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Palestine: Obama on Jerusalem as Undivided

Barack Obama's pledge on June 11th to AIPAC that Jerusalem should be Israel's undivided capital has angered Palestinian officials. President Mahmoud Abbas made a statement that Obama's pledge is “totally rejected,” while Saeb Erekat, an Abbas aide, said that Palestinian negotiators would continue to insist upon East Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital. Incidentally, the United States does not currently recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel; rather, maps show Tel Aviv, where the U.S. and other embassies are located, as Israel's capital city.

Officials were not the only ones angered by Obama's statement. Palestinian bloggers, living within Palestine and outside of it, were frustrated as well. Dr. Ghassan Michel Rubeiz, writing for Arabisto.com, believes that Obama went too far:

Like the rest of Washington’s guest politicians, the senator from Illinois pledged to the rich and powerful audience his unqualified loyalty to the Jewish state.
But Obama went too far in comforting and easing doubts. To demonstrate his loyalty to Israel, he declared that Jerusalem must “remain undivided” as the capital of the Jewish State. This position is at variance with the current official US policy, a policy which regards Tel-Aviv, not Jerusalem, as the capital. Washington abides by international law on the status of Jerusalem: the future of the City of Peace must be negotiated by both Arabs and Jews.

Rubeiz then added:

But in the larger scheme of things, Obama’s Middle East policy is right on track. If elected president, he may be able to revive the currently stagnated Middle East peace process. He is open to talks with Iran, Syria and their partners; to disciplined withdrawal from Iraq and to decisive talks on a two-state solution for the Arab-Israeli conflict.

He then adds that he believes in Obama's uniting abilities:

In this election year both Arab and Jewish Americans would be smart to vote as Americans first. This is not to say that home background issues should be totally overlooked. Obama has the capacity and the desire to bring peace to the Middle East and offer change to America. If they switch their mindset to a win-win paradigm Arabs and Jews may find a mutual friend in Obama.

QuiQui, writing for KabobFest, is angered by Obama's perspective:

Throughout the campaign Obama has been talking as if race has not only ceased to exist in this country but that the white community shares the same concerns, all of which transcend racism. Now he talks as if not only is there nothing wrong with Zionism — he's talking as if Zionism must be defended. That man is gonna be president.

Robin, who often blogs for Palestine, wonders how many voters Obama has lost with his comments:

The question remains, how many voters has he lost with his “right turn”? I ask this because I am still wondering who wrote this speech for him, and did he pre-approve it? That is the lingering question in my mind because like Zunes, I do not believe that things stated in this speech were entirely necessary, in particular his wrong-headed “undivided Jerusalem” statement. Not only did it throw gasoline on an ongoing ending of the occupation/peace process/final status issues which have yet to be resolved for more than forty years, it is also a statement he ultimately felt he had to partially retract due to the not to be unexpected uproar in the Arab world as well as with Jewish voices for peace and many progressives.

Debunk the myths presents an interesting theory on Obama's AIPAC speech:

AIPAC, the powerful “Israeli” lobby and the zionist friendly media have decided that since the black culture is really hip now and black entertainers can really carry a message, then why not use the momentum of your enemy to your advantage – kinda like Aikido. So they figure put a black man president, and we're automatically cool and less mysterious. I mean would Kanye West be able to claim live on TV as he did during Katrina that the government doesn't care about black people. How effective would David Chappelle and Mos Def be when they challenge the institution headed by a black man.
So you see the genius of the plan. Take the cool from the streets and put it in the white house. And so the rebels who at one time were leading the cool movement will be left dumbfounded and scratching their heads going “So is it over, have we won?”

Finally, No Justice No Peace…the Big Picture was very straightforward:

Check out the transcript of Obama's speech to AIPAC. Candidates must talk tough when they address AIPAC. Note that Obama does not discuss Israel's 41-year ILLEGAL occupation or the NUMEROUS UN resolutions Israel has violated or its NUMEROUS contraventions of international law.

I wonder what Ron Paul would say to AIPAC, had he the opportunity to address this lunatic group.

This article is also posted on Voices without Votes.

3 comments

  • Rachete Castus

    Give him time and he’ll discover that this is not possible. It is home to three religions. Hopefully, he’ll seek out experienced advisors on this issue like, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton.

  • BTW: It’s not an illegal occupation.

    An occupation is defined as taking of land from a recognized nation state that is its rightful owner.

    In 1948 the Arabs already controlled 70% of Palestine. Why? In 1918, the Brits paritioned Palestine the first time giving the Palestinian Arabs control over everything east of Jordan river, this became TRANS-JORDAN and later renamed Jordan.

    The remaining 30% was promised ot the Jews in the Balfour Declaration. However in 1948, the world went back on its promise and offered the Jews HALF of what they were promised (15% of Palestine). The rest were to become yet another Arab state (remember, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan were all given to the Arabs after the Brits ousted the Ottoman Empire). The Jews happily ACCEPTED (this point is not in controversy).

    The lands of Judea/Samaria and Gaza were offered to the Arabs in 1948 – but they refused them.

    Israel declared independance on the sliver of land given to them in a UN vote in 1948, the next day they were attacked by all of their Arab neighbours. In this war, the Jordanians & Egyptians occupied the lands REJECTED BY THE ARABS (thus no-mans-land or land owned by the World Body, not the land of an established state). Jordan ocupied Judea and Samaria (became “the West Bank”) + Jerusalem. Egypt occupied Gaza.

    In the 1967 war, after the Arabs attacked again, Israel liberated these lands from Egypt and Jordan. These nations were not the rightful owners of this land, furthermore no other Arab state had been declared on said lands and thus the legal definition of occupation does NOT fit.

    Egypt and Jordan have since (a) made peace with Israel (b) dropped their claims to these lands. In so much, the issue of ownership should not be at issue.

    Still, Israel has no want, nor no need to preside over an overpopulated nest of hatred (that is what it is, see Palestinian Media Watch) – it gets no benefit from these areas. The areas have been offered to Arafat several times, and were part of the “ULTIMATE” Barak/Clinton plan of 2000 (see previous post) yet the Arabs refused.

    Don’t be fooled by the rheotric. Neither Israel nor the settlers are the issue here.
    Israel is a democratic nation that gives full rights to its 1,000,000 Arab inhabitants in Israel-proper (20-25% of the population of the country!). They hold full citizenship, passports, healthcare and voting rights. There are Arabs in Parliament and Cabinet posts. They are the healthiest, wealthiest most literate Arabs in the MidEast today and are the only Arabs that can vote and/or run for office.

    If Israel, a DEMOCRACY, can maintain 20-25% population of Arabs then why is such a stink made of the so-called “Israeli Settlers” who make up not even ONE PERCENT OF ONE PERCENT OF ONE PERCENT of Judea/Samaria and ZERO PERCENT of Gaza (Gaza was forcfily annexed of Jews by the IDF, they even went againt Jewish laws and moved Jewish graves to prevent their desecration)…

    It’s not land! It’s hatred, it’s martyr trading cards (yep, they exist), it’s the Kassam Rockets, Grad Rockets and Katyushas. It is a people whose manufactured national identity requires them to keep living like ‘victims’ and perpetual ‘refugees’. A people whose celebrities are homicidal bombers whose pictures line every classroom and every street, soccer fields are named after Waffa Sultan, streets after Yehaye Ayash. The greatest enemy of the Arabs are not the “evil hook nosed Jews”, rather the greatest enemy of Arabia is the inability to introspect. Alittle introspection would go a long way. The greatest persecuter, killer, and oppresser of Arabs are other Arabs. Jews simply take their oft-too-common historic role as convenient scapegoats.

  • Jerusalem should be an international city; neither part of Israel nor part of Palestine. Jerusalem belongs to the entire world, and it is too sacred to fight over. While I am a supporter of Obama, I was somewhat disappointed with his comments on Jerusalem. Perhaps he forgets that Jerusalem has four quarters – Armenian, Christian, Jewish and Muslim.

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