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Joshua Frank: Obama's Israel Problem

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    Palestinians Suffer More Than Israelis ... And Will Continue to Do So Obama s Israel Problem By JOSHUA FRANK http://counterpunch.org/frank03162007.html Sen.
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 1, 2007
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      Palestinians Suffer More Than Israelis ... And Will Continue to Do So


      Obama's Israel Problem
      By JOSHUA FRANK
      http://counterpunch.org/frank03162007.html


      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
      Palestine.

      "[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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