Dumb and dumber…

I intended this to be a post about Abbas’s statehood bid, the confusion surrounding it, how Palestinians have largely been left in the dark about it, the implications, the strategy, indeed the futility and stupidity, but how could anyone listen to what Obama had to say and not want to respond? He gave his much anticipated speech to the United Nation’s General Assembly Friday, in which he lambasted the forthcoming bid for Palestinian Statehood by the Palestinian Authority. And short of standing up on the podium and waving the Israeli flag and singing Hatkivah and calling for the transfer of the Palestinians, he did everything the pro-Zionist right could have hoped for.

“Quite an achievement for Obama to take up a position on the spectrum to the right of Ariel Sharon’s man Olmert” tweeted Ali Abunimah.

“Introducing President Barak Netanyau” joked Akiva Eldar.

Indeed, it was an I love Israel fest. And listening to the speech, you would have thought it was Israel who was under occupation (but that word was never mentioned; neither, for that matter, were settlements, which encroach ever deeper into Palestinians lands as we speak).

As far as Obama was concerned, Israel is our bestest fwend in the whole wide world and nothing, I mean nothing, is going to change that (in case we had any doubts). Heck, Israel could have been stashing a secret stockpile of nuclear weapons (their supposed vulnerability notwithstanding), could have been responsible for the largest rate of political incarceration in the world, for attacking its neighbors multiple times (that they are the ones “dedicated to Israel’s destruction” is another story) for violently colonizing and subjecting millions of people to apartheid policies for decades, for besieging and bombing a defenseless population and depriving them of their basic rights… Oh wait. They are responsible for all these things. Sometimes I wonder if Israel just decided to obliterate us all at once and spare us the slow, painful death of the past few decades if it would make any difference to the United States. But then we would only be blamed for forcing them to this point, for not cooperating, for not being civil when Jim Crow came to visit. One thing’s for sure, even if Israelis themselves eventually protested, American leadership will still be singing the praises of the racist friends that rule over them.

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  1. Hello,

    I very much enjoyed this post. Obama, much like Clinton, has turned out to be a president who gives speeches (withholding the UN speech) to progressives, but delivers results to vile, reactionary forces.

    I am an American graduate student and I was traveling in the South Hebron Hills of the WB on the day of the UN speeches. Listening to his speech that night, I couldn’t help but think: Okay, so effectively President Obama, apparently more conservative than the Bushes et al., is okay with the status quo, is okay with the things I saw a few hours before, which were shocking.

    I perused your blog and enjoyed what I saw. You have a thoughtful opinion and a clear voice. I will link it from my website.


    Like you said, not a single word about the occupation. Netanyahu’s slobbering drivel of a speech was a tirade against “Islamist terrorism,” but again, not even the mere acknowledgment of settlers (let alone settler violence).

  2. Egyptian journalist Sharif ‘Abd Al-Ghani’s recent article in a Qatari paper is cause for celebration. Al-Ghani attacks Muslim preachers for their hateful language toward Jews. How, he asks, can preachers lead hateful discussion of Jews, yet venerate Moses?
    Why does our sheikh – and we behind him – shower all these curses on the Jews, but then add the expression ‘peace be upon him’ when speaking of their prophet Moussa [Moses]? Are the Jews not people of the Book and among those whom the Koran orders us to treat kindly so long as they do not fight us? And how could Allah have created them so impure and damned if they are the disciples of a prophet?
    He also points out that many inventors and scientists who have changed the world with their work were Jewish. Muslims have benefited from these scientific and medical advancements, he argues, yet Jews are attacked with violent rhetoric in mosques across the world.
    The absurd thing is that after cursing the Jews, the preacher never forgets to urge the attendees to donate [money in order to establish] a dialysis unit in the village… which will treat thousands of patients… But it doesn’t occur to him, or to any of the attendees who say amen after the curses and curse the Jews themselves – many of whom suffer kidney failure – that the man who invented the treatment for this condition is the Jewish doctor and scientist Willem Klofkim [sic, apparently Kolff]!
    O you, those who curse and besmirch the Jews, do you not know that the ‘impure and damned’ Jew Baruch Blumberg discovered the viral liver disease Hepatitis [B] and the treatment for it – a disease that afflicts 12% of Egyptians?
    It’s always worth pointing out advancements in religious tolerance, especially of Muslims toward Jews in the Middle East. Via Meadia hopes that Al-Ghani’s common sense, intellectual honesty and tolerance prove contagious.
    It seems to be a general law of modern life that those who hate and fear Jews are condemned to backwardness and irrelevance: not, as anti-Semitic loons pathetically imagine, because Jewish cabals manipulate capitalism to frustrate their enemies, but because without intellectual clarity and a sincerely tolerant worldview, it is very difficult to prosper in a world like ours.
    In Libya, unfortunately, Al-Ghani’s message hasn’t been received. According to Hadeel Al-Shalchi (@hadeelalsh), on hearing news that a Libyan of Jewish origin was trying to rebuild a synagogue, a mob of ignorant haters assembled outside the hotel in which he is staying, baying for blood in the traditionally chilling and evil (but also pathetic and contemptible) way that they have.
    When I think of the potential of the Arab Spring, it is to courageous voices like Sharif ‘Abd Al-Ghani and Hadeel Al-Shalchi. Political problems with Israel are one thing; unreasoning hate of a people is something else.

  3. “Political problems with Israel are one thing; unreasoning hate of a people is something else.” Absolutely right. Which is why I refrain from doing so, and encourage others, including my children, to do the same. I am critiquing Israeli policies here.

  4. diana,,,your points are well taken…not to mentiom jonas salks polio vac….and the many other medical,social,and cultural contributions to the world by jews over the ages,,,,it really was the western countrys who were at the front of anti-semitisim, spain..portugal..germany..england..france..poland,,russia..et-al…its only recently ,that the muslim countrys have joined in,this abitition of human kind….while not perfect,,,the muslims let the jews live in a sort of second class, but reasonably safe condotion…..one thing for certain…lalia has been very fair and not in the least critical of the jewish people….and deserves credit of the highest order

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