that it plays out as the intrepid Taxi laid out. Thanks again Taxi, you are brilliant.

  14. NickJOCW
    December 18, 2014, 3:24 pm

    Obama acknowledged that sanctions didn’t work, and such honesty seems rare in this world today. They didn’t work because they didn’t achieve the regime change that was their purpose. By lifting them he obtains greater access to all levels of Cuban life and can better embark on a different strategy to achieve the same end, quite likely the one honed in Ukraine. Watch this space. Dust down La Nuland. It shouldn’t cost the US tax payer anything like 5 billion this time.

  15. lobewyper
    December 18, 2014, 5:26 pm

    Nicely written, Phil.

  16. RoHa
    December 18, 2014, 5:49 pm

    Overall good news. The whole thing was just damned silly. But it will be a shame to see those wonderful old cars disappear.

    • a blah chick
      December 18, 2014, 7:17 pm

      I think National Geographic did a pictorial essay on those old cars some years ago.

      I hope that the good that came out of the Cuban Revolution will be preserved and not fall by the wayside when the Americans come marching through.

      • Daniel Rich
        December 18, 2014, 9:27 pm

        @ abc,

        Q: …when the Americans come marching through.

        R: Hmmmmm, what could likely happen? Crashing wedding parties, Afghan style? Liberate the joint, Libya style? Be greeted with palm leaves and petals, Baghdad style? Leave Havana, Hanoi style? So many, many options…

      • Marnie
        December 20, 2014, 4:52 am

        Amen on that and I hope there’ll never been a Starbucks or golden arches in Cuba’s future.

  17. Blownaway
    December 18, 2014, 7:01 pm

    Nope no way never…Obama is a coward the U.S. has already stated that they will not support a Palestinian UN resolution. So the sooner the US is taken out of the equation the better

  18. JLewisDickerson
    December 18, 2014, 9:53 pm

    RE: “As of this week, no US movie studio will embark again on an assassination movie about a foreign country by name.” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: Excepting the country of Freedonia*, of course. Deprecating its Grand Poobah** is always ‘fair play’ ***!

    * Duck Souphttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duck_Soup_(1933_film)
    ** Grand Poobahhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Poobah
    *** fair playhttp://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/131100.html

    • JLewisDickerson
      December 18, 2014, 9:55 pm

    • JLewisDickerson
      December 18, 2014, 10:08 pm

      P.S. Freedoniahttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedonia
      EXCERPT: Freedonian was probably first used by Americans immediately after the American Revolution in place of the demonym “American”.[1]
      1. Wood, Gordon. Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789-1815. Oxford History of the United States 4. United States: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-503914-6.

  19. OyVey00
    December 18, 2014, 10:00 pm

    Obama knows who payed for his election campaigns and lobbied for him in the media. You don’t bite the hand that feeds you.

    • catporn
      December 19, 2014, 12:59 am

      Trap your dog in a corner and repeatedly prod it with a sharp stick – see how well that epigram holds up.
      (Please don’t actually try this)

    • talknic
      December 19, 2014, 7:05 pm

      @ OyVey00 “You don’t bite the hand that feeds you”

      Oh!?

      So you sh*it in it instead?

      You’re saying the tail and a measly hand full of dollars does wag the dog

    • Marnie
      December 20, 2014, 4:56 am

      Actually you do when that hand is force-feeding you crap that makes you sick.

  20. Nevada Ned
    December 19, 2014, 2:25 am

    Let’s be clear: Cuba and the US have agreed to establish diplomatic relations. However, the US economic blockade of Cuba continues, at least for the time being. Maybe the blockade will be dropped in the future, but the US has not agreed to that.

    Notice something: many Establishment figures (University presidents, for example) have been busily denouncing the boycott of Israel, supposedly a matter of moral principle. How many of these people have disagreed in public with the US blockade of Cuba? None to my knowledge.

  21. Jackdaw
    December 19, 2014, 2:33 am

    Cuba and Israel are hardly on par.
    Cuba has been our enemy since the Cold War, Israel our friend.

    • CloakAndDagger
      December 19, 2014, 10:28 am

      @ Jackdaw

      With friends like Israel, who needs enemies.

      But you are right that Israel and Cuba are not on par – at least we can look forward to legal Cuban cigars without a $3bn/year price-tag for our “friendship”.

      And, who is “we”, kemo sabe?

    • Vera Gottlieb
      December 19, 2014, 11:36 am

      Why has Cuba been your enemy? What has it done to you? Is it because Castro refuses to dance to the Yankee tune? And israel, good obedient lap dog, always supporting US’ veto at the UN. Grow some backbone.

    • talknic
      December 19, 2014, 1:38 pm

      @ Jackdaw “Cuba and Israel are hardly on par.”

      True. Cuba isn’t occupying anyone, isn’t in breach of International Law, the UN Charter, Geneva Conventions and hundreds of UNSC resolutions

      “Cuba has been our enemy since the Cold War, Israel our friend”

      Put that way puts you in the US eh gringo

  22. Vera Gottlieb
    December 19, 2014, 11:33 am

    The rapprochement certainly is long overdue; however, it is up to Congress to lift the blockade and with so many rabid anti Castro politicians – supported and egged on by the Miami Mafia, lifting it will come with a lot of pain. Castro should have said: lift the blockade and we talk.

  23. talknic
    December 19, 2014, 12:00 pm

    “By early 2011 he had backtracked completely … etc … He did it because he believed he had to, politically.”

    Or … he did it because someone quietly reminded him he had a family, mentioned Rabin and asked him if he thought many white supremacists and RW christained nutcases in the US would love to go down in history as having assassinated the first black US president with promise of first class lawyers and a few thousand bucks to get ’em outta debt

    The Israeli narrative is quite emphatic Palestine is not and was never a state. It always puzzled me because legally it’s an irrelevant nonsense. Israel was declared and recognized and by default what lay outside of Israel simply wasn’t Israeli.

    Then I looked closely at the following

    A) The Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel : “The state of Israel ….will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel

    B) Deuteronomy 20:10 through to 20:15, esp :15 “This is how you are to treat all the cities that are at a distance from you and do not belong to the nations nearby.

    C) Israel’s unsuccessful 31 August 1949 legal claim to territories acquired by war 1947-1949 http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/fd807e46661e3689852570d00069e918/c96e0252e7710bce85256d95006bc157?OpenDocument

    4 (a)(i) No territory forming part of Egypt, the Lebanon, the Hashemite Jordan Kingdom or Syria is added to Israel by this adjustment.

    (ii) No territory ever awarded to Egypt, the Lebanon, the Hashemite Jordan Kingdom or Syria by any international instrument or held by them under any agreement is added to Israel by this adjustment.

    (iii) No territory in which Egypt, the Lebanon, the Hashemite Jordan Kingdom or Syria exercises authority or jurisdiction under the armistice agreements concluded pursuant to the Security Council’s resolution of November 16, 1948 and endorsed by the Security Council’s resolution of August 11, 1949 is added to Israel by this adjustment.

    4 (c) The Delegation of Israel holds, therefore, that only the territorial adjustment proposed above falls equally in its effects on the rights and position of each negotiating party, makes no encroachment upon existing sovereignties

    The claim was turned down http://domino.un.org/pdfs/AAC25IS37.pdf citing the Armistice Agreements

    From there on Israel ignored everything until the present and it will get even more desperate, because if the Palestinians attain independent statehood the game is over

  24. Ramzi Jaber
    December 19, 2014, 7:49 pm

    “Obama took on the Cuba lobby– when will he take on the Israel lobby?”

    Sorry to disappoint Phil but the answer is NEVER!!!!!! NOT EVER. NEVER. NEVER. NEVER.

    In front of all the facts and the evidence, the answer must be obvious to all by now. Two words: Brainwashing. Blackmail.

    zionists either 1) managed to brainwash most people of power and influence to buy the zionist story hook line and sinker or 2) most people of power and influence are being blackmailed by the zionists.

    Here we have a resolution that actually says EXACTLY what the US says it wants to do. EXACTLY. 1967 lines with swaps. 2 states, shared jerusalem. end to claims. mutual recognition. peace will all arabs and moslems.

    STILL, the US is against. Why? Because the US and zionists WANT THE STATUS QUO TO CONTINUE. Here’s the brainwashing.

    OR, the zionists have some really big thing against the US and key politicians that they use as blackmail.

    So the answer to Phil’s question is sadly NEVER.

    1S1P1V is the only path forward, the only viable, logical, stable, sustainable, feasible, and achievable path forward. 1 State. 1 Person. 1 Vote.

  25. Ramzi Jaber
    December 20, 2014, 9:32 am

    There we go again, yet another proof point today that USA-zionist axis is in fundamental collusion and total alignment (regardless to whether this is due to brainwashing or blackmail as I posted above). What matters is that this TOTAL COLLUSION between the USA and the zionists certainly exists.

    Haaretz lead story
    Kerry: Peres and Livni told me UN vote on Palestine would help Netanyahu and Bennett
    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.632816

    Ynet main story:
    Kerry: Vote on Palestinian UN bid would strengthen hardliners
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4605683,00.html

    TOI main story:
    Kerry said to warn UN vote on Palestine would strengthen Israeli right
    http://www.timesofisrael.com/kerry-vote-on-palestinian-un-bid-would-strengthen-israeli-hardliners/#ixzz3MRp32YuD

    So, not only USA will VETO ANY UN resolution about the zionist state, but it will NOW PREVENT any UN resolution from being submitted to a vote so as not to impact the election.

    Just unbelievable.

    North Korea hacks into Sony and the USA is hugely upset that Sony is not releasing a movie since obama cannot allow someone to interfere in american freedom. Now, the same US government wants to muzzle Palestinian, European, and Arab freedom to speak out and stop us from submitting a resolution to a vote.

    Just WOW! what a zionist-controlled world we live in.

    So……. Left. Right. Center. Extreme. Center-Right. Center-Left. Left-Right. Extreme-Centre. WHATEVER. This is just a sad a Halloween Party with the same character but different faces. ALL ZIONISTS ARE THE SAME, some stick the knife in your heart while facing you and the others stick it and twist it in your back.

    BOTTOM LINE: USA and zionists are forever united in one goal: NEVER ESTABLISH A PALESTINIAN STATE. Point final.

    The ultimate question that begs itself is WHY? WHY? WHY? Why is the USA doing this? Why?
    Brainwashing. Blackmail. Both. You pick.

    • Walid
      December 20, 2014, 10:19 am

      “BOTTOM LINE: USA and zionists are forever united in one goal: NEVER ESTABLISH A PALESTINIAN STATE. ”

      Ramzi, the USA and the Zionists are not alone in that endeavour. How much do you believe Jordan or Egypt or even Syria would be actually thrilled to see an independent Palestinian state?

      • Ramzi Jaber
        December 20, 2014, 10:53 am

        Walid, I have long time ago discarded these illegitimate regimes. But you’re right, they continue to work against a Palestinian State and their influence cannot be ignored. But I believe their days are numbered.

        Still, we Palestinians should and must count only on ourselves. Do whatever WE think is RIGHT FOR US. This can only start when ALL Palestinians in colonized Palestine PUT PALESTINE FIRST and collectively decide WE WANT A STATE. Then everyday do everything that must be done to achieve that goal NON-VIOLENTLY.

        Whether we get there actively or passively, IMHO all roads lead to 1S1P1V….

      • Walid
        December 20, 2014, 10:57 am

        Insha’Allah, Ramzi, and very soon.

  26. Moto
    December 22, 2014, 8:48 pm

    “Today, the United States of America is changing its relationship with the people of Israel and Palestine.”

    I live to hear these words spoken.

    American had no enemies in the Middle East until Israel became their friend.

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