Jan 13 2009

the Ace in Obama’s pocket

Published by at 6:52 pm under Articles,Palestinian politics

Following appeared on the online version of the New York Times
The Ace in Obama’s Pocket
By Daoud Kuttab

Daoud Kuttab, a Palestinian journalist and former professor of journalism at Princeton University, joins our panel of analysts to discuss Israel’s war against Hamas, which entered its 18th day on Monday.

The United States is the most important country that can actually do something about the crisis in the Middle East. America has stood with Israel, defended it even when there was international consensus against it. But Palestinians and Arabs think that Barack Obama will be different. They think he will be an honest broker in the conflict. Former presidential advisers like Dennis Ross and Elliot Abrams were advocates of Israel in the White House rather than defenders of America’s broader interest in the region.

The Israel-Gaza Conflict

For many in the Arab and Islamic worlds the litmus test of any sane United States foreign policy will be how it deals with the Palestinian problem. And to his favor Mr. Obama seems committed to his promise that he will not wait four or eight years to get involved in the Arab-Israeli conflict, but will pursue peace in the Middle East from Day 1 of taking office. Indeed, his philosophy of talking to his enemies will certainly be an improvement to President Bush’s military unilateralism and political exclusionism. And although Mr. Obama has not favored talking to Hamas, it is hard to see that he will block some type of indirect talks with the Palestinian Islamic movement for ideological reasons, especially since he favors talking to its Syrian and Iranian patrons.

“Palestinians and Arabs think that Barack Obama will be different.”

But perhaps the ace in Mr. Obama’s pocket will be the official position of the United States government over the years. Washington has repeatedly opposed Israeli occupation in 1967 and has called for its end. It has been consistently against settlement activities, and the current resident of the White House has articulated a policy that calls for a viable, contiguous Palestinian state on the lands occupied in 1967. The United States has also opposed Israel’s unilateral annexation of East Jerusalem and — along with every nation on the planet — has refused to recognize Israel’s application of Israeli law on residents of East Jerusalem.

Furthermore, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has stated that a Palestinian state is in the interest of the United States.

One response so far

One Response to “the Ace in Obama’s pocket”

  1. DoktahSooseon 15 Jan 2009 at 6:44 pm

    Check out the new song, “A Message From Gaza,” from Hip-Hop’s favorite son, Doktah Soose. Written from the perspective of a would be jihadi, the track tells a tale of a disenfranchised young adult who sees life as one tragedy after another. Follow him as he explains the feelings and conclusions he’s reached as a result of the suffering he’s endured at the hands of his Israeli occupiers.


    “A Message From Gaza ”
    Check out Dok’s Myspace to hear the track:

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