President Obama’s opportunity to speak truth to power – Rahm Emanuel does it for him
By Alan Hart
November 13, 2009
When I wrote and posted Part 1 of this article, I was, of course, aware that there wasn’t a snowball’s chance in hell of President Obama speaking truth to the power of Jewish America as it was represented at the General Assembly of The Jewish Federations of North America. The words I put into his mouth could only have been spoken by him if he was going to be true to his statement to Netanyahu and Abbas – “We must all take risks for peace”.
As it happened, Obama cancelled his scheduled contribution to the proceedings in order to address the memorial service for the 13 who were killed in the shooting on the U.S. Army base at Fort Hood in Texas. (At the risk of giving offense where none is intended, I have to say that I think the conference agenda could easily have been re-arranged to provide the President with an alternative podium slot if he had wanted it. He did, in fact, put in an appearance at a reception for Jewish leaders attending the conference, but he didn’t talk about foreign policy. Instead he delivered a 20-minute homily on Jewish values of charity and the importance of health care reform).
Obama’s place as the main speaker was taken by his chief of staff (and Zionism’s number one minder in the White House) Rahm Emanuel. Reviewing his address to conference as a whole, I saw no reason to disagree with what Paul Craig Roberts wrote. Emanuel “surrendered for his boss”.
It would seem that a very similar thought was in the mind of Uriel Heilman who wrote an analysis piece for the JTA (Jewish Telegraph Agency). Under the headline Obama shifts to Israel’s corner, but tries not to show it, Heilman noted that “when the chief of staff took to the podium… he sounded almost exactly like Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a day earlier”.
It’s true that Emanuel did say that “Israel must halt settlement construction on the West Bank” (not the occupied West Bank, just the West Bank); but in the context of his whole speech, that was mere lip-service to a presidential call that had been rejected by Netanyahu and served only to confirm that it’s Zionism’s stooges in Congress who call the policy shots on Israel/Palestine, not the White House.
According to Emanuel, Israel seeks a lasting peace. The truth telling of that day was left to French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner. He said, in Paris, “Israel’s desire for peace seems to have completely vanished.” (That, of course, is not completely true. Israel does want peace, but not on terms virtually all Palestinians and most other Arabs and Muslims everywhere could accept).
Emanuel went on: “Make no mistake, the path toward peace is not one that Israel should be asked to walk alone” (my emphasis added). That, it seemed to me, was the chief of staff’s coded way of saying, “The Arabs are to blame for the fact the President’s efforts to kick-start a peace process are going nowhere”.
At the time of writing there are signs that the growing despair of the occupied and oppressed Palestinians will trigger a third intifada at a not too distant point in a foreseeable future.
In terms of realpolitik, there’s a case or saying that could be a good thing to the extent that Israel’s brutal suppression of it would probably inspire more global sympathy and support for the Palestinian claim for an acceptable amount of justice. But there’s a much stronger case for saying that it could be catastrophic for the Palestinians. A third intifada could give Zionism’s in-Israel mad men the pretext they will one day invent if they are not presented with it on a plate to complete the ethnic cleansing of Palestine.
Alan Hart is a former ITN and BBC Panorama foreign correspondent who covered wars and conflicts wherever they were taking place in the world and specialized in the Middle East.
He blogs on www.alanhart.net and tweets on www.twitter.com/alanauthor
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