Nov 6, 2008

The First Signals of Business as Usual for Palestine/Israel

I wrote earlier this year about Obama's statement at AIPAC, staking out territory far right of most moderate Israelis and certainly most Palestinians in his staunch lovefest with the racist, hostile government of Israel. Well, his choice of Rahm Emanuel for Chief of Staff seals the deal: the new Administration will not step away from the failed policies of the Bush and Clinton regimes in Palestine/Israel. It will continue them.

I can continue to rail on this choice and what it seems has been a systematic staking out of the far right, far zionist positions, but I'll just link to today's Democracy Now report on some of this so you can read it directly. It will be critical for people to raise up their protest and resistance immediately, and not allow the idealogues who exist on either side of the corporate duopoly's "aisle" to dig in and spell the real end of any hope for peace in the region, or for the Palestinian people.

ALI ABUNIMAH: But I think the important thing here is not just the appointment of Emanuel, but the greater context here, which is that from the days we knew Barack Obama as a small-time politician in Illinois, I won’t tell you, and I’ve never said that he was incredibly progressive on Israel-Palestine, but he was certainly more open-minded than he is now. And what he’s done systematically throughout the campaign is to distance himself or to throw under the bus, as the term goes, any adviser or friend who was suspected of having pro-Palestinian sympathies. In other words, he has succumbed to the McCarthyite and racist campaigns that says if you associate with even very moderate Columbia University professors, for example, or take their advice, that that’s the biggest crime.

So the signal he’s sending here is that that is not going to change, that people who could give him more balanced, more objective, more realistic advice that could change the course from the disastrous Palestine-Israel policies of the Bush and Clinton administrations, that that’s not going to happen. And that should be very, very worrying, because a lot of progressive people, a lot of people in the Middle East, a lot of leaders, have pinned hopes on Obama being quite different on this issue, and I just don’t see any evidence so far that that’s going to be the case. And it worries me that people will stay silent, rather than putting on the table now and loudly the demands for a more balanced, more objective, more fair policy that could bring peace for Palestinians and Israelis.

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