Obama’s “Listening” Trip to the Middle East
By Dr. Elias Akleh
President Obama has just concluded his visit to the Middle East that included Israel, occupied Ramallah, and Jordan. The declared purpose of the visit was to listen to the concerns of the heads of states in an attempt to devise some means to revive the peace process. The real undeclared purpose of the visit is to re-instate Israel’s international status that had suffered increased isolation and criticism.
United Nations Children Fund issued its investigating report of Israeli army abuses of young Palestinian children and accusing it of grave violations of international humanitarian laws. Fourteen members of the UN Security Council had condemned, last December, Israel for advancing the construction of the illegal settlements (colonies) in occupied West Bank and Palestinian East Jerusalem stating that such plans undermine their faith in Israel’s willingness to negotiate with Palestinians. A General Assembly resolution was issued on January 14th 2013 calling on Israel to end its settlement (colonies) expansions declaring such activity as illegal. Many Israeli diplomats and pro-Zionist American politicians had expressed their concern about the increasing worldwide criticism of Israel, even among its supporters, for its settlement (colonies) expansion plans in the West Bank.
Statements of the members of the new Israeli government had shown that this government is the most extremist since the illegal establishment of the state. The new Israeli government had declared its major goal of enlarging the illegal settlements (colonies) and achieving a million Jew on occupied West Bank. Besides expansionism its members have no vision of any possible peace with Palestinians or even negotiating with them. Danny Danon, for example, the new Israeli deputy defense minister vowed to expand settlements (colonies) stating that US and the rest of the world will have to get used to see increased settlement construction. He also sees that there is no Palestinian peace partner to talk to. Avigdor Leiberman, leader of Yisrael Beitenu, stated that “anyone who thinks peace can be reached with the Palestinians is delusional.” Naftali Bennett, the leader of the Orthodox right-wing Jewish Home party, emphatically declared: “The land of Israel belongs to the people of Israel.”
There was nothing in Obama’s trip he had done that he couldn’t have done while in his oval office in the White House except his affirmation to the whole world that in the eyes of his administration Israel can do nothing wrong despites its state terrorism, and violations of international laws and basic humanitarian rights. While in Israel Obama told the Israelis: “The US is proud to stand with you as your strongest ally and your greatest friend … to reaffirm the unbreakable bonds between our nations, to restate America’s unwavering commitment to Israel’s security … our alliance is eternal, it is forever.” In his statements Obama has ignored the many facts that Israel is not really a true friend rather a covert enemy to the USA. The reality is that Israel is the only Middle Eastern country that conducted terrorist attacks against the US despite it being America’s spoiled bastard state. The Israeli’s had conducted terrorist attacks known as the Lavon Affair, against American cultural centers, libraries and post office in Egypt in the 1954. In March 2005 Israeli President Moshe Katzav honored who were called “Israel’s Heroes of Lavon Affair” .
Another of Israeli terrorist attack and declaration of war against the US was 1967 Israeli attack on the USS Liberty. Israel had also spied and most definitely is still spying on the US. The case of the Israel spy Jonathan Pollard is very well known. Ron Olive, Chief US investigator of the case, stated that “No one in the history of the US who spied … came close to causing the colossal damage Pollard did to our national security.” Even Secretary of defense at the time (Jewish) Casper Weinberger said: “Pollard’s spy case was the most damaging spy case in the entire history of America.” Pollard caused the murder of hundreds of American agents in Eastern Europe. Israeli spying on the US is described by Dorothy Rabinowitz, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, as “activities that go on every day in Washington, and that are clearly protected under the First Amendment.” Her statement came describing the spying activities of Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman, two former top officials of AIPAC.
The most devastating Israeli terrorist attack and a declaration of war against the US is the false flag attacks of 911 that eventually got the US involved into many proxy wars for Israel in the Middle East such as Iraq war. The internet and youtube are full of analytical documents and movies by scientists and political analyst debunking the official story and pointing to Israel as the prime suspect and perpetrator of the attack.
Yet instead of retaliating against Israel Obama’s administration, similar to many previous administrations, gives Israel more tax money, badly needed locally, and more weapons. The only reason the US has enemies in the Middle East, in Africa, in South East Asia and in the whole Islamic world is because of American unconditional support to terrorist state of Israel. With a friend such as Israel the US does not need any enemy.
While still in Israel Obama pressured Netanyahu to call Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan offering Israeli apologies and compensations for the death of nine Turkish citizens, who were murdered by Israeli army during their raid on a Turkish flotilla while delivering humanitarian aid to besieged Gaza. Although the apology was not really official and vague, and Israel did not lift the siege on Gaza as conditioned by Erdogan himself, Erdogan accepted the apologies despite the criticism of many Turkish politicians such as MK Muhamad Shereen and Minister of Labor Yeshar Ouquan, who consider such move as an American pressure to unite both countries against Syria and eventually against Iran.
Obama’s visit to Ramallah was a “quicky”; disrespecting, threatening and bribing. He treated the Palestinians as aliens to the land as reflected in his speech to the Israelis where he stated that this land (Palestine) is “… the historic homeland of the Jewish people” where “More than 3,000 years ago, the Jewish people lived here, tended the land here, prayed to God here, and after centuries of exile and persecution, unparalleled in the history of man, the founding of the Jewish State of Israel was a rebirth, a redemption unlike any in history.” What more do Palestinians need to hear to understand that Obama is actually an ardent Zionist.
Obama’s disdain to the Palestinian was reflected in him not visiting the tomb of Yasser Arafat when on the Israeli side he visited the tombs of Zionist Theodor Herzl, Yitzhak Rabin, and Yad Vashem.
In his speech to the Palestinians Obama rudely told them not to object to illegal Israeli expanding colonization program of their land because this condition will hamper peace talks. Such condition Obama, himself, had asserted in his Cairo 2009 speech. He looked them in the eye and lied to them that he still believes in the Two State Solution knowing very well that the Israeli policies and the Israeli colonial expansions had made such a solution an impossible reality. He stated that as long as the US exists the Israelis would not be alone, and urged the Palestinians, and the Arabs, to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state because denying that right is like denying the existence of heaven and earth.
Obama talked much about his concern for Israeli security but nothing about Palestinian security. He ignored the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative that would have guaranteed Israeli security and normalization with all Arab states if Israel withdraws to 1967 borders. It seems that he equates Palestinian sovereignty to Israeli security.
Obama needed to deal with the Palestinian Authority on two main issues. The first is the PA, as a non-member observer stat at the UN, had threatened to take Israel to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for its illegal settlements in the E1 area of the West Bank. The second is the PA’s reconciliation attempts with Hamas that would put more pressure on Israel. During his visit Obama has warned Abbas against any reconciliation with Hamas, and had pressured him not to take any legal action against Israeli bribing him with a potential $500 million in US aid; some crumbs compared to billions of dollars and tons of sophisticated weapons Obama grants to Israel.
Obama’s mission in Jordan was to assure King Abdullah’s cooperation and support to the anti-Syrian coalition. He stated that Assad has “lost all legitimacy”, and that his fall was not a question of “if, but when.” He pledged to give Jordan $200 million ostensibly in aid for the Syrian refugees, but in reality as payment to the king for providing the US a base where it’s military can train anti-Syrian terrorists.
Obama joined UK and French official in accusing Syria of using chemical weapons, an accusation is intended to be used as a justification for US/NATO forces attacking Syria. The British envoy to the UN, Ambassador Mark Lyall, stated that the use of chemical weapons is an abhorrent act and would require a serious response from the international community. Sadly this allegedly humane international community did not respond either when US/NATO forces used white phosphorous, chemical and DU weapons in Iraq especially in the Fallujah massacre and in Basra, nor when Israel had also used chemical, DU and white phosphorous weapons against Gaza. They act only in proxy wars for Israel.
Dr. Elias Akleh is an Arab writer from a Palestinian descent born in the town of Beit Jala. His family was first evicted from Haifa after the “Nakba” of 1948, then from Beit Jala after the “Nakseh” of 1967. He lives now in the US, and publishes his articles on the web in both English and Arabic.