21 March 2008

21 March 2008 - Thank you, Electronic Intifada

It's not a site I visit often--especially since co-founder Arjan El-Fassed wrote the fake Nelson Mandela letter that still circulates as "proof" that Madiba thinks Israel is an apartheid state. But earlier this month, Electronic Intifada co-founder Ali Abunimah spilled the beans on Barack Obama:

"Over the years since I first saw Obama speak I met him about half a dozen times, often at Palestinian and Arab-American community events in Chicago including a May 1998 community fundraiser at which Edward Said was the keynote speaker. In 2000, when Obama unsuccessfully ran for Congress I heard him speak at a campaign fundraiser hosted by a University of Chicago professor. [Bill Ayers, perhaps? John Mearsheimer? - ed.] On that occasion and others Obama was forthright in his criticism of US policy and his call for an even-handed approach to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

"The last time I spoke to Obama was in the winter of 2004 at a gathering in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood. He was in the midst of a primary campaign to secure the Democratic nomination for the United States Senate seat he now occupies. But at that time polls showed him trailing.

"As he came in from the cold and took off his coat, I went up to greet him. He responded warmly, and volunteered, 'Hey, I'm sorry I haven't said more about Palestine right now, but we are in a tough primary race. I'm hoping when things calm down I can be more up front.' He referred to my activism, including columns I was contributing to the The Chicago Tribune critical of Israeli and US policy, 'Keep up the good work!'"

Abunimah concludes: "Only if enough people know what Obama and his competitors stand for, and organize to compel them to pay attention to their concerns can there be any hope of altering the disastrous course of US policy in the Middle East."

Here's to that. Here's to finally resolving the question of Obama's position on Israel. The funny thing is that Abunimah actually believes this is a way to help his cause. Well, there's no helping that. But thanks for the quote.


At 11:28 PM, Blogger KotOti said...

Everything can change. As we saw, he is rather inconsistent. He can throw his priest and mother off the bus to become more attractive. I, dont believe one word he says and what ever he tells the Jews today, can have a different playbook tomorrow. Jews fell for schticks before. They were lured to Communism, of which they never recovered, the supported countless bad Presidents and they are prepared to repeat it once again.

At 1:18 PM, Blogger Shimonzk said...

You have an interesting blog.I also am involved in writing my blog on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and I am busy thinking very seriously about the binational state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. Those who are responsible for that in my humble opion are the Zionist right wing settlers in the occupied territories who have taken Palestinian lands. Bearing this in mind makes the two state solution impossible to achieve. The settlers en masse will never leave to resettle within the green line.

At 4:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would not get to excited about what Abuminah says about Obama as if Obama is his supposed fellow "struggle buddy". If El- Fassed lied about the fake Mandela letter how do you know that Abunimah, in this instance, is also not just a big faker?

At 2:02 AM, Blogger Joel said...

I must admit, anonymous, that is entirely possible.

At 8:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Zac who wants to promote a bi-national state. It depends even more on Arab acknowledgment of Jewish national rights in Israel/Palestine which is not forthcoming, than does the current negotiations for two states. That is because, negotiating with Israel, as does the noted Holocaust Revisionist Abbas, can be counted as de-facto recognition of Israel, even as most Arabs and Muslims verbally decry that very recognition because it confers a legitimacy which is a blasphemy to the Arab and Muslim concensus. Recognizing the depth of duplicity and dissimulation to the politics of the region, the sovereign state of Israel still has the ability to defend itself, and play the local political games of continuing to have its recognition rejected with the voice even if accepted with the hand, if it chooses. But in the event of a bi-national state who will defend Jewish lives and rights from agitation to restore historic Islamic and Arab presumption to humiliate Jews whenever forces within that bi-national state choose to promote it? The only bi-nationalism therefore that could work given the continuing genocidal threats against Israel and Jewry on the part of a significant political bloc in the Arab/Muslim world, would be a bi-national political system guaranteed by Jewish Defense Forces (presumably the IDF) who would answer to an independently funded, specifically Jewish decision making procedure, completely separate from the Bi-national state which would handle administration of the welfare state. It is ludicrous to believe that Arabs whose religion demands outward adherence to ideological conformity will ever clearly accept Jewish rights in the Holy Land any time in the forseeable future. They weren't able to when bi-nationalism was on the political table in the 30's and 40's. And they won't be able to do so now. So you can have a bi-national state Zac, only if an independent Jewish army remains. So given all the water under the bridge and the fact that the Arabs and Jews in Israel/Palestine are not too fond of each other, there really is only one solution, a two state solution.

At 12:26 PM, Blogger Thermblog said...

anonymous 4:58 If El- Fassed lied about the fake Mandela letter how do you know that Abunimah, in this instance, is also not just a big faker?

Yes anony, we all know El-Fassed's agenda and that he is prepared to lie to forward it.

So he's lying now. He knows Barack is pro-Israel & suggests that his followers vote for him.

Very likely.

At 9:42 PM, Blogger tickletik said...

To Zac,

Can you please explain to me why it is OK for Arab held lands to be Judenrein? OK, fine, you believe that the Arabs should have control over the territories. I don't agree, but I can see your point. But why the hell does it have to be Jew free? If you were sincere about a two state solution the idea of Jewish settlements wouldn't bother you a bit. You would say "fine, settle all you want, but this area must be under PA control." Yet that is not what you say.

Would it be OK for you Scotland declared independence and then proceeded to eject all people of English descent? Would you accept a United Ireland in which anyone who believed in the Protestant religion was thrown out? For that matter, would you be silent if Israeli Jews proceeded to quietly harass and/or murder anyone of Arab descent within the Green Line?

Because that is precisely what happens to any Jew crazy enough to remain in PA controlled areas.

You want to take a principled position, fine. But why the double standard?

At 12:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You make a powerful point. People like Zac either fail to see the double standard or worse, choose to ignore it completely.


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