US President Barack Obama followed his major Middle East speech at the State Department in May 2011 with a speech to AIPAC – the US-Pro-Zionist lobby group.
In the former speech, Obama’s tone was criticised as anti-Israel. It was nothing of the sort. In the latter speech Obama gave a performance which was more ‘Israeli’ than most Israelis.
In his State Department speech, Obama was cheered on by pro-Arabs for mentioning a matter that was mentioned by his predecessor George W Bush, which has been a long standing US policy – a two-state solution for Palestine. This ‘solution’ would be to legitimise the Zionist occupation of Palestine.
It seems that to mention a potential Palestinian state is enough to send some people into a frenzy of excitement.
But let us examine one paragraph of what Obama said at the State Department:
“As for security, every state has the right to self-defense, and Israel must be able to defend itself – by itself – against any threat. Provisions must also be robust enough to prevent a resurgence of terrorism; to stop the infiltration of weapons; and to provide effective border security. The full and phased withdrawal of Israeli military forces should be coordinated with the assumption of Palestinian security responsibility in a sovereign, non-militarized state. The duration of this transition period must be agreed, and the effectiveness of security arrangements must be demonstrated.”
In this paragraph Obama has effectively said Israel has ‘carte blanche’ to do what it has to in order to secure itself. Indeed, that is what Israel does, and that is why it has committed abuse after abuse over the past few years.
At the same time Obama is saying any Palestinian state should be ‘non-militarized’ – i.e. toothless – unable to defend itself from the military force that has terrorised its people for decades.
Any rational observer would say that such a ‘deal’ should be unacceptable to the Palestinian people – aside from the Islamic legal view that such a concession is unacceptable. And it is extremely telling that the leadership in Ramallah even entertains this suicidal proposal.
Indeed, even the discussion of ‘1967’ borders – set up and then shot down by Obama – is a red herring when one considers occupation began with the British Mandate at the time of World War One.
So, we can see the speech was far from anti-Israeli, or pro-Palestine. It was no more or no less than a statement of US policy.
As for suggesting Obama was being more Israeli than most Israelis, it centers on Obama’s main message of his AIPAC speech. Given the unprecedented changes in the Middle East that are shaking the regimes that have acted as Israel’s first line of defense, Obama argued Israel has a very narrow opportunity to secure peace and recognition before these regimes are swept away. Obama has recognised something some Israeli lobbyists in the US have failed to see. He is looking out for Israel’s interest till the last in spite of the hostility.
Obama’s Palestinian ‘State’ would be toothless, enslaved to its dominant Zionist neighbour that is incomparably militarily stronger; its water resources would be controlled; and even the movement of labour and goods in the region would not be under its authority.
This would not be a state. It would be a prison.