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

December 07, 2016
Michael Schwalbe
What We Talk About When We Talk About Class
Karl Grossman
The Next Frontier: Trump and Space Weapons
Kenneth Surin
On Being Caught Speeding in Rural America
Chris Floyd
In Like Flynn: Blowback for Filth-Peddling Fascists
Serge Halimi
Trump, the Know-Nothing Victor
Paul DeRienzo
Flynn Flam: Neocon Ex-General to Be Trump’s National Security Advisor
Binoy Kampmark
Troubled Waters: Trump, Taiwan and Beijing
Tom Clifford
Trump and China: a Note From Beijing
Arnold August
Fidel’s Legacy to the World on Theory and Practice
Dave Lindorff
Is Trump’s Idea To Fix a ‘Rigged System’ by Appointing Crooks Who’ve Played It?
John Kirk
Cuba after Fidel: Interview with Professor John Kirk
Jess Guh
Repeal of Affordable Care Act is Politics Playing with the Wellbeing of Americans
Eric Sommer
Team Trump: a Government of Generals and Billionaires
Lawrence Davidson
U.S. Reactions to the Death of Fidel Castro
John Garvey - Noel Ignatiev
Abolitionism: a Study Guide
Clancy Sigal
Caution: Conspiracy Theory Ahead!
December 06, 2016
Anthony DiMaggio
Post-Fact Politics: Reviewing the History of Fake News and Propaganda
Richard Moser
Standing Rock: Challenge to the Establishment, School for the Social Movements
Behrooz Ghamari Tabrizi
Warmongering 99 – Common Sense 0: the Senate’s Unanimous Renewable of Iran Sanctions Act
Norman Solomon
Media Complicity is Key to Blacklisting Websites
Michael J. Sainato
Elizabeth Warren’s Shameful Exploitation of Standing Rock Victory
David Rosen
State Power and Terror: From Wounded Knee to Standing Rock
Kim Ives
Deconstructing Another Right-Wing Victory in Haiti
Nile Bowie
South Korea’s Presidency On A Knife-Edge
Mateo Pimentel
Some Notes and a Song for Standing Rock
CJ Hopkins
Manufacturing Normality
Bill Fletcher Jr – Bob Wing
Fighting Back Against the White Revolt of 2016
Peter Lee
Is America Ready for a War on White Privilege?
Pepe Escobar
The Rules of the (Trump) Game
W. T. Whitney
No Peace Yet in Colombia Despite War’s End
Mark Weisbrot
Castro Was Right About US Policy in Latin America
David Swanson
New Rogue Anti-Russia Committee Created in “Intelligence” Act
George Ochenski
Forests of the Future: Local or National Control?
December 05, 2016
Bill Martin
Stalingrad at Standing Rock?
Mark A. Lause
Recounting a Presidential Election: the Backstory
Mel Goodman
Mad Dog Mattis and Trump’s “Seven Days in May”
Matthew Hannah
Standing Rock and the Ideology of Oppressors: Conversations with a Morton County Commissioner
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
#NoDAPL Scores Major Victory: No Final Permit For Pipeline
Fran Shor
The End of the Indispensable Nation
Michael Yates
Vietnam: the War That Won’t Go Away
Michael Uhl
Notes on a Trip to Cuba
Robert Hunziker
Huge Antarctica Glacier in Serious Trouble
John Steppling
Screen Life
David Macaray
Trump vs. America’s Labor Unions
Yoav Litvin
Break Free and Lead, or Resign: a Letter to Bernie Sanders
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail