Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Politics and the American Way

I can't help but notice at my favorite politics website,, a plethora of articles that examine American politicians' fondness for publicly supporting Israeli security needs above all else. As if American foreign policy in that hateful region rests entirely on the premise that what is good for the Israeli political establishment is good for American interests. Let's list a slew of these articles that turn on its head this rabid dogma that is in fact harming American interests.

First, an article from Salon magazine entitled "Finding Obama guilty of insufficient devotion to Israel." The article by Glenn Greenwald speaks about Barack Obama's interview with the Atlantic Monthly's Jeffrey Goldberg, in which Mr. Goldberg asks pointedly to get to the kishke of the matter: do you swear an oath the security of the nation of Israel without condition? Barack does a yeoman's job of taking the politically expedient route of stroking Israel's massive ego. If he was honest about the situation, he wouldn't have a snowball's chance in hades of getting elected. He ducked and dove, but managed to pull off a few zingers pertaining to Israel's long history of violating the human rights of the Palestinians. Good job Mr. Obama, don't let the rabid Israel-firsters get you down, because anyone who truly cared about Israel would actively support and work towards a just peace settlement with the Palestinians and rapidly implement the peace agreement. I'll end this section with a quote from George Washington, in which he addresses the danger of hardcore bias toward any one nation to the detriment of others:

In the execution of such a plan, nothing is more essential than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations, and passionate attachments for others, should be excluded; and that, in place of them, just and amicable feelings towards all should be cultivated. The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave.

Read Washington's entire address for yourself. It is time we start heeding his words.

Justin Raimondo also speaks of this "inquisition" of an interview between Goldberg and Obama, and offers the most humane quote from any of the presidential candidates on Israel's practices in the West Bank, the future heartland of a Palestinian state:

"My job in being a friend to Israel is partly to hold up a mirror and tell the truth and say if Israel is building settlements without any regard to the effects that this has on the peace process, then we're going to be stuck in the same status quo that we've been stuck in for decades now, and that won't lift that existential dread that David Grossman described in
your article."

Good Job, Obama. It's not enough, but I understand the limitations of the American political scene when speaking about Israel and the Palestinians. Justin Raimondo's article is called Obama v.s. The Lobby and it deserves your attention.

Ran HaCohen, in his regular Letter from Israel column at, speaks about Israel's 60th birthday. Quite the critic, he is. If only America had journalists as brave as the Israeli Ran HaCohen. It is quite astounding that Israelis themselves are more critical of their government than American politicians. Poll after poll in Israel indicate that about 60 percent and more support negotiations with Hamas in Gaza. Why can't the will of the people be expressed in a democracy? Anyways, read Ran's article; it's illuminating.

Nun - as I say in my German classes - enough is enough. Thanks for reading. And before anyone starts casting aspersions on me for calling attention to the articles linked from this humble blog, let me say this: my position on the Israel-Palestinian conflict is no different in its essence than that of American Presidents since Ronald Reagan, at least. I just get impatient about working towards implement the noble and righteous goal of two states with well defined, internationally recognized borders in the Holy Land, Israel and Palestine.

No comments: