“Obama’s Speech: a Syrian Reaction” by Ehsani

Obama’s Speech: a Syrian Reaction
By Ehsani
Syria Comment, Thursday June 4, 2009

It is tempting to get intoxicated by what some are already calling Obama’s “new beginning with the Muslim world” and on the changed tone from Washington.

On a closer look, however, the speech does nothing to change the facts on the ground.

The 1.5 Billion Moslems and Arabs did not need the reminder that in the Middle East, America’s concern for Israel’s security “is paramount,” as Obama said in his al-Arabiya broadcast of a few months ago:

““America’s strong bonds with Israel are well known. This bond is unbreakable. It is based upon cultural and historical ties, and the recognition that the aspiration for a Jewish homeland is rooted in a tragic history that cannot be denied.

Around the world, the Jewish people were persecuted for centuries, and Antisemitism in Europe culminated in an unprecedented Holocaust. Tomorrow, I will visit Buchenwald, which was part of a network of camps where Jews were enslaved, tortured, shot and gassed to death by the Third Reich. Six million Jews were killed – more than the entire Jewish population of Israel today. Denying that fact is baseless, ignorant, and hateful. Threatening Israel with destruction – or repeating vile stereotypes about Jews – is deeply wrong, and only serves to evoke in the minds of Israelis this most painful of memories while preventing the peace that the people of this region deserve.”

The above does not justify Israel’s conduct and occupation.

OK, necessary words within an American context, Arabs may concede. Arabs would even be able to embrace these words if Arabs were for once treated equally with Israelis, with justice, and according to international law. But that is not what Obama told Arabs.

What does Mr. Obama demand from Israel?

“At the same time, Israelis must acknowledge that just as Israel’s right to exist cannot be denied, neither can Palestine’s. The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements”.

This is an admission that the U.S. cannot guarantee that the settlements will be dismantled. Only “continued” settlement is condemned. Their is no reference to the Arab peace plan. He also avoided any specificity about how he will deliver on a Palestinian state and how viable that entity will be.

The Palestinian side “must put an end to violence, recognize past agreements, and recognize Israel’s right to exist. “

What does Israel have to do?

Israel “must also live up to its obligations to ensure that Palestinians can live, and work, and develop their society.’’ There was no call for them to give up violence or to obey international law.

As for Iran, “It is about preventing a nuclear arms race in the Middle East that could lead this region and the world down a hugely dangerous path.”

What does he say about Syria or other Arab occupied land?

This subject was not even worth a mention. The Arab-Israeli conflict was essentially reduced to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

The U.S. renews the sanction on Syria. It then asks to send a delegation from Centcom to discuss Iraqi security. Yet, the President refuses to even mention Syria in his speech or offer a commitment to renewed peace talks on that front. Washington seems committed to cherry picking in Syria. Choosing to address the issues that benefit it while rejecting discussion of the issues of occupation that drive Syrian policy in the region.

[END]

Ford Prefect said:

One can argue the merits or the shortcomings of the Obama’s speech in Cairo endlessly. However, we need to also underscore the gesture of this speech in parallel to its content. The fact that an American president chose an Islamic capital to address the Muslim world is, in and of itself, a significant fact – one that underscores this administration’s boldness and innovative thinking.

Having said that, however, I wish he has used his speech to signify the importance of the Arab Israeli conflict and how this conflict is pitting two great civilizations against one another.

Abstracting the conflict into fun-sized components of “settlements” vs. “violence” is naïve at best. As most in the West believe, if Hamas and HA would just stop their armed resistance, and if Israel would just stop its ever-expanding settlements, peace in the Middle East will suddenly happen by default. I wish it was that simple. And conveniently forgetting to mention Syria, god, bad, or indifferent shows that Foggy Bottom still doesn’t get it.

And one final observation: The hand-picked, by-invitation-only Mubarak cronies applauded heavily when Obama justly renounced torture and the closing of Guantanamo prison. How funny!

[end]

Sami Moubayed on the speech
CBS News

When asked to mention their favorite US presidents, three names usually come to the mind of ordinary Syrians: John F. Kennedy, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton. As far as the Syrians are concerned, these three presidents were the ones to have pursued relative justice, in the Arab-Israeli Conflict.

Rime Allaf on al-Jazeera and in the New York Times on Obama’s speech.

Syria to Relax Share Price Trading Band on Damascus Exchange

009-06-01, By Nadim Issa

June 1 (Bloomberg) — The Syrian Commission on Financial Markets & Securities will relax the limit imposed on share price movements on the Damascus Stock Exchange this month, said Elias Haddad, deputy chairman of the Commission. “We are speeding up on this issue because we want to increase the demand on trading in the Damascus bourse and the Commission will meet in a few days to sort this out,” Haddad said today by phone from Damascus. At the same time, the Commission will give international investors access to the exchange, said Haddad.

“We are also working on amending the corporate law to lower the nominal value of listed companies shares from 500 Syrian pounds to 100 or 50 Syrian pounds,” Haddad said, adding that the change in corporate law will have to be ratified by government. Under current rules share prices are allowed to fluctuate by two percentage points before trading is halted.

Analysis: Hyping the Israeli threat pays off

by Gary Gambill

The Jewish Chronicle (London)

21 May 2009

Two weeks ahead of its elections, Lebanon is conducting a wide-ranging crackdown on alleged Israeli spies. In sharp contrast to previous, smaller-scale operations, the current wave of arrests is being spearheaded not by Hizbollah or the army, but by the Internal Security Forces (ISF), an American-trained agency commanded by partisans of parliamentary majority leader Saad Hariri.

The commander of the ISF, Gen Ashraf Rifi, claims that the crackdown is the culmination of high-tech surveillance dating back nearly two years. But many suspect that the timing is intended to bolster the ruling coalition’s bleak electoral prospects — both by re-affirming its anti-Zionist bona fides and by demonstrating that the state can contend with Israel without Hizbollah’s militia.

Indeed, some supporters of the current government report that the alleged spy network has penetrated the ranks of Hizbollah itself. In contrast, pro-opposition media portray the crackdown as a vindication of Hizbollah’s warnings about the Israeli threat and play up the fact that one of the men arrested is nominally a member of Hariri’s Future Movement.

So how the campaign will affect the elections is difficult to say with any degree of certainty. Whatever the outcome of the election, however, the counterespionage campaign will likely raise serious questions in the US Congress about continued American security assistance to Lebanon.

Nothwithstanding the array of captured spy gadgets put on display by the ISF, it is not clear how much substance there is to the charges. Security crimes continue to be prosecuted under a system of military tribunals similar to Syria’s. Mr Rifi has proudly proclaimed that most of the accused have given full confessions, but this is nothing to be proud of. Torture is virtually routine in security cases and the tribunals almost never recognise the retraction of confessions extracted under duress. Since uncooperative detainees can be held arbitrarily for years before they even see a military judge, everyone confesses eventually. At this point, the only people that one can safely assume were spying for Israel are the three men who have quietly slipped across the border since the crackdown began.

Gary Gambill is editor of Mideast Monitor

Comments (19)


1. majid said:

Mr. EHSANI brings up some very good points, particularly those relating to the emphasis Mr. Obama placed upon so-called Jewish suffering under the Nazis. I’m sure that Mr. Obama must have heard in Riyad the same message his predecessor, President Roosevelt, heard from King Abdul-Aziz when they both met 64 years ago regarding this issues. The Arabs and Muslims have no choice at the moment but to hail the speech as significant, and show guarded good will and optimism in return, and wait until the promised plan of action is to be revealed as it was prophesied sometime in July. At that point the Arabs can make public their position on this issue, if the plan falls short of Arab expectations, and there is no better way of expressing this position than the way King Abdul Aziz put it to President Roosevelt:

“I suggest you carve a piece of land out of Germany, the oppressors of the Jews, and make it a homeland to this people.” In other words the Arabs are not responsible for paying for the sins of others, even if they recognize that such crimes were actually committed by the Nazis against the Jews.

This would mean the failure of Mr. Obama’s overtures to the Muslim world and a real clash of civilizations becomes very likely and it may last for decades if not centuries. America must decide then if it is in its best interests to enter into a cold or even active war with the Muslim world.

Mr. EHSANI’s interpretation of the use of language of Mr. Obama regarding the settlements is not accurate. Mr. Obama says “The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements.” This statement does not negate the US clear position on the existing settlements which was relayed to the zionists about the need to dismantle these settlements. However, Mr. Obama can be criticized about his failure to mention the right of return of the refugees to their homes in historic Palestine. This neglect is far more important than semantics about the settlements and it should be addressed in his eventual plan at the risk of the Muslim good will evaporating.

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June 4th, 2009, 10:09 pm

 
 

3. why-discuss said:

The only positive immediate outcome of the speech is the embarrassed reactions of the Israelis officials, claiming that it does change much but secretly hoping that sooner than later Obama will be put back on the ‘right’ track.
Time will tell if the jewish lobby is as powerful as it was and who will be obliged to retract: Natanyahu or Obama

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June 4th, 2009, 11:25 pm

 

4. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Observation:

When you’re short of ‘Hard Power’ ( Iraq, Afghanistan ), and you’re
bankrupt, you have no choice but to resort to grovel and begging ( ‘Soft Power’ ).

As we say in Hebrew: we survived Pharaoh, we’ll survive Obama too.
.

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June 5th, 2009, 12:04 am

 

5. Akbar Palace said:

…so-called Jewish suffering under the Nazis.

Majid,

How is denying “jewish suffering under the Nazis” going to help the Palestinians create a state?

In other words the Arabs are not responsible for paying for the sins of others…

Who said they were?

Time will tell if the jewish lobby is as powerful as it was and who will be obliged to retract: Natanyahu or Obama.

Why-Discuss,

I think you and others on this forum are missing the point. Netanyahu and Obama are about 98% on the same page. How? They both accept the legitimacy of the State of Israel.

And because of this fact only, I heard over half the heads in the Arab and muslim world pop.

A good day for Obama, a good day for Israel, and a good day for moderate Arabs and Muslims.

Amir habibi,

Surviving Obama means dealing with Iran on your own. Otherwise, he’s harmless.

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June 5th, 2009, 12:09 am

 

6. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

AP,

I refuse to panic over Iran.

Firstly, Israel didn’t give-up it’s ‘Hard Power’ (if you understand what I mean).
Secondly, there is a say that “democracies don’t usually wage wars one against
each other).
Iran proves to be a democracy. And the Iranians aren’t stupid; they
do understand ‘hard power’, and the consequences of actions.
That is why I don’t share Bibi’s panic.
.

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June 5th, 2009, 12:29 am

 

7. trustquest said:

I think Obama delivered great historical speech, he engaged with audience, he delivered it in the university which even Arab leader did not dare to do, he reached to the brain not the emotion and he did a huge departure from previous administrations where he was speaking to an audience instead of at an audience, the other important fact is that he did not preach freedom and democracy he talked about justice and injustice which cover internal and external issues. I can say at least for Muslim Americans, he pleased this influential sector that was unhappy for long time and this will have positive consequences.

People on the left and on the right are expecting much more than the possible at the moment and there is no balance every group is trying to pull the rope to his side. We have to remember that there are no public opinions since there is no free press in this Arab/Muslim World. Obama does not look to me a friend to dictators nor to oppressors but he has to have vision (and I think he does) to push his agenda he has to start with some groups ( the weaker ones) and I think he is now starting with dictators and that will not be to the liking of many.

In other words, if he continued on this road he is going to put dictators to shame and they might just melt away from the heat.
BTW, all countries translated the speech but Syria on mention like trivial issue.

Lets hear how Asad Abu Khallil, who sometimes quoted here when it comes to Israel only, criticized him and said on PBS ( which I do not agree with completely): you have to remember just before he delivered the speech, he met with the Saudi King, he paid him tribute and he praised his wisdom, then he came to Cairo and he also praised Egyptian president and refused to label him the dictator he is, and we expected nice delivered speech well casted its going to sway public opinion, I think it is going to take much more than that.

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June 5th, 2009, 12:33 am

 

8. why-discuss said:

Akbar Palace

I just don’t see how you calculated 98%..
Arabs know for the last 60 years that US has accepted the legitimacy of Israel, nothing new here. When will Netanyahu accept the legitimacy of ‘Palestine’ and the stop of the ‘natural growth” of the illegal settlements?
Never a US president has been so clear and firm in opposing Israel government policies towards the ‘occupation’. Are theses only 2% of the disagreements?
Your comment show exactly how this speech is embarrassing for the hard line Israelis.

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June 5th, 2009, 2:21 am

 

9. offended said:

As we say in Hebrew: we survived Pharaoh, we’ll survive Obama too.

Amir in Tal Abib, you missed the bit about the ‘strong zionist vision’:

//MK Dr. Michael Ben-Ari (National Union) said: “The Zionist vision of the rebuilding of the Land of Israel is stronger than any president or government. We outlasted Pharaoh, and we will outlast Obama.”//

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/131709

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June 5th, 2009, 2:52 am

 

10. majedkhaldoun said:

Is there in Torah mentioning of the land of Israel, in Bible there is no mention of land of Israel, but it says that Jesus was born in palastine.

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June 5th, 2009, 3:48 am

 

11. Majhool said:

I thought it was a great speech. He spoke great deal about modernity and its problematic relationship with Islam and the need for reform. “Stuff” that Arab dictatorships try to avoid and instead threaten us all with “either us or the radicals” while giving moderate muslims no room to engage the nation in dialog the would mend the relationship of islam with modernity.

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June 5th, 2009, 5:57 am

 

12. Umniya said:

from the very first moments of his majesty’s speach, i felt how hopless and miserable we are!
just coz his majesty uttered ألسلام عليكم the audience started hailing and يزلغطو as if he annouced that Jerasulm is the capital of Palastine.
i will never understand why we feel great happiness about forigners and their presidents saying alsalm 3likum..well they go to the Kinesset as well and they say “shaloum”!
we , muslims, will always have this complex about wishing the pwoerfull to be like us muslims.

and then to tell u the truth, what’s new about his speach?
he thankfully addmitted that palstinians are human beings as well and they have to have a life? and a state with a flag?
no kidding? how long did it take you to recognize this?
65 years!
these sentences made me feel as if the israelis are the owners of the land and the Palastinians are the ones who are imposting themselves on it.yet the israelis are generous enough to let them stay and give them space to live on , so be thankful guys.

it was disgusting

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June 5th, 2009, 6:40 am

 

13. Leila Abu-Saba said:

I attempted to round up reactions here:

http://bedouina.typepad.com/doves_eye/2009/06/obamas-speech-the-roundup.html

Of course it’s heavy on the sources *I* like including our own esteemed Syria Comment.

In reply to another thread in this comment stream, Tony Karon just reposted a 2006 article he wrote on what Arab Holocaust deniers need to learn from Mandela

http://tonykaron.com/2006/12/13/what-arab-holocaust-deniers-should-learn-from-mandela/

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June 5th, 2009, 7:31 am

 

14. Akbar Palace said:

Is there in Torah mentioning of the land of Israel, in Bible there is no mention of land of Israel, but it says that Jesus was born in palastine.

majedkhaldoun,

Yes, in the Torah they mention the land of Israel. That’s where Moses led the “Israelites” before he died on Mount Nebo. Then Joshua crossed the river Jordan.

BTW – they also mention “Israel” in the Koran.

Good question,

AP

http://www.danielpipes.org/blog/comments/31070

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June 5th, 2009, 11:27 am

 

15. JAD said:

Looking for Comity in the Muslim World
President Obama delivers a sensitive speech in the Middle East, and it doesn’t play well with the extremists at Fox News

http://www.thedailyshow.com/video/index.jhtml?videoId=229008&title=looking-for-comity-in-the

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June 5th, 2009, 4:28 pm

 

16. why-discuss said:

Obama Speech: Israeli newspaper reactions

BBC NEWS
Israel papers: new era in US ties

Commentators in Israeli papers interpreted US President Barack Obama’s address to the Muslim world as marking a clear shift in ties between the US and Israel, and possibly the end of a special relationship.

One writer called on the Israeli government to adapt to the new winds blowing from Washington or face a storm, while several said the US president had given the government notice that it would now have to honour commitments made towards reaching peace with the Palestinians.

At least one interpreted this as meaning that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu would have to reshape his cabinet.

Several writers referred respectfully to the US leader and saw his words in a positive light, while others were disparaging. One saw him as a sycophant.

Commentary by Eitan Haber in Yediot Aharonot

The speech was balanced but this is exactly the problem… For light years we were spoilt by the lack of US balance in our favour… The speech yesterday is the beginning of a “new countdown” in the relations between Washington and Jerusalem. It seems there will be no intimacy in the relations, that intimacy that granted Israel and its leaders a unique, special status among the leaders and nations of the world.

Commentary by Yoaz Hendel in Yediot Aharonot

Only over one evil the new American prophet weeps – the settlements … What is left as an obstacle to peace, according to Obama, are those settlers… They are the ones responsible for the Israeli-Arab conflict… Had we not been witnesses to the result of the dismantling of the settlements in Gaza, someone in Israel still could believe that this is right.

Commentary by Nahum Barnea and Smadar Peri in Yediot Aharonot

Obama’s speech was intended as a war instrument against one enemy – Islamic extremism… It is impossible not to appreciate a president who opens his term with an intensive effort to promote solution of the problem under which Israel has laboured since its creation… He is not naive. He knows that a long time will pass until the achievement of peace – if at all. Yesterday he crossed the start line.

Commentary by Orly Azoulay in Ynetnews.com

The proposal placed on the table by Barack Obama in Cairo is one that Israel would not be able to refuse… Obama is timing Netanyahu, while expecting him to voluntarily connect to the new winds blowing from Washington, before he is forced to contend with a storm.

Attila Somfalvi in Ynetnews.com

Obama left no room for doubt: The United States supports Israel, yet the era of trickery, promises, and the gradual annexation in Judea and Samaria is over. The time has come for action; the time has come for moving towards a resolution of the Palestinian problem… Barack Obama’s speech was meant to make it clear to Netanyahu who the master of the house is.

Commentary by Yo’el Marcus in Ha’aretz

Today, 5 June, 42 years after the Six-Day War, the time has come to respond to the question posed by President Lyndon Johnson to Prime Minister Levi Eshkol: What kind of Israel do you people want? Yesterday, Obama made it clear what the answer should be, and that we should view his sycophantic speech in Cairo as a true alarm.

Editorial in Ha’aretz

It was not only before Islam and the West, but also, perhaps mostly, before Israel, the Palestinians and the Arabs that an opportunity for a new beginning was laid out in Cairo yesterday… The government of Israel, like that of the Palestinians, has no right to ignore this opportunity and place it in the drawer alongside all the other missed opportunities. The price of missing out will not be measured in the quality of relations with Washington, but in human lives.

Yossi Verter in Ha’aretz

The moment of political reckoning that he [Binyamin Netanyahu] so feared is now rapidly approaching… Netanyahu will have to decide over the coming weeks who he would rather pick a fight with: the powerful US administration or his own coalition and members of his party… If he aligns himself with the coalition, he will keep his job but risk isolating Israel.

Gideon Levy in Ha’aretz

Only the Israeli analysts tried to diminish the speech’s importance (“not terrible”), to spread fear (“he mentioned the Holocaust and the Nakba in a single breath”), or were insulted on our behalf (“he did not mention our right to the land as promised in the Bible”). All these were redundant and unnecessary. Obama emerged on Thursday as a true friend of Israel.

Commentary by Ben Kaspit in Ma’ariv

Bush’s work tools were the aircraft carriers. Obama’s work tools, at this stage, are his conquering personality, sweeping charisma and reconciled diplomacy… Netanyahu will have to decide soon. It is either “Yes” or “No” to Obama… If Netanyahu wants to go with the president, enter history and give peace a chance, he will have to change his government’s composition.

Commentary by settler Benny Katzover in Ma’ariv

Obama reiterated his wish to establish two states for two peoples. Balance and equality between Jews and Arabs as it were. But Obama “forgot” that in the Jewish state there are more than a million [Israeli] Arabs who enjoy democratic rights unknown to their brothers in Arab countries. No one stops them from building… But for us Jews in Judea and Samaria [the West Bank] it is forbidden to live, build or to buy land. Obama, who is supposed to be sensitive to racism, has turned himself into a racist.

Editorial in Jerusalem Post

It was with mixed feelings that we watched President Barack Obama deliver his extraordinary speech to the Muslim and Arab worlds in Cairo yesterday. Critics will see the speech as incredibly naive… Obama didn’t really need to tell Israelis to acknowledge “Palestine’s” right to exist since every government since Yitzhak Rabin’s has been explicit that the Jewish state does not want to rule over another people. The real question is whether a violently fragmented Palestinian polity is capable of making the necessary compromises required to close a deal.

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaux abroad.
Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/middle_east/8085167.stm

Published: 2009/06/05 12:28:11 GMT

© BBC MMIX

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June 5th, 2009, 4:43 pm

 

17. Off the Wall said:

I tried to post yesterday, but it seems that my browser got stuck in delivering the post and I had to turn off my laptop to get to work. I see many of our esteemed commenters disliked the speech. I liked it, an please allow me to explain why.

Obama is an American president in the first year of his first term. If he is to change paradigm in Washington, he has to explain his reasoning not only to the target audience in the Islamic and Arab world, but more so to the key audience that will judge his performance in less than four years from now. He has to slowly and meticulously work around an entrenched foreign policy establishment who see the US policy as nothing more than a tool to enhance Israel’s hegemony in the region and to fulfill the goals of right wing fanatics in both Israel and the US. To do so, he has to introduce his logic to the American people, gain their support for the logic, and in them find a balancing force against the establishment if it decided to go against him on this and other issues. It is not an easy task, and it can not be accomplished, as much as way may want, by delivering a speech that would have been delivered by Chomsky, Finkelstien, or by anyone of us for that matter.

At the same time, he has to explain to the apparent audience, with whom he was attempting to engage in unprecedented manner, the fact that the US is ideologically and culturally committed to the continuing presence of Israel and that there is wide and genuine sympathy to the notion of Jewish homeland in Palestine. Like it or not, it is a reality that keeps coming up in every survey and poll.

Having done that in a single paragraph, Obama proceeded to drill in several concepts that we know as obvious, but that continue to be absent from main-stream discourse in the US. He first acknowledges, in manner unprecedented for a sitting president, the suffering of Palestinians. He uses the term Palestine as a geographic location, but most significantly, as he addresses Arabs and Palestinians regarding the notion of violence, he makes an historic corollaries between the struggles of Palestinians, African Americans, and blacks in South Africa. To me, it was a masterful punch. On the one hand, it destroyed in a single sentence efforts by intellectual thugs to deny any analogy between Palestinian liberation and that of others. And by that, it reaffirmed to his American audience the moral bankruptcy of those attempting even after all these years, to deny everything that is Palestinian. He, unlike any other American president, acknowledged a moral equivalence between Palestinian liberation and other liberation movement. This was historic.

Yet, the lesson of this analogy was not absent to Obama for he also emphasized that moral equivalence is not only in suffering, it must also be in the means used to liberate oneself. We can debate for eons about the right to resistance, and reason, quite logically that violent resistance can be the only means available in confronting a racist war machine such as Israel, and about the merit of non-violent resistance when the bodies of dead children keep piling up. I take Obama’s message to the Palestinians as not to abandon resistance, but to change its method. No one can deny that the examples he gave were both non violent, and although they were confronted with extreme violence by their adversaries, they were both successful. Obama drew a lesson and no one can deny him the right to his lessons, whether we agree with them or not.

Sometimes a speech is in what is not said as much as it its in what was said. Curiously absent from Obama’s speech this time was the tired mantra of “Israel has the right to defend itself by any means it sees appropriate”. The absence of this cracked record, which was used over the past 30 years to justify crimes and to silence critics of Israeli violence is telling. What i saw in that was Obama recalling the blank check previous presidents have given Israel. Coupled with his emphasis on stopping settlements, one can see storms, or at least weather disturbances gathering in Israel-US relationship. This was a message to his American audience, and to Israel firsters, who will try to block him and tie his hands on every step.

Finally, he was honest with his Arab and Muslim audience. Never mind political curtsy to the ailing monarch and the eternal family of Egypt, he spoke about political freedoms, rights of women, development and innovation, and the need to confront extremism. We continuously debate these issues ourselves, and if president obama is willing to lend us a hand, without being smug and with obvious sincerity as he did yesterday, I welcome his hand. He promised not to interfere or to impose US vision, but that does not negate his right, and in my opinion, his duty, to explain his position, shared by many of us, on these issues. These are human rights issues, they are universal.

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June 5th, 2009, 4:46 pm

 

18. majid said:

AP, RE: your comment # 13

I did encourage you previously comment 16, AP, to continue to read the Holy Qur’an because you would discover many treasures in that Book. I still encourage you to continue to do so. However, I must caution you at this point to be very careful when you draw baseless conclusions and ascribe to the Holy Book. First, Allah has described that Book as a Book that falsehood can never approach it. The Al-Mighty also made it clear that He revealed that Book and promised to preserve it for eternity. If you happen to meet the Mahdi (A.S.) in your lifetime you would be dealt a severe punishment in this world at His hands and a severest and indescribable punishment in the hereafter when you say things about the Qur’an that are false.

I pointed out to you in that previous link that the Message of Islam revealed in the Qur’an is the only TRUE and ORIGINAL Message that existed since Creation. I also pointed out to you that the Qur’an will be the only relevant Book when the Mahdi (A.S.) appears.

There are many institutions that provide sound learning and understanding of the Qur’an throughout the world. If you have interest in the subject, I encourage you to attend one of these institutions in order not to fall into a grave error that would be very detrimental to your well being in this world and in the hereafter.

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June 5th, 2009, 7:03 pm

 

19. Shai said:

OTW,

Why am I not surprised at the way you analyzed the Obama speech…

Having listened to his entire speech once more, and after the speech he gave this afternoon in Buchenwald, I do believe his lengthy description of the Jewish suffering during the Holocaust was intended for Iranian and Israeli ears, more than at the Arabs’. As many here have noted, and Obama knows this well, the Arabs have and had nothing to do with the Holocaust. Nor did the Palestinians ever deserve to suffer because of it. But there are some, one state leader in particular, who decided to challenge the existence of Israel by challenging the very existence of the Holocaust. And, if there was ever a way to cause innately-paranoid Israelis and Jews to become even more paranoid, this is the way. I think Obama was trying to tell Iranians and Israelis that the U.S. will not accept this.

I think his choice of highlight on “continued settlements”, rather than 40 year-long Occupation was unbalanced and, in essence, continuing to perpetuate the “lies” Mitchell was referring to when he spoke recently to a Jewish-American leader. If Israelis are made to believe that it is merely settlements that America is against, and not the entire Occupation of Palestinian territory, with everything that goes with it (settlements, land-theft, human-rights abuse, subjugation, suffocation, etc.), then we will not be forced to look ourselves in the mirror. We will “compromise” on settlement-building (at best), and never understand our true crimes and the suffering we have brought upon others. And to be honest, I cannot think of a better President than Barack Obama, to also tell my people the truth.

I do not think Obama was addressing AIPAC (frankly, because he said quite a few very opposing statements to what he told AIPAC before the elections), but I do agree that he was also speaking to those in Congress (Republicans but also Democrats) who fear he is “too liberal”. Though his speech was supposedly one to the Muslim World, there is no doubt that it was essentially to the Entire World. On a side note, I bet a silver-dollar that George W. Bush asked, about 10 minutes into the “Game”, “So what’s he tryin’ to say?” And also “Was his Kenyan father a slave?”…

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June 5th, 2009, 7:24 pm

 

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