In Answer to the Obama Declaration

[24-05-2011 12:00 AM]

By Jafar M. Ramini

In all the years I, as a Palestinian, have been on this earth one major question has perplexed me. Why, since the creation of Israel, are successive US Administrations so staunchly with Israel and so vehemently against the Palestinians?

To try to fathom how this has come about I made it my business to study and travel around America to unravel this mystery. I found three simple answers:

1. Ignorance.
2. Biblical
3. The American interest

Ignorance, in the case of the Americans is because of the make-up of the country. The people went about acquiring their daily bread during the week; they went to baseball or football on Saturdays and to Church on Sundays. Their television and local papers were their main source of information, if you could call it that. Most Americans have no real exposure to international events and no real interest in what goes on beyond their immediate surroundings and maybe the State they live in, and possibly the union. It is a vast, isolated and insulated country and as such is easily influenced and manipulated by the power of the Church and the vested interest of certain political parties and their affiliates. In America you can buy a slot on television and sell a packet of crisps, a packet of condoms, God and The President of The United States - all in the same slot.
We are guilty of not making use of this vacuum. Instead we left it for the Zionists and their propaganda machines to exploit and direct for their own interest. Is it too late to educate the American masses? No it isn’t. There are many movements presently in America demanding change in American domestic and foreign policy. And the reason for this upsurge of informed demands are the obvious ones.

Facebook and Youtube.

Mass communication via the Internet is challenging the status quo and the biased, established press of America. Every day I see taboos being broken, boundaries being challenged, ideas being advanced. By young and old alike, who have drive, enthusiasm and an insistence on knowing the truth

Biblical. America was established on biblical ideals, simply because most of the people who migrated from Europe and elsewhere to the New World were from persecuted religious sects. What they had in common was their blind faith in the bible. They fought their War of Independence against Britain and their banner read ‘In God We Trust’. They fought their own civil war between north and south, and again it was in the name of God; ‘In God we trust’. They waged many wars overseas, all in the name of God. The church in American life is very important. And why not? They are Christians and their belief in the bible should be respected. But if it affects our lives and the future of our children then it should not be left unchallenged. I am yet to see an Arab or a Moslem theologian who has taken the challenge to the American people, not on a confrontational platform, like Al-Qaeda, but in a dialogue between the faiths towards forging a better understanding. Again, we were not engaged in this area and left the Zionist movement to monopolize it and form allegiances with the various Christian churches in America. Palestinians in particular and Arabs in general are paying for this apathy.

American Interest. This is the untouchable, the unmentionable, the one we are all required to worship. Our oil and strategic position in the world have made us a major target for their ever-expanding economy and unquenchable thirst for oil plus their further ambitions around the world. America wants our oil on the cheap; they want to sell us their equipment and technology at a premium and they want to keep us divided and fragmented in the name of the sacred cow that is American Interest.

Again, we are to blame for this. We Arabs have three weapons at our disposal. None of which we have used.

Our strategic position in the world, our oil and the huge, qualified and educated youthful populace. Not one of these weapons has been used for the good or the advancement of the Arabs. Least of all to quell the thirst of Israel for expansionism and colonization. On the contrary, our wealth is being used to quell the will and aspirations of our people. If we were to unite and use our resources, not to challenge, but to protect our people and our interest, the Arab world will be a better place.

Three years ago when President Obama came to power I wrote this letter:


What a momentous month.

I, as a Palestinian grandfather, who has been living in England for forty years, have seen, experienced and noted many changes in my adoptive country. Not all of them for the best.

For me and for my people November has always been an important month.
November 1917 saw the Balfour Declaration.
November 2008 saw an historic election of a youthful, articulate African American calling for change as President of the United States.
November sees an entire free world daring to believe in the ideals of that President Elect.

At this extraordinary time, dare I hope for an Obama Declaration, making the Middle East peace process a real priority and not just an item on the agenda of America’s foreign policy?

We had a hint of that declaration when President Obama made his grand speech in Cairo. We were all elated and we thought change, real change for the better was imminent.

Since then the disappointments and setbacks continue apace. Not only did Obama not fulfill his earlier promise the entire administration went into a self-imposed hibernation, allowing Israel to hard facts on the ground and to consolidate its grip on Palestine. Let us not forget that during this hibernation ‘Operation Cast Lead’ against Gaza was carried out. America turned a blind eye to the human misery, but at the same time was actively supplying Israel with the most highly efficient war technology they had at their fingertips.

Now the Peace Process has faltered, yet again, Mitchell has resigned, Ross, the Zionist has replaced him as the Middle East Envoy for the US and the state of paralysis continues. Then along comes The Speech on May 19th.

How I wish that Mr. Obama had stayed in hibernation. His speech on Thursday offered nothing to the Palestinians. On the contrary it actually took even more from us while giving even more, if that is possible, to Israel.

It has been said that Mr. Obama has taken a bold step to declare a peaceful resolution to the Palestinians/Israeli conflict by mentioning that it should be based on the 1967 borders. The word ‘based’ leaves a lot to the imagination. Add to that, the many provisos and conditions that even Mr. Netanyahu himself couldn’t have dreamed of.

How bold is it for the President of The United States of America to adhere to the rule of law and to heed the call of the international community for justice? Every conviction and every decent human principle deplores and rejects the acquisition of land by brute force. Mr. Obama needs to look no further than UN resolutions 194 (right of return), 242 and 338, land for peace resolutions. All of these were ignored and are still being ignored by Israel with the tacit approval, if not the encouragement, of successive US administrations. His so-called 'bold move' will be paid for, as usual, by the Palestinian nation. A Jewish democratic State? What about the Arab Moslems and Arab Christians, 20% of the population of Israel, who have been living within Israel since 1948?

Small swaps of land? What do you call a small swap of land on a map? De-militarize Palestine, guaranteeing the security of Israel? How could we guarantee the security of a country with the fourth most powerful army in the world? To top all that, Mr. Obama declared that the status of Jerusalem and the refugee problem will be discussed at a later stage when the security of Israel is guaranteed. Can you tell me, Mr. Obama, who is threatening the security of Israel? Do you mean Hamas? With their charter of words? Or do you mean the boys of the Intefada with their stones?

Mr. Netanyahu need not bother to dazzle Congress on Tuesday. Mr. Netanyahu's job has already been done for him by the President of the United States. Does the phrase 'the tail wagging the dog' come to mind? There will never be peace in Palestine, the Middle East or the world while the aggressor cries foul and is applauded and the oppressed cries for help and is squashed.

Mr. Netanyahu, on his part, did not only reject the Obama ‘bold move’, but treated him with utter disdain during their joint press conference in the Oval Office and continued to expand on the greater Israel idea, which was the original idea of the Zionist founders of the state.

To Abu Mazin I say, do not look to Washington expecting a sympathetic ear or an understanding, compassionate heart. We Palestinians do not come into the equation. The existence of our nation does not serve the interests of the United States of America. Your Arab brothers are indifferent to your plight, as they always have been. Israel does not seek peace. Israel does not want peace. Because Israel does not profit from peace.

Our only hope is that the Arab Spring will become the Arab storm and my advice to Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Obama is ‘wake up to reality. The Arab storm is coming and if you don’t bend the inevitable flood that follows could have disastrous consequences for us all’.

And finally, to my Palestinian compatriots, please heed my call. Unite, unite, unite. For fragmentation and different voices only serve the purposes of those against us. One unit, one voice, we stand a chance.

Jafar M. Ramini
Salam Wa Laisa Estislam
Peace Not Capitulation

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