29 November 2009


An excellent article just out by Uri Avnery and surely a must read below. But first here's my 2 euros worth:) The article covers many aspects of Israel's plans and Obama's lack of ability to stand up to Israel. And whilst that is all interesting to read and many good points are made. What I have always found the most worrying for Palestine is a tiny part Avnery only touched on. What he says about Obama needing an "Accomplishment" is absolutely correct.

I've said this many times. Obama's ratings are suffering. All that "Hope and Change" has vanished, people want something tangible they can point to. It's taken Obama months of arm twisting just to get some sort of a version of his original Health Care package through, and just barely. He's been in office a year now, in one more year he will need to turn his attention to beginning the process of getting himself re-elected, because, Boy Oh Boy, the neocons are gonna come gunning for him and I think he's lost all those cross over voters and the large support he once had from the Independent voters. So, he'll need some huge achievement to point to as a victory of his 1st term if he stands any chance of getting a 2nd one. And I have always thought that this "achievement" would be some "so called" Middle East Peace achievement. And no, not a great one for Palestine. But now I think (unless things change dramatically)it will be much worse than my original assessment, which, wasn't that great.

I have worried for months now as I've seen Obama's approval rating drop. What ever so called "deal" Palestinians end up with will be directly tied to Obama's approval rating. If it goes up, Obama may risk demanding more from the Israelis, if it does not go up, then Obama will need all those Jewish votes (Enter AIPAC et al) and he will not be willing to push Israel in the slightest way. Thus, oddly enough, Palestinians are directly tied to how Americans see Obama's time in office, that's the problem.

Obama's ego is as large as his ears, and he fully intends to see himself go down in history as not only the first "black" President, but the man who "changed" the world. And this is why I say, coupled with what I wrote above, when you add it all up, what do you get? Here's my prediction, I'm saying it right now. By the end of next year, or shortly afterward, the Whitehouse will be claiming a victory in the Middle East, that Obama has resolved the great Israeli-Palestine conflict, there will be much rejoicing. We will all be sold a "myth." Maybe the idiots that gave him the 1st Nobel Peace Prize will give him a 2nd one. But rest assured the deal will be done, It's coming, he needs it if he is to survive in office for another term and save himself from becoming the First Black President who only had one term and accomplished nothing. And sadly for Palestine they will be the sacrificial lamb that Obama will slaughter to ensure his place in history. Now, here's Uri Avnery article, in part:
And A Little Child Shall Lead Them"
"What is so pathetic is that Netanyahu is not even deceiving Obama. The American president knows full well that this is all play acting. He is very intelligent. He is not very courageous. For the mess of pottage of a pretended achievement he has sold his political birthright. Even George Bush managed to extract from Ariel Sharon an undertaking to dismantle all settlements set up after March 2001 (needless to say, not a single one was dismantled)."

It goes like this: The US will turn its back on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The entire world will follow. Everybody is fed up with this conflict. Let the Israelis and the Palestinians sort out their problems by themselves.

But in reality this is an outrageous suggestion. Because these two children are not of equal strength. When an adult sees a 14-year old mercilessly mistreating a 6-year old, can he just look on?

A 42-year old occupation dominates every single corner of occupied Palestine.

This did not come about by a miracle. The huge gap between the strength of the two peoples has also been created by the support of the US for Israel. Israel would not be where it is today without this political, economic and military underpinning. Billions of dollars in annual aid, access to the most advanced weaponry in the world, the political immunity assured by the US veto in the Security Council and all the other forms of assistance have helped successive Israeli governments to maintain and intensify the occupation.

Friedman does not propose ending this support, which itself is a massive intervention in this conflict, and is given to the stronger side. When he suggests that the US withdraw from the conflict, he is actually saying: let the Israeli government do what it is doing – continue the occupation, set up new settlements, withdraw the land from under the feet of the Palestinian people, go on with the murderous blockade that denies the 1.5 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip – men, women and children –almost all the necessities of life.

AND OBAMA? He capitulated again. After giving up his original demand for a total freeze of building in the settlements, he had no choice but to give in again. He reacted to Netanyahu’s shabby performance as if it were high drama.

Obama is in need of an achievement. It is being said that he has not achieved a single objective in the international arena. So here is an achievement. Netanyahu is freezing – sorry, restraining – sorry, suspending - settlement activity.

My father taught me in my youth that one must never give in to a blackmailer. After giving in once, one is condemned to giving in again and again, while the demands of the blackmailer grow and grow. After giving in to the pro-Israel lobby once, Obama will have to give in again and again.

One could almost pity him and his assistants. Such an impressive, such a tough, such an experienced group – and they are returning from Jerusalem like Napoleon’s army from Moscow.

We saw poor George Mitchell. The man who brokered peace between the murderous factions in Ireland came to Jerusalem. Came again and again and again. Came as the representative of the world’s one remaining superpower to tell Israelis and Palestinians what they have to do. He was tough. He dictated terms.

Israeli officials laughed at him behind his back. They are used to the likes of him. They have eaten them for breakfast. Remember William Rogers, Nixon’s Secretary of State and his peace plan? And the great Henry Kissinger? And even James Baker, who tried to impose economic sanctions on us? And Bill Clinton’s “Guidelines”? And the “vision” of George Bush? The political graveyard is full of American politicians who tried to impose limits on Israel, without being able or willing to use the necessary force. Welcome, George. Nice to see you, Hillary.

What is so pathetic is that Netanyahu is not even deceiving Obama. The American president knows full well that this is all play acting. He is very intelligent. He is not very courageous. For the mess of pottage of a pretended achievement he has sold his political birthright. Even George Bush managed to extract from Ariel Sharon an undertaking to dismantle all settlements set up after March 2001 (needless to say, not a single one was dismantled).

This is a great victory for Netanyahu, his second over Obama. Not yet the decisive victory, but a victory that bodes ill for the chances of peace in the near future.

The only dialog between Israelis and Palestinians that is taking place now is with Hamas. The prisoner exchange deal is nearing the point of decision. The main remaining bone of contention is the freeing of the Fatah leader, Marwan Barghouti, who was sentenced to five life terms.

If the deal is clinched and Barghouti freed, it will be another humiliation for Abbas: it will be said that Hamas, not he, has achieved the liberation of the Fatah leader. The freed Barghouti will act to mend the split between Fatah and Hamas and will be a credible candidate for the presidency of the Palestinian Authority. Then, a new chapter of the conflict will begin.
(And rightly so if Israel will not move forward and withdraw from Palestinian land. Palestinians have the right to resist an invading army)more:
IT IS worth reading the full text of Isaiah’s prophecy: “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid, and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them.”
The role of the little child, so it seems, falls to Obama. If he accepts, God forbid, Friedman’s advice and leaves the picture, the vision will turn into a nightmare. The Israeli government will increase the oppression, the Palestinians will turn to unbridled terrorism, the entire world will be dragged into bloody chaos. read it all HERE