3 July 2015   Uri Avnery: The Second Battle of Trafalgar - By: Uri Avnery

2 July 2015   US-Israeli ties have become more complicated - By: George S. Hishmeh

2 July 2015   To defuse tension about Al Aqsa - By: Daoud Kuttab

26 June 2015   Uri Avnery: War Crimes? Us? - By: Uri Avnery

25 June 2015   Will Israel get away with murder? - By: George S. Hishmeh

19 June 2015   Uri Avnery: Isratin or Palestrael? - By: Uri Avnery

18 June 2015   The other side of US-Israel ties - By: George S. Hishmeh

18 June 2015   The US Must Stop Enabling Israel - By: Alon Ben-Meir

15 June 2015   Israel’s race to economic (and moral) bankruptcy - By: Jonathan Cook

28 March 2013

Barack Obama’s Middle East visit was lacklustre

By: George S. Hishmeh
print     send by email

There is no doubt that the two public remarks that US President Barack Obama had before young Israelis and Palestinians on the same day, but at two different locations — occupied Jerusalem and Ramallah — last week were “memorable” for the new positions he expressed and the ones he avoided repeating or highlighting. A lonely heckler’s comment in occupied Jerusalem, in the midst of a large young Israeli audience — which seemingly included some Arabs, estimated at some 2,000 — was hardly intelligible on international television, but the president dismissed the interruption comically, a reaction which was applauded loudly.

For example, the president never repeated a remark he made several years ago that occupied Jerusalem must never be divided. On the other hand, he did not ask Israel to halt construction of colonies as he had done previously, but he used the word “occupation” — a term hardly used by American officials and the media in describing the growing Israeli presence within West Bank colonies, now estimated at half a million. He urged his young, enthusiastic Israeli audience to empathise with their Palestinian neighbours living under occupation. He declared: “Put yourself in their shoes — look at the world through their eyes ... It is not fair that a Palestinian child cannot grow up in a state of her own and lives with the presence of a foreign army that controls the movements of her parents, every single day.”

In other words, he added, if Israeli colonies continue expanding, it will be “very difficult to square with a two-state solution”. It was apparent that Obama had wished to avoid on his first visit as president to Israel, the Occupied Territories and Jordan to see the infamous Israel wall that divides Israel from the West Bank. His scheduled choice was to travel aboard his helicopter to visit the Church of Nativity, where Jesus is believed to have been born in Bethlehem — a step that irked Palestinians. However, thanks to the grace of God, as one Palestinian put it, a rare sandstorm hit the region, compelling Obama to travel by car, passing through the obnoxious wall which is 760km long.

One would have expected Obama to follow the footsteps of president Ronald Reagan, who had challenged Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, during a visit to the Brandenburg Gate near the Berlin Wall on June 12, 1987, when he famously declared “tear down the Wall”. The wall was demolished two years later. Even if Obama would not care to imitate a Republican president, he could have, as long as he was in the Holy Land, copy what Yusha Bin Nun, the prophet, did in nearby Jericho where, with the help of priests who had made “a long blast with a ram’s horn” that prompted the locked residents of Jericho to “shout with a great shout, and the wall of the city fell down flat ...”

The visit of the American president was lacklustre, except for his greatest achievement, namely the surprise Turkish-Israeli reconciliation. What Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, may discover is that his Turkish counterpart is very much unlike the one he knew before their fallout over the Israeli attack on the Turkish flotilla that was heading to the besieged Gaza Strip. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who had insisted in the terms of the reconciliation that Israel would end its embargo against Gaza, will also be visiting the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah and both are said to be planning a trip to Gaza.

Whether the upcoming visit to Gaza and the recent talks that US Secretary of State, John Kerry, had in the region at the end of Obama’s Mideast tour will yield any serious negotiations is too early to tell. The stumbling block that remains is Israel’s refusal to halt its expansionist schemes in the Occupied Territories and the failure of reconciliation between Abbas’s Fatah and Hamas, now led by Khalid Mesha’al.

The only hope remains with Obama, who has seemingly improved his relationship with the Israeli leadership.

In the meantime, he ought to resurrect some even-handedness, once the favoured policy line of past American administrations, a line that Secretary Kerry seems capable of undertaking as he recently demonstrated in Afghanistan. Israel, in turn, cannot afford to remain isolated much longer in the Middle East.

* An Arab American columnist based in Washington. - Hishmehg@aol.com

Security Code

4 تموز 2015   خيارات وبدائل الشعب الفلسطيني - بقلم: د.ناجي صادق شراب

4 تموز 2015   اين نحن في ظل المرحلة الراهنة؟! - بقلم: عباس الجمعة

3 تموز 2015   القرصنة.. الشعرة قبل الأخيرة..! - بقلم: عمر حلمي الغول

3 تموز 2015   مخطط فصل غزة.. إدراك متأخر أم تواطؤ مُسبق؟! - بقلم: د. إبراهيم أبراش

3 تموز 2015   الجيوش العربية، يا حيف..!! - بقلم: رشيد شاهين

3 تموز 2015   حياة بدائية وثورة..! - بقلم: د. أحمد جميل عزم

3 تموز 2015   نميمة البلد: في بيتنا "داعش"..! - بقلم: جهاد حرب

2 تموز 2015   إغلاق شركة "جوال": المخاطر والبدائل - بقلم: حســـام الدجنــي

2 تموز 2015   "رندة" سبب النصر..! - بقلم: خالد معالي

2 تموز 2015   "إعفاء" ياسر عبدربه.. وقفة مراجعة؟ - بقلم: د. أحمد جميل عزم

2 تموز 2015   "داعش".. ومسيحيو القدس..! - بقلم: راسم عبيدات

2 تموز 2015   أين المسلمون من إسلامهم؟! - بقلم: صبحي غندور

27 اّذار 2011   عداد الدفع المسبق خال من المشاعر الإنسانية..!! - بقلم: محمد أبو علان

13 شباط 2011   سقط مبارك فعادت لنا الحياة - بقلم: خالد الشرقاوي

4 شباط 2011   لا مستحيل..!! - بقلم: جودت راشد الشويكي

14 حزيران 2015   حَبْكُ الحكاية..!! - بقلم: د. عبد الرحيم جاموس

4 حزيران 2015   اهنأ رفيقي بالمقام..!! - بقلم: توفيق الحاج

30 أيار 2015   أمعائي خاوية..!! - بقلم: آمال أبو خديجة

30 أيار 2015   محاكمة دونكيشوتية..!! - بقلم: حسن العاصي

13 أيار 2015   مُدن العودة وهي تواجه النكبةَ - بقلم: د. المتوكل طه

8 كانون ثاني 2011   "صحافة المواطن" نافذة للأشخاص ذوي الاعاقة - بقلم: صدقي موسى

10 تشرين ثاني 2010   رساله .. - بقلم: جودت راشد الشويكي

3 تشرين ثاني 2010   شخبطة صحفية - بقلم: حسناء الرنتيسي

27 تشرين أول 2010   المدلل .. - بقلم: جودت راشد الشويكي

21 تشرين أول 2010   فضفضة مواطنية - بقلم: حسناء الرنتيسي

4 اّذار 2012   الطقش

26 كانون ثاني 2012   امرأة في الجفتلك


English | الصفحة الرئيسية | كاريكاتير | صحف ومجلات | أخبار وتقارير | اّراء حرة | الإرشيف | صوتيات | صحفيون وكتاب | راسلنا

جميع الحقوق محفوظة © لشبكة  أمين الأعلامية 2015- 1996 
تصميم وتطوير شبكة أمين الأعلامية