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Obama in Israel

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Obama in Jerusalem 


by Stephen Lendman


Rhetoric doesn't reflect policy. What matters most is what Obama means, not what he says. His agenda affirms one-sided Israeli support. He spurns Palestinian rights. He's done so throughout his tenure. 


He's not about to change now. Palestinians have no friends in Washington. For sure they have none in high places. 


Obama's their enemy. His words ring hollow. How can a warrior president be taken seriously? 


He's waging multiple wars. He's ravaging humanity. He spurns rule of law principles. He prioritizes world dominance. He's beholden to monied interests. They own him. Palestinian suffering's increased on his watch. He's done nothing to alleviate it.


On March 21, he spoke in Jerusalem's Convention Center. He chose the wrong place to go. Israel claims the city as its exclusive capital. Palestinians want it for their own. 


It's an international city. Obama should have gone elsewhere. Ideally he should have stayed home. He's unwanted. Palestinians protested his visit. They did so across the West Bank.


They awaited his arrival in Ramallah. A sign in English said: "USA is not a fair sponsor for any political process in the Middle East." Another said: "I want to see my father's village."


One Palestinian spoke for others, saying:


"We are here to send our clear message to American President Barack Obama that the Palestinian people are more determined to achieve the goal of building their own independent state in the Palestinian territories."


"We want to say clearly that we refuse all the pressure that the United States is putting on the Palestinians’ shoulders."


Ismail Haniyeh is Palestine's legitimate prime minister. His visit changes nothing, he said.


"We believe American policies perpetuate the Israeli occupation and settlements in Palestine under the slogan of peace." 


"The PA must realize that they have to abide by national principles and reconciliation."


In early March, Haniyah called Obama's visit a "trap." It's "aimed at undermining the Arab population."


"We are convinced that Obama's visit will not produce the necessary breakthrough for our people." Abbas should be wary, he added. 


Obama's up to no good. His visit "will focus on regional developments, and will only address our cause in a way to undermine Palestinian national reconciliation efforts and to relaunch the absurd so-called negotiations" with Israel.


He spent token time in Ramallah. He called Israeli politics "complicated." He urged thinking outside the box. It's needed to restart Israeli/PA talks, he claimed. 


They've been stillborn from inception. They're more hypocrisy than real. Palestinians never had a legitimate partner. They don't now. Netanyahu spurns peace. So does Obama.


Forget about preconditions, he said. "There's no point in negotiating if you've decided everything in advance." He stopped short of condemning illegal settlements. He called them an "obstacle" to peace.


Abbas tried having things both ways. On the one hand, he said "Israel builds everywhere. I don't know who gave them this right."


On the other, he's willing to accept an "unannounced" settlement freeze. It's enough to restart peace talks, he says. 


He knows Israeli public or private pledges aren't worth the paper they're written on. He cited talking points from an internal PLO document. 


It says Netanyahu "can pledge to you secretly (to) stop settlement activities during the period of negotiations. He does not have to announce it."


Israel has its most pro-settler government in history. It's committed to build, build, build. Public or private pronouncements change nothing.


Obama knows it. So does Abbas. They pretend otherwise. Their words ring hollow.


Obama's speech reflected doublespeak duplicity. He talks peace. He's waging multiple wars to prevent it. He called Israel a "vibrant democracy." It's a rogue terror state. It's racist, repressive and belligerent. It menaces the region.


"Palestinians have a right to be a free people in their own land," he said. Their "right to self-determination, their right to justice, must also be recognized." Policies he endorses prevent it.


He stressed Israel's unconditional right to security. Israelis live in a dangerous neighborhood. He claimed terrorists threaten them. Israel's only enemies are ones it invents.


He said Israelis "have a true partner in president Abbas and prime minister Fayyad." Both serve illegitimately. They're Israeli collaborators. They enforce occupation harshness. They spurn their own people. They do so for benefits derived.


Israel rigged Abbas' 2005 election. His term expired in January 2009. Fayyad was appointed, not elected. In 2006 legislative elections, his Third Way party won two of 132 seats. It got 2.4% of Palestinian votes.


Fayyad's unwanted for good reason. He's Israel's man in Palestine. He's a former World Bank/IMF official. He supports neoliberal harshness. He enforces militarized occupation.


Hamas is Palestine's legitimate government. Coup d'etat authority replaced it. Washington and Israel collaborated to install it. Obama supports it. He's no friend of Palestine.


He said "Palestinians must recognize Israel (as) a Jewish state." Around 20% of its population is Arab. He ignored them. They're treated like fifth column threats. They're persecuted. They're denied equal rights. Obama left inconvenient facts unexplained.


Media scoundrels praised his address. A Jerusalem Post editorial said it reflected "shared dreams." It was a "showpiece address."


Haaretz said his "goal in coming to Israel has been achieved."


"He penetrated the hearts of the Israeli people. (His message was) moving and compelling."


"Let us hope (his) call falls on attentive ears." 


The New York Times said he  "la(id) out his case for a future Israel at peace with the Palestinians."


He "delivered an enthusiastically welcomed speech…." It was "the centerpiece of his first trip to Israel as president. (He) spoke in lofty terms. (He said America) remains unquestionably committed to Israel's security."


The Washington Post said his address "signaled a shift away from the balance he has sought to maintain between Israeli and Palestinian leaders since taking office."


He offered Palestinian leaders "moral support for an independent state."


He rejects Palestinian statehood. He left what's most important unmentioned. 


The State of Palestine exists. It was proclaimed in Algiers on November 15, 1988. At the time, the PLO adopted the Palestinian Declaration of Independence. 


PLO legal advisor Francis Boyle drafted it. He included safeguards to assure all sovereign state rights. His document left no wiggle room loopholes. He made sure UN membership won't comprise them. 


Palestine satisfies all essential criteria for sovereign independence and full de jure UN membership. Obama refuses to recognize what already exists. So do Abbas and Fayyad. They're collaborationist traitors.


The Los Angeles Times called Obama's address "soaring." It was "rousing" and "well-received." It "focused on shared dreams rather than thorny details." 


He "announced no new conditions or demands. He tried "to nudge the peace process ahead." He "assure(d) Israelis of US support."


He paid lip service alone to Palestinians. His policies reveal callousness. He one-sidedly supports Israel. 


An Anti-Defamation League press release called his address a "Truly Historic Affirmation of the Bond between the United States and Israel."


"We applaud President Obama’s powerful address and the warmth, respect and admiration it expressed for all that Israel represents for the Jewish people and the world."


The Onion got it right. It called Obama's trip "pointless." It'll "accomplish nothing." 


"He traveled 5,000 miles for a meaningless photo op. (It's) a waste of everyone's time…."


Private talks with Netanyahu discussed war. Mossad-connected DEBKAfile (DF) said both leaders agreed. Israel won't attack Iran without Washington's consent.


Tehran has "another three months' grace….After June….resolving the Iranian nuclear issue will be judged to have run its course."


Netanyahu stressed "the clock is ticking." Obama said all options are on the table. "We will do whatever is necessary to prevent Iran from getting the world's worst weapons."


DF also said Obama and Netanyahu "agreed on when to intervene against Syria." An unnamed Western diplomat claims another war with Hezbollah is "inevitable." When remains uncertain.


Obama's a warrior president. His agenda rejects peace. He and Netanyahu prioritize war. Palestinian rights got lip service. They're on their own like always. Conflict could erupt anytime. Forewarned is forearmed.


Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 


His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."




Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.




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