Obama’s loyalty speech
Obama’s visit to Israel and Jordan has brought joy to no one but the Israelis. The US president practically swore an oath of fealty to Israel, speaking not just as a friend and faithful ally, not as a head of state, but as a humble subordinate.
He waxed lyrical on Israel as a land of dreams, then advised the Palestinians to ignore the settlements being built on their land and issued stern warnings to Syria, Iran and Hizbullah.
So eager was Obama to court the Israelis that he suddenly started calling Netanyahu — the very man who supported his rival, Mitt Romney, in the elections — “Bibi”. Tensions between the US president and the Israeli prime minister seemed to evaporate as Obama wandered from one Biblical reference to another while praising Israel for its “shining future”.
Dressed in the colours of the Israeli flag, a blue tie over a white shirt, Obama spared the Israelis no compliment, saying that it was his honour to visit them on Israel’s 65th “independence day”.
“It is good to be in this land,” Obama said in Hebrew, before applauding Israel for being the land of kibbutz that made the desert bloom. His rhetoric was reminiscent of that of a century ago, when the promise of a “land without a people for a people without a land,” launched decades of Palestinian suffering.
Obama didn’t neglect to remind his listeners that he had introduced Passover as a White House celebration.
“After enjoying Seders [Passover] with family and friends in Chicago and on the campaign trail, I’m proud that I’ve now brought this tradition into the White House. I did so because I wanted my daughters to experience the Haggadah and the story at the centre of Passover that makes this time of year so powerful.”
After mentioning the long history of the Jewish people and their years in exile, the sad memories of the Jewish holocaust, Obama showered the Israelis with praise for their many successes.
Then, he lashed out at Iran. Iran’s nuclear programme, he said, is “not simply a challenge for Israel. It is a danger to the entire world, including the United States. A nuclear-armed Iran would raise the risk of nuclear terrorism. It would undermine the non-proliferation regime,” he stated.
Reiterating US commitment to Israeli security, Obama made a pledge: “The security of the Jewish people in Israel is so important. It cannot be taken for granted. But make no mistake. Those who adhere to the ideology of rejecting Israel’s right to exist, they might as well reject the earth beneath them and the sky above, because Israel is not going anywhere.”
The Israeli website Walla! pointed out that in his speech, the US president mentioned the word “Israel” 82 times and the word “Palestinian” only 21 times.
Obama also visited the tombs of Herzl and Rabin, then the Yad Vashaem Holocaust Memorial. But he declined to visit the tomb of Yasser Arafat. And he refused to meet the daughter of one of the political prisoners held in Israel’s detention camps.
The whole thing seemed as if the US president was telling the Palestinians and Arabs, “This is the land of the Jews; so go look for your land elsewhere!”
Now the writing is on the wall. Those who had taken the US president for a moderate should take note.
- Israel admits: Just 0.7% of West Bank allocated to Palestinians (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Obama’s Peace Antics in Israel – Four More Years of This? (alethonews.wordpress.com)