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Israel: cracks in the American wall? « Previous | |Next »
March 4, 2007

Richard Silverston A Breath of Fresh Air op-ed in The Guardian draws attention to the way that Barack Osma transgresses the American political discourse on the Israel and Palesintine conflict:

at this point, Barack Obama's views on Israel are such a breath of fresh air. Unlike Hillary [Clinton] he hasn't entirely swallowed the AIPAC line. While he defends Israel as strongly as any candidate, he also speaks to the suffering of the Palestinians. And normally, presidential candidates either can't or won't express sympathy for anyone but Israelis during a campaign.

What we have, says Silverston, is a top-tier candidate independent enough to have a serious, balanced position with regard to the Middle East - one that embraces both Israelis and Palestinians - and isn't written by the hard-line pro-Israel AIPAC.

Death.jpg
Jabra Stavro, Violence in Palestine and Iraq, 2007

But how long can Obama speak differently in the US about the Israeli Palestinian conflict? This report on Electronic Intifada says not much.

Ha'aretz Washington correspondent Shmuel Rosner, after listening to Baracjk Osma's speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in Chicago on 2 March concluded that Obama:

"sounded as strong as Clinton, as supportive as Bush, as friendly as Giuliani. At least rhetorically, Obama passed any test anyone might have wanted him to pass. So, he is pro-Israel. Period."

Barack's speech notes are here. he backs away from his 60 Minutes interview in which he'd come out in favor of negotiations with Iran and Syria. Silverston explores the nuances in the speech here. Does the speech read as that of a candidate who intends to follow in the Carter/Cinton tradition and bring Israelis and Palestinians to the table?

Update: 5 February
On an Australian note on this issue I notice that a forum for dissident and independent Jewish voices in Australia is gathering pace. It is good to see diverse Jewish voices that are willing to be critical of the actions of Israeli state at a time when criticism of Israel is automatically assumed to be anti-Semitism.

More diversity is needed when conservatives in Australia willingly embrace the latest neo-con offering in the form of Melanie Phillips for the Quadrant Lecture about 'Londonistan'---'a state of mind, when people not only seek to appease but come to believe and absorb the ideas and assumptions of the enemy that intends to destroy them.'

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 10:18 PM |