Obama Fumbles the Ball on Palestine

Barack Obama has already stumbled, fumbled and bumbled his first pronouncement on Palestine and the role of his appointee George Mitchell. The primary goal should not be peace for its own sake, because peace imposed by powerful force is not stable or permanent. If Obama focused on justice and fought for it, peace would logically follow.

Obama’s first serious gaffe was to forget democracy in Gaza. Hamas IS the elected governmental party of Gazans in undeniably fair elections. The Palestinian Authority and Mr. Abbas are irrelevant and unwanted in Gaza. Mr. Obama is mistaken and wrong to introduce those factors as any element in his peace program for Gaza.

Moreover, Mr. Obama placed all the responsibility for peace on the heads of the oppressed Palestinians. He had no requirement that Israel recognize the right of a Palestinian state. He had no requirement that Israel stop its multi-year blockage of Gaza by land, sea and air. He had no requirement that Israel take its collective foot off the throat of Gaza. How could peace result from further oppression by Israel in combination with repression of Gazans’ ability to launch their pitiful little mini-missiles onto Israeli territory? If Gazans had peace and prosperity due to fair treatment by Israel, isn’t it obvious that Gazans would be living in peace instead of protesting their suffering through the launching of militarily ineffective fireworks?

Mr. Obama, your siding with Israel is placing you on the wrong side of history. Israel is a tyrannical and terrorist state. Professor Norman Finkelstein recently called Israel a "Satanic state". Mr. Obama, please call Professor Finkelstein to your office and let him explain to you how he, the son of two Jewish Holocaust survivors, could call Israel a Satanic state. If you could see things a bit more clearly and fairly, you could take the appropriate actions that would result in peace based on justice.

The American public elected you to bring about change we can believe in, and peace in the Middle East will only be that sort of change if it is a peace based on justice instead of military repression.

Mr. Obama, please think about these matters and let your human-heart guide you. You will find the way forward to be clear and joyous if you work from the heart and look at Palestinian suffering as well as Jewish suffering. Both can be healed with wisdom and fairness and you can recover from your early fumble.