Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas: More than most Arab leaders, he and the people he leads stand to gain the most from a successful peace process. Many fear that America is too heavily influenced by what many Muslims call the 'Zionist lobby' to be a fair arbitor.
The events that unfolded in
the United States over the last decade have been at best unpredictable and at
worst tragic. America can be said to have witnessed one of its worst periods in
its history, a kind of mélange of the post-Civil War period, the period of the Carpetbaggers and the Great
Depression. The George W. Bush epoch of calamity and despair, with its
unrelenting execution of conservative neo-con designs prodded by AIPAC and the
Zionist lobby would have created an unpleasant environment for any President to
work in. Barack Hussein Obama touched on every aspiration of the American
people in his sweeping campaign for the highest office in the land. When the
campaign for the U.S. Presidency began, there were not yet indications that Mr.
Bush would leave office with his nation politically, economically and socially
in an absolute mess. While no one had any illusions that Bush was a flip-flop
in every sense of the word, it's really distressing to hear former Republican Party
activists rushing to point to errors and failings of the Obama Administration. Even
veteran Congressional politicians are quick to say that Obama has been wrong in
his assessing his own capabilities. "He promised this and he promised that!
Well where is it folks?" they ask.
All one can say is that there's
simply no fairness in these people. I heard an American who recently visited
Yemen trying to explain to some Yemenis with some knowledge of English that, "In
his first 100 days in the White House, Mr. Obama has spent more money that
George W. Bush spent in all of his eight years in office."
I couldn't help but consider
why all this effort is being expended to undermine a man who for the first time
rose to the presidency without the moral, financial and political backing of a
single icon of the American establishment. Obama rose from the grass roots, by
the grass roots and for the grass roots of the American people, some of whom
were the hardest hit by the Bush Administration follies. Never mind that the
latter was guided more by the "security of Israel" and the "ability
of Israel to defend itself" from the Palestinians, the completely
repressed victims of an ongoing aggression and occupation that has chewed out
the very fabric of Palestinian society. What is left is a Diaspora of refugee
camps, emigrant communities and thousands of graves for the innocents, murdered
by one of the most violence regimes since Adolf Hitler. And ironically, it is
he who they claim is their raison d'être.
Of course, most of those that
make up the grassroots of America's social fabric had no idea that Israel would
cost thousands of American lives, trillions of American Dollars and the
credibility and reputation of the United States. No longer was it seen a just
broker of peace and stability. And as shown recently by the visit of Benjamin
Netanyahu to the White House, it's obvious that the Israelis weren't prepared
for what would come out of the calamitous behavior of the Bush Administration. Netanyahu
had the audacity to urge the White House to point its guns at Iran, "before
Iran's nukes become the world's greatest danger to the Western world."
Never mind that Mr. Obama also
has a haunting economic crisis to contend with. Never mind that Israel itself
has over two hundred nukes at its disposal and that its human rights record should
disqualify it from possessing such an arsenal. Particularly so, since the Arabs
pose little military threat to Israel, a long way indeed from annihilating that
mutant state which was implanted in their midst. With the Brooklyn mentality of
the Israeli Prime Minister, he actually convinced himself that he could confront
Obama with the first Zionist challenge of his Presidency: either obey AIPAC or
we'll show you what the instruments of the Israeli lobby can do against an
unyielding U.S. President.
While the word "Zionism" has taken on a sinister meaning to many in the Muslim world, Zionism is a concept conceived of by French Jewish journalist Theodore Herzl in his 1896 book The State of the Jews. In light of Europe's history of cruelty
and marginalization of Jews and after a French Jewish military officer named Alfred
Dreyfus was accused
of spying for Germany and convicted of treason in one
of the most notorious cases of anti-Semitism in French history, Herzl concluded
that Jews would never be accepted in Europe and needed their own homeland. This
is the origin of Zionism and the drive to create a Jewish state in
This is why the right-wing machinery
and AIPAC have been hard at work to block closure at Guantanamo Bay, with the
backing of a majority of Democrats in the Senate. This is how the Zionist lobby
works, even against an ideal considered by Obama the backbone of American
political philosophy: America will have no torture camps. For AIPAC and friends,
this is anathema to every shred of Zionist social and political rhetoric. With 11,000
Palestinians locked up in Zionist concentration camps, it is perhaps understandable
why AIPAC and its friends would rather hold off on the closure of Guantanamo.
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