[Marxism] Obama on Palestine

Lajany Otum lajany_otum at yahoo.co.uk
Wed Jan 28 06:13:02 MST 2009

David McDonald writes:

> "THE PRESIDENT: I think it is possible for us to see a Palestinian state 
> -- I'm not going to put a time frame on it -- that is contiguous, that 
> allows freedom of movement for its people, that allows for trade with 
> other countries, that allows the creation of businesses and commerce so 
> that people have a better life."
> In this short paragraph Obama essentially summarizes the main demands of 
> the Palestinians, for a non-apartheid state with contiguous borders, for 
> control over their imports and exports, and control over their own 
> economic life. This is HUGE.
> And let us not forget that there is nothing wrong with Obama's stating 
> the paramountcy of Israel's security. Real security for Israel, the only 
> real security that Israel will ever have, will come from having decent 
> relations with its neighbor states, first and foremost the Palestinians. 
> I take this statement to be pretty much a boilerplate clause, and the 
> clause about a contiguous state for the Palestinians to be a dagger 
> aimed at the heart of Israel's conquest of the West Bank.
> If Eli will just show me where any former sitting president of the 
> United States ever made such assertions about Palestine I will be 
> pleased to tender him an apology.

The passage you hail as reflecting a sea change in fact 
suggests that the Palestinians might just, somewhere down the 
track, deserve the freedom to truck and barter. In what? A 
state, contiguous or not, run by the sort of torturers and 
goons that the US maintains in power across the Arab world?
Does the Palestinian sovereignty envisaged by the Pope of 
Hope extend to the right to elect its own leadership, free from
military and economic sanction by the US and Israel should 
they choose the wrong leadership? 

As an antidote to magical thinking, here is Angryarab on the 
same interview:

Fourthly, Obama in talking about the Middle
East--the Palestine question 
and beyond--suffers from an acute case of
"economism" or economic 
reductionism. He has the tendency to reduce all
Arab and Muslim issues 
to job and medical care. It is NOT only the
economy--stupid. It is also 
about pride and dignity and Palestine AND
about freedom from the severe 
oppression that people suffer under
governments that are coddled and 
armed by the very same US of A. So the
words fall hollow here. Fifthly, 
Obama as a representative of the White
Man (and he can also be referred 
to as the White Man, analytically
speaking just as Margaret Thatcher was 
a representative of the White
Man) did not deviate from the deep racism 
that characterizes US foreign
policy to the Arab-Israeli conflict. I mean 
when he refers to Israel's
security as "paramount" he is basically saying 
(like previous US
president) that the security of the Palestinians is inferior 
they are seen as inferior people. There is no question about that. 
means that and the racism is reflected clearly in the disregard of
WMDs. It never comes up in any interview with US officials on
(it is featured regularly in AlJazeera as yesterday's
interview with Brent 
Scowcroft showed). Karl Marx wrote somewhere about
the danger of 
covering up the chain with flowers. Obama is no different
than Bush but 
American bombs and missiles under his administration will
be decorated 
and covered with flowers. If that is a reason to
celebrate, please open the 
champagne bottles NOW.



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