Frank Hope, FutureNewsToday, Jan 23 2009
Just a few days ago Obama was saying he couldn’t comment on the Israeli assault on Gaza because there is only “one President at a time”. Now that Obama is the President and Bush has departed from the White House, what is his excuse?
Why didn’t Obama honor the request of Father Manuel Musallam, the pastor of the Catholic parish in Gaza City?
We ask that you offer to God your most ardent prayers and that no Mass or religious service be celebrated without remembering before God the tragedy in Gaza.
Where was Gaza in the prayers that were said at the inauguration? How could we forget their suffering at this time of celebration for so many in the USA? Will the “first Black President of the United States” be only the latest in a series of Presidents that have unconditionally supported Israel’s undisrupted 60 year assault on the Palestinian people?
When Amy Goodman asked famed White House Correspondent Helen Thomas this question, here was her response.
AMY GOODMAN: Do you expect to see a change of policy, for example, on Israel and the Occupied Territories?
HELEN THOMAS: No, I don’t.
AMY GOODMAN: Why not?
HELEN THOMAS: Because I think that Obama, during the campaign, made many promises, as every president, potential president does to Israel, that they seem somehow bounded by their promises, promises to uphold all Israeli goals.
Truer words were never spoken. All politicians make promises during their campaigns. Many of these promises are never fulfilled. I for one never expect Obama to offer any meaningful change to the health care system in this country, for example. He has already hinted that given the economic crisis we are experiencing, that some of his campaign promises might be left unfulfilled.
But when it comes to promises made to the Israel Lobby, there is a different standard. As Helen says Presidents seem “bound” by their promises. No matter what the circumstances – political, economical; no matter what Israel does – invade its neighbors, commit war crimes; Israel has the “unwavering” support of the United States. Our Presidents seem “bound” as if chained like a slave, with the whip of the slave master poised and ready to strike at the slightest act of insubordination.
How many Palestinians must be sacrificed on the altar of Zionism before the world rises up and demands that Israel pay for its crimes? Will Israel ever be held accountable?
With the staunchly pro-Israel Hillary Clinton in charge at the State Department, it is guaranteed that no criticism of Israel will be forthcoming from the incoming Obama administration. Here’s what JTA, “the global news service of the Jewish people”, had to say about Clinton’s qualifications.
Hillary Rodham Clinton, the secretary of state designate, has been one of Israel’s fastest friends in her eight years in the Senate, taking the lead in bringing to light anti-Jewish and anti-Israel incitement by Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, and threatened to obliterate Iran if it launched a nuclear weapon at Israel.
In that same article the JTA expresses their approval of Susan Rice as the United Nations ambassador.
Rice signed onto a Washington Institute for Near East Policy paper last summer calling for greater Israel-U.S. coordination on Iran policy. More recently, in Senate testimony, she accused the world body of singling out Israel for blame.
So what is this power that the Israel Lobby holds over American politics? For the full answer read the book “The Israel Lobby” by Mearsheimer and Walt. The short answer is that it isn’t because of the power of Jewish voters which constitute about 4% of the US population, but the power over the media and the ability to destroy a candidate politically through constant attacks.
Obama certainly recognized this political reality, and in order to win the election he realized that he would need to have allies in the Jewish community. Early on he appointed Dan Shapiro to assist in his efforts to sway the Israel Lobby. Here is an excerpt from an Obama campaign press release announcing that Shapiro had “officially” joined the campaign in August 2008. Notice he had already been working with the campaign “unofficially” since 2007.
The Obama campaign announces the appointment of Daniel B. Shapiro as Senior Policy Adviser and Jewish Outreach Coordinator. Dan has been advising the campaign since 2007 on Middle East policy and Jewish community issues, and now will continue this work as a member of the campaign staff.
And now the payoff. Shapiro will reportedly join the Obama administration on the National Security Council as a chief adviser on Middle East Policy. Shapiro by the way is one of the writers of the famous speech that Obama delivered to AIPAC – just in case you were wondering what his views on Israel are. I wonder if he’s the one that slipped in the line about an undivided Jerusalem that raised so many protests in the Arab world. This is just one small example of how Obama sold out to the Israel Lobby, and in so doing sacrificed the lives of hundreds if not thousands of Palestinians.
Like Pontius Pilate when Jesus Christ was brought before him for judgement, Obama declared that the case of the Gazans was not within his jurisdiction. Let Bush decide. And Bush threw it back at the Israelis. Let the Israelis decide. And so the innocent men, women and children of Gaza were sacrificed in a modern day crucifixion. Instead of nails and a cross, F-16 jet planes and attack helicopters were used. And who’s hand hammered in those nails? The US by blocking early attempts at a cease fire resolution in the United Nations Security Council.
Obama’s hands are covered with the blood of Palestinians. He has completed his initiation by the Zionists. Now he is an accomplice in their slow and creeping ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. Next he will be called upon by the Israelis to cover-up their crimes with the usual smokescreen of a two state solution. Here is where Obama will be the most useful to the Zionists – as a credible spokesman for the farce of the “peace process”. The same “peace process” that has resulted in the Palestinians losing ever more territory and rights.
Obama the O-bamboozler will play the good cop to Israel’s bad cop in beating the Palestinians into submission. The purpose is to divide the Palestinians in order to continue their enslavement, and at the same time divide world public opinion by labeling any Palestinians that resist Israeli occupation as “terrorists”.
In his inauguration speech Obama spoke these words.
We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.
The phrase “those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents” is an apt description of Israel’s assault on Gaza. In fact the Israelis have made numerous statements making it clear that this was in fact their objective in Gaza.
- To advance their political objective of destroying Hamas
- By terrorizing and slaughtering the civilian population of Gaza
And yet the United States continues to support Israeli policy unconditionally. And the Congress even goes as far as to pass resolutions in the midst of the slaughter of the people of Gaza affirming the “unwavering support” of the US for Israel.
I don’t know how to end this article. I don’t know what words I can say that could possibly make a difference. I supported Obama early on in the primaries because he spoke out against the US invasion of Iraq, and I thought this was some sort of “coded message” that he would stand up against the Israel Lobby. I didn’t know at the time that he already had advisers embedded on his staff that were AIPAC operatives. Like so many others, I was “hoodwinked” and “bamboozled” by the sweet talking Barack Obama.
I think many Obama supporters thought he was just saying what he needed to say to get elected, and then he would “change” once he got into office. Wasn’t that what Bush had done to get elected? Didn’t he promise to be a “compassionate conservative”? I wonder how long it will take for many liberal Obama supporters to realize that they, along with the Palestinian People, have been betrayed.