Barack Obama is soon to land in Israel and only a fool believes the US President is doing anything other than appeasing the Zionist lobby, occupation backers, the arms industry and other cretins and fools. Gideon Levy in Haaretz:
Barack Obama has decided to punish the Israelis: He is talking to them as if they were ignoramuses. The U.S. president has also decided to punish himself: He is betraying his principles, those that have won him international acclaim and the Nobel Peace Prize.
There’s no other way to understand what he said in his interview with Channel 2 on the eve of his visit here. The flattery he heaped on Israel’s leader considerably exceeded diplomatic protocol and even phony American manners. His denial of his values deviated even from the opportunism one might expect from a politician. Obama said he wants to “connect to the Israeli people.” This he actually did well; he told Israelis what they wanted to hear.
But from Obama we could have expected a lot more. When Obama said he admires Israel’s “core values,” which values was he talking about? The dehumanization of the Palestinians? The attitude toward African migrants? The arrogance, racism and nationalism? Is this what he admires? Don’t separate buses for Palestinians remind him of something? Doesn’t two communities living on the same land, one with full rights and the other with no rights, “ring a bell,” as they say in America?
To admire “core values” while knowing we’re talking about one of the most racist countries there is, with a separation wall and apartheid-like policies, means betraying the core values of the American civil rights movement that made the Obama miracle possible. Too bad he can’t fulfill his fantasy of wearing a fake mustache and wandering around to have conversations with Israelis; he would hear how they talk about blacks like him. Too bad he can’t sit in a cafe and “just hang out,” as he’d like. He’d hear which “core values” really move Israelis.
Obama wants to lower expectations of his visit. Well, they can’t get any lower. During his first term they said we’d have to wait until his second. So now it’s here, and he says he’s only coming “to listen.” But his job isn’t to listen; everybody has listened far more than enough. Now it’s time for action, and it’s still being delayed.
Meanwhile back in reality, here’s a few travel tips from American-Arab comedian Amer Zahr:
Mr. President, I hear you are traveling to Israel next week. As a concerned patriotic American citizen of Palestinian descent, I have some pointers for you.
Now, I assume you’ll be flying into Tel Aviv. Usually, when non-Jews arrive there, especially if they are a little darker-skinned, they are asked to wait in a… let’s call it a “VIP Room.” Incidentally, the room is quite nice. There’s a water cooler, comfortable chairs, and a soda machine. It’s probably the only place in the world where you can be racially profiled and get an ice-cold Coca-Cola all at once.
To avoid the room, I would mention that you are the President of the United States. It might help.
You may get strip-searched. Saying you are an American doesn’t help much here. I’ve tried. I even sang the national anthem last time an Israeli soldier was looking down my pants. Right after I said, “Oh say can you see,” he said, “Not much.”
To escape this embarrassment, I would mention that you are the President of the United States. It might help.
In case they don’t already know, you might not want to tell Israeli security you are half-Muslim. As a fellow half-Muslim, I can tell you they don’t really care about the percentage. Any bit of Muslim freaks them out. And I’m not sure if you heard, but the fans of one of Israel’s soccer teams, Beitar Jerusalem, actually protested when the club signed two Muslim players. When one of them scored in a game last week, hundreds of fans actually walked out of the stadium. One of the fans later stated about the Muslim players, “It’s not racism. They just shouldn’t be here.” Hopefully, they don’t know your middle name is “Hussein.” Maybe they didn’t watch the inauguration.
In any case, I would mention that you are the President of the United States. It might help.
This next one might be a little tough. Maybe you didn’t hear, but lately there has been a little “African problem” in Israel. Over the past several years, tens of thousands immigrants from Africa, mostly from Eritrea and Sudan, have entered the “only democracy in the Middle East.” Most of them are looking for work, and some are political refugees. Israel has recently rounded up many of them for deportation. Oh, and by the way, they don’t call them “refugees” or “migrants,” they call them “infiltrators.” Israelis have held numerous demonstrations in Tel Aviv, where most of the migrants live, to demand an African exodus from Israel.