Saturday, 21 May 2011

Obama's speech - a false comparison

Obama's speech on Thursday was the usual hypocritical bullshit which I could critique at some length. Instead, I want to draw your attention to a reference that he made when comparing two people - an Israeli who had lost his son to Hamas and a Palestinian who lost his daughters to Israel. The Israeli whom he talked about is Yitzhak Frankenthal whose son Arik was an IDF soldier involved in maintaining the illegal military occupation of the West Bank and was therefore a perfectly legitimate target for the resistance. He was captured and later killed in Ramallah which was then and still is occupied territory. He founded an organisation after this which was 'dedicated' to reconciling parents of both sides in the war. He is often described as a member of the Israeli peace camp but this did not stop him from supporting the Israeli war on Lebanon in 2006 which killed hundreds of innocent civilians:
"Associated with the Israeli peace camp since 1973, I have been actively fighting for peace since 1994. I believe that it is because I am a peace activist that I must call on the Israeli government to continue its operations in Lebanon"
So there you go. The Palestinian whom Obama referred to is the now well know Gazan doctor Dr Izzeldin Abuelaish whose three daughters were killed by shells fired from Israeli tanks. An Al-Jazeera report described what happened next.

As the report says, 90% of Israelis supported the war so this tragedy barely represented a blip on the radar for Israel's moral conscience. And yet Dr. Abuelaish continues with his - and I hesitate to use this word - prostration to so-called liberal Zionists around the world professing love for the occupier despite his personal tragedy. At some level, I could find this admirable but whilst bombs continue to fall on Palestinians and the occupation continues to exist than this is nothing less than capitulation to your oppressor. Look at how happy he is that Obama mentioned him:
"I cried when I saw and learned that today in his speech Barack Obama referred to me”
How undignified is that? The point is we have an Israeli whose son died in a legitimate military operation on occupied territory placed on the same stage as a Palestinian whose three daughters were ripped to pieces by Israeli shells as they slept in their homes in Gaza! This false dichotomy was just one of many perpetuated by Obama in his speech which I don't want to go into. I am just thankful that Palestinians and Arabs in general saw through his lies and paid as little attention to it as they would with a Bin Laden tape. Oh and here's a picture of the Gazan doctor posing with the war criminal Ehud Barak at the height of the second intifada:
Isti7ee ala damak ya daktor.


cairo, lusaka, amsterdam said...

Another ridiculous, neo-colonial speech :l

Suzanne Seyfang said...

I think Izzeldin Abuelaish should be praised for seeing his neighbours as friends rather than enemies and refusing to hate. What did Jesus say about loving thy neighbour/enemy? Abuelaish embodies Jesus' teaching of forgiveness. Hatred just fuels the fire of hatred; it doesn't solve anything.

Leeds2Palestine said...

His 'neighbours' are still continuing to starve and kill his people in their hundreds. His 'neighbours' are still occupying his land, stealing it and building Jewish-only settlements. His 'neighbours' are still holding thousands of men, women and children captive. Whilst this continues how can I find it admirable when he promotes normalisation and friendship with theses 'neighbours'? It is not hate that is the problem here, it is a lack of justice for the Palestinians. Abuelaish may think his path is the right one but I believe he deserves only scorn for his views and methods.