Off-the-record New Year Conversation with President Obama

Off-the-record New Year Conversation with President Obama

Mr. President, I’d like to begin this conversation with a quote from a recent article by Thomas L. Friedman in the New York Times. He wrote: “The only thing standing between Israel and national suicide any more is America and its willingness to tell Israel the truth.” If you were free to speak your mind to Israel, I mean Israel’s Jews, what would be your message?

Obama’s Hagel Test

Obama’s Hagel Test

By all accounts President Obama wants to nominate Chuck Hagel, the former two-term Republican senator from Nebraska to replace Leon Panetta at the Pentagon as Secretary of Defense, but a coalition led by the Zionist lobby is mounting a smear campaign against Hagel.

Can American leaders lead?

Can American leaders lead?

The longer version of the headline question is this: Given the corruption of the American political system which puts what passes for democracy up for sale to the highest lobby bidders.

The Palestinians’ only option

The Palestinians’ only option

In the final countdown to the UN General Assembly vote on recognition of Palestine as a non-member state, the PLO has indicated that it’s expecting “a pleasant surprise”, it being the number of European countries which will not do Zionism’s bidding on this occasion and will vote for the resolution. Victory for the Palestinians in this forum can be taken for granted, and it will help to further isolate the Israel of Netanyahu as a pariah state, but… It won’t be, can’t be, a substitute for a viable strategy to secure justice for the Palestinians.

Obama: “The best is yet to come.” Really?

Obama: “The best is yet to come.” Really?

When President Obama tried to get a real Middle East peace process going by calling on Israel to halt its illegal settlement activity and his “Yes, we can” became “No, we can’t”, I dared to invest some hope in the idea that in a second term he would use the leverage all presidents have to oblige Israel to end its defiance of international law and be serious about peace on terms the Palestinians could accept. And that investment was not the consequence of mere wishful thinking on my part.

Come Back President Carter!

Come Back President Carter!

The third and final debate between President Obama and challenger Romney was so lacking in real and relevant substance about foreign affairs that I had to struggle, several times, to resist the temptation to turn it off and go back to bed.

EU’s Latest Message to Israel – “Do your worst without fear of sanction by us”

EU’s Latest Message to Israel – “Do your worst without fear of sanction by us”

The first question the headline begs is this: What is, or rather what could be, Israel’s worst?

In my opinion the short answer is this. In an effort to defuse the demographic time-bomb of occupation and close the Palestine file for ever, Israel resorts to a final round of ethnic cleansing, to drive the Palestinians off the West Bank and into Jordan and other neighbouring Arab states. (What about the Palestinians of the Gaza Strip prison camp? They are left to rot and will suffer the same fate as their West Bank brothers and sisters if they chose to stay and dare to threaten Israel’s security).

Never Ending Nakba

Never Ending Nakba

As Ilan Pappe has said, most Israeli Jews have no idea of what they did to the Palestinians in 1948. (He also said that those who do know don’t think that what was done was wrong). But that’s only the tip of an iceberg of ignorance.

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