Thursday, June 5, 2008

Obama on Israel

Arab leaders have reacted with anger and disbelief to an intensely pro-Israeli speech delivered by Barack Obama, the US Democratic presumptive presidential nominee.

Obama told the influential annual policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Council (Aipac): "Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel and it must remain undivided."
Of course, no one has any justification for being surprised. Ali Abunimah described Obama's move away from any sympathy with Palestine in early 2007, his refusal to promise to be out of Iraq by 2013 was news later last year, and Stephen Zunes outlined the conventional nature of his broader foreign policy thinking several months ago.

Continuing from the Al-Jazeera article:
Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, told Al Jazeera on Thursday: "This is the worst thing to happen to us since 1967 ... he has given ammunition to extremists across the region".
The worst thing? Really? Not Black September? Not the PLO's defeat in Beirut, and Sabra & Chatila? This is a reductio ad absurdum of the Abbas/Oslo position.

The Hamas spokesperson is the only one quoted in the article who is willing to say the obvious:
"These statements slash any hope of any change in the American foreign policy. [They] assure that there is a total agreement between the two parties, the Democratic and the Republican, on support for the Israeli occupation at the expense of the rights of Arabs and Palestinian interests."

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