FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Obama and Israel

by JOSHUA FRANK

In an attempt to squelch rumors that he is pro-Palestinian, or god forbid Muslim, Barack Obama made it clear in the final Democratic Presidential debate on Tuesday that he is anything but. After being prodded by NBC’s Tim Russert on the issue, Obama said he has long been a “stalwart friend of Israel’s,” believing the country to be one of the United States’ “most important allies in the region,” and even going as far as to call the security of Israel “sacrosanct.”

The hallowed confirmation that he would maintain the US’s lopsided support for Israel came the same day seven Palestinians were killed by Israeli air strikes in Gaza. Since “peace negotiations” resumed in November, Israeli military forces have reportedly killed over 200 Palestinians.

Speaking to a group of 100 pro-Israel supporters in Cleveland this week, Obama assured the crowd that as president he would keep Iran in the crosshairs to protect Israeli interests.

“Now the gravest threat … to Israel today, I believe, is from Iran. There the radical regime continues to pursue its capacity to build a nuclear weapon and continues to support terrorism across the region,” he explained. “Threats of Israel’s destruction can not be dismissed as rhetoric. The threat from Iran is real and my goal as president would be to eliminate that threat.”

After reiterating that he’d end the war in Iraq first, Obama then promised he would turn his attention to the country’s neighbor. “My approach to Iran will be aggressive diplomacy: I will not take any military options off the table.”

In fairness, Obama did mention something few Democrats in Washington dare to utter, “I think there is a strain within the pro-Israel community that says unless you adopt a unwavering pro-Likud approach to Israel that you’re anti-Israel and that can’t be the measure of our friendship with Israel.”

After pointing out the obvious, however, Obama praised Israel’s most recent invasion of Lebanon, the pro-Israel tilt on Capital Hill, and his quest for Israel to remain a Jewish State.

“[Any] negotiated peace between Israelis and the Palestinians is going to have to involve the Palestinians relinquishing the right of return as it has been understood in the past,” he averred. “And that doesn’t mean that that there may not be conversations about compensation issues.”

How gracious, but what does Obama plan to do with the over 1.4 million non-Jewish Arabs that live in the country? Continue to treat them like second-class citizens or just boot them out? Obama has called Israel a “democracy,” but as the former editor of the Harvard Law Review you’d think he would know what the term actually means. Sure Israeli Arabs can vote, but they can’t hold office if they are democratic secularists who want civil rights for all of the country’s citizens. They have no constitutional protections (Israel has no formal constitution) and can only own land in certain locales as a consequence of unfair laws that grant special treatment to Jewish residents.

Simply put, as Jimmy Carter took so much heat for rightly observing, Israel is an apartheid-ridden country where the Arab population is not exactly welcomed with open arms.

Barack Obama won’t confront this reality, nor will he end Israel’s violent incursions into the occupied territories or halt the US military threats toward Iran. The Obama campaign may pledge to bring “hope” and “change” to the White House, but when it comes to what the Democratic frontrunner calls our “special relationship” with Israel, that promise an out-and-out lie.

JOSHUA FRANK is the co-editor of DissidentVoice.org, and author of Left Out! How Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush, and along with Jeffrey St. Clair, the editor of the forthcoming Red State Rebels, to be published by AK Press in March 2008. He can be reached through his website, BrickBurner.org.

 

 

 

 

 

JOSHUA FRANK is managing editor of CounterPunch. His most recent book is Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, co-edited with Jeffrey St. Clair and published by AK Press. He can be reached at joshua@counterpunch.org. You can follow him on Twitter @joshua__frank

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

January 23, 2017
John Wight
Trump’s Inauguration: Hail Caesar!
Patrick Cockburn
The Rise of Trump and Isis Have More in Common Than You Might Think
Binoy Kampmark
Ignored Ironies: Women, Protest and Donald Trump
Gregory Barrett
Flag, Cap and Screen: Hollywood’s Propaganda Machine
Gareth Porter
US Intervention in Syria? Not Under Trump
L. Ali Khan
Trump’s Holy War against Islam
Gary Leupp
An Al-Qaeda Attack in Mali:  Just Another Ripple of the Endless, Bogus “War on Terror”
Norman Pollack
America: Banana Republic? Far Worse
Bob Fitrakis - Harvey Wasserman
We Mourn, But We March!
Kim Nicolini
Trump Dump: One Woman March and Personal Shit as Political
William Hawes
We Are on Our Own Now
Martin Billheimer
Last Tango in Moscow
Colin Todhunter
Development and India: Why GM Mustard Really Matters
Mel Gurtov
Trump’s America—and Ours
David Mattson
Fog of Science II: Apples, Oranges and Grizzly Bear Numbers
Clancy Sigal
Who’s Up for This Long War?
Weekend Edition
January 20, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Divide and Rule: Class, Hate, and the 2016 Election
Andrew Levine
When Was America Great?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: This Ain’t a Dream No More, It’s the Real Thing
Yoav Litvin
Making Israel Greater Again: Justice for Palestinians in the Age of Trump
Linda Pentz Gunter
Nuclear Fiddling While the Planet Burns
Ruth Fowler
Standing With Standing Rock: Of Pipelines and Protests
David Green
Why Trump Won: the 50 Percenters Have Spoken
Dave Lindorff
Imagining a Sanders Presidency Beginning on Jan. 20
Pete Dolack
Eight People Own as Much as Half the World
Roger Harris
Too Many People in the World: Names Named
Steve Horn
Under Tillerson, Exxon Maintained Ties with Saudi Arabia, Despite Dismal Human Rights Record
John Berger
The Nature of Mass Demonstrations
Stephen Zielinski
It’s the End of the World as We Know It
David Swanson
Six Things We Should Do Better As Everything Gets Worse
Alci Rengifo
Trump Rex: Ancient Rome’s Shadow Over the Oval Office
Brian Cloughley
What Money Can Buy: the Quiet British-Israeli Scandal
Mel Gurtov
Donald Trump’s Lies And Team Trump’s Headaches
Kent Paterson
Mexico’s Great Winter of Discontent
Norman Solomon
Trump, the Democrats and the Logan Act
David Macaray
Attention, Feminists
Yves Engler
Demanding More From Our Media
James A Haught
Religious Madness in Ulster
Dean Baker
The Economics of the Affordable Care Act
Patrick Bond
Tripping Up Trumpism Through Global Boycott Divestment Sanctions
Robert Fisk
How a Trump Presidency Could Have Been Avoided
Robert Fantina
Trump: What Changes and What Remains the Same
David Rosen
Globalization vs. Empire: Can Trump Contain the Growing Split?
Elliot Sperber
Dystopia
Dan Bacher
New CA Carbon Trading Legislation Answers Big Oil’s Call to Continue Business As Usual
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail