With E.U. and U.S. United,
Israel is Bound to Budge
is new and reassuring is for once, to see Americans and Europeans on the same
wavelength … Confronted with two heavyweights, it's hard to imagine the current Israeli government not modifying its policies and returning to the 'road map,' leading to a sovereign state on
all Palestinian land in the West Bank."
Heard with a European ear,
Barack Obama's speech in Cairo contains, strictly speaking, nothing
revolutionary. The Europeans have been expressing the same things for ages,
namely an unwavering support for Israel and condemnation of negationism [denial
of the Holocaust], while stressing the "intolerable situation" suffered
by the Palestinians and demanding the creation of a Palestinian state and
before that, a suspension of Israeli settlements on occupied territory.
What is new and reassuring is
for once, to see Americans and Europeans on the same wavelength in regard to the
problem of the Near East [Middle East]. Confronted with two heavyweights [the U.S.
and E.U.], it's hard to imagine the current Israeli government not modifying
its policies and returning to the "road map," leading to a sovereign state
on all Palestinian land in the West Bank. Moreover, the congratulations of the Quai d'Orsay [French
Foreign Ministry] and [E.U. Secretary General] Javier Solana cannot be mistaken:
with the United States, it is now possible to quickly move forward, benefitting
in equal measure policies in the Euro-Mediterranean region which are unlikely
to bear fruit without soothing the Arab world and without the Islamic
extremists who feed the perennial Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Posted by WORLDMEETS.US
To be sure, heard with an
American ear, Barack Obama's proposals mark a genuine change. They contrast
strongly with the discourse of George W. Bush and the logic of a "clash of
civilizations" after September 11, which conflated the
"democratization" of Arab countries with the bombing of Iraq; and the
defense of human rights with the legalization of torture at Abu Ghraib or
Guantanamo. Islam became synonymous with terrorism ...
Barack Obama is striving to overcome
this amalgam, particularly for the benefit of U.S. public opinion. However, one
cannot judge by the words of a speech, but by deeds. It will undoubtedly take
much longer to restore confidence between the Muslim East and the West, whose
tradition is Christian but is largely secularized, by eliminating prejudices on
the part of both sides.
PRESIDENT OBAMA'S ADDRESS TO THE ISLAMIC WORLD
Nonetheless, the intention
exists. And it is already too much for extremists whose trade is in permanent
confrontation. Al-Qaeda and Hamas have already made clear their rejection of
the hand extended to Muslims. And what can be said about the extremist Israeli
settlers marching yesterday against "Hussein" Obama, emphasizing the
Muslim middle name of the American president?
Posted by WORLDMEETS.US
impossible without concessions on both sides, is unfortunately the least likely
line of reasoning in the Middle East.
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