7163Joshua Frank: Obama's Israel Problem
- Apr 1, 2007Palestinians Suffer More Than Israelis ... And Will Continue to Do So
Obama's Israel Problem
By JOSHUA FRANK
Sen. Barack Obama isn't quite sure how he feels about the lopsided
situation between Israel and Palestine. Less than two weeks after
Obama gloated to AIPAC about his love for Israel, he unexpectedly
admitted the truth while campaigning in Iowa recently. "[N]obody is
suffering more than the Palestinian people..." said Obama, "the Israel
government must make difficult concessions for the peace process to
restart..." The truth hurts indeed, and Obama has been feeling the
wrath of the pro-Israel activists since his statement last week.
Nonetheless, Obama shouldn't be trusted on the issue. While Rep.
Dennis Kucinich hired avid pro-Palestine advocate Noura Erakat to sit
on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Obama has been
backpedaling -- assuring AIPAC and others that he is unwavering in his
support for Israel's continued bullying of Iran and occupation of
"[Iran] is a genuine threat" to the United States and Israel,
expressed Obama at a forum sponsored by AIPAC on March 12 in
Washington D.C., only one day after his lucid remarks in Iowa. At the
event Obama also reiterated that he would not rule out the use of
force in disarming Iran, a position shared by the other leading
Democratic presidential contenders, Hillary Clinton and John Edwards.
Earlier this month on March 2, Obama spoke at an AIPAC Policy Forum in
Chicago where he clearly laid out his full stance on Israel, promising
he would not alter the U.S./Israeli relationship. "[W]e must preserve
our total commitment to our unique defense relationship with Israel by
fully funding military assistance and continuing work on the Arrow and
related missile defense programs," he said. "This would help Israel
maintain its military edge and deter and repel attacks from as far as
Tehran and as close as Gaza."
So while Obama admits that Palestinians suffer more than Israelis, he
still won't do a damn thing to balance out the asymmetrical
relationship. In fact, Obama has made it clear that U.S. tax payers
will continue to foot the bill for Israel's ever-growing arsenal of
weapons and missiles if he is indeed elected president in 2008.
In Obama's March 2 speech, he even had the audacity to declare that
"we have to press for enforcement of U.N. Security Council Resolution
1701, which demands the cessation of arms shipments to Hezbollah, a
resolution which Syria and Iran continue to disregard. Their support
and shipment of weapons to Hezbollah and Hamas, which threatens the
peace and security in the region, must end."
If Obama is truly interested in invoking U.N. Resolutions to prop up
his case for a military assault on Iran, we may as well note the some
65 Resolutions the senator has blatantly ignored that condemn Israel's
actions -- past and present -- including Resolution 242 which calls
for the withdraw of "Israeli armed forces from territories occupied"
during the Six-Day War of 1967.
Sen. Obama, despite his acknowledgment of Palestinian suffering, has
little to offer those who recognize that lasting peace in the Middle
East will only begin when the U.S. radically alters its relationship
with Israel. Continued funding of Israel's illegal occupation won't
end the violence -- it'll only continue it.
Joshua Frank is the author of Left Out! How Liberals Helped Reelect
George W. Bush and edits www.BrickBurner.org.
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