By Khalid Amayreh in occupied Jerusalem
President Obama's speech on Thursday, 19 May, was clearly another rehearsal in hypocrisy, moral duplicity and empty rhetoric. Apart from paying lip service to Arab revolutions, Obama reiterated the same old biased American stance on the Palestinian plight, the central issue that continues to generate tension and instability all over the world, especially in the vital Arab region.
The declared American stance on the pro-democracy movement in the Arab world is welcomed. However, it would be dishonest to impute the success of the Egyptian and Tunisian revolutions, even in part, to any genuine American intervention.
Like other countries, the U.S. simply saw that the political winds in these two North African Arab countries were blowing in a different and undesirable direction and that there was no easy way to alter the course of events.
Hence, policy makers in Washington calculated that the most expedient approach to these revolutions was to appear as supporting the will of the people. This appearance, irrespective of US intentions, would arguably better serve American interests or at the very least limit any possible damage US standing in this vital part of the world would incur.
The United States continues to actively support some despotic Arab regimes. Even manifestly criminal regimes which murder its own citizens in the streets are treated with shocking flaccidity and theatrical warnings that are not really taken seriously by respective tyrants.
This, coupled with the chronically notorious and hypocritical stance on the Palestinian issue, leaves the proverbial political ball decidedly in the American court.
Therefore, the US should understand that as long as it continues to ignore and justify Israeli criminality and aggression, it will continue to be hated and rejected by the bulk of Arab masses from the Atlantic Ocean to the Arab-Persian Gulf.
The Palestinian cause, after all, lives in the collective heart and conscience of Arabs and Muslims which means that there can be no real and long-lasting improvement in American-Arab relations as long as American Zionists are allowed to call the shots and determine the U.S. stance and policy toward the enduring Palestinian problem.
We in the Arab world understand the political dilemma that would confront the Obama administration in case he opted to challenge the powerful American Jewish lobby which holds Congress by the throat.
However, every honest person under the sun, including millions of conscientious Americans, expect Obama to be fair and just and refuse to succumb to pressures for political correctness.
And if he had to choose between having to be politically correct and morally wrong, e.g. by appeasing and placating the Jewish lobby irrespective of the moral price, Obama is expected to do what is morally right, even if this would cost him a second term in office at the White House.
Unfortunately, all signs show that Obama differs very little if any from his predecessors. He is simply not willing to tell the truth, or act honestly, when it comes to Israel, the modern-day Golden-Calf that numerous politicians in many countries are willing to worship since doing so is more appealing and more luring than worshiping the One True God.
Obama isn't behaving the way a true statesman should be behaving. He doesn't possess the necessary wisdom, courage and confidence to confront Israeli insolence, intransigence and arrogance of power. He is not willing to call the spade a spade, especially when he sees it in Israel's hands.
In fact, he replicates the same serious blunders and paradoxes previous American administrations had committed. He declares a peace initiative, hoping that Israeli leaders would accept it and opt for peace. However, as soon as this is done, the White House makes it abundantly clear that America's commitment to continued Israeli hegemony, regional supremacy and qualitative edge over all Arab countries combined will not be affected, regardless of how Israel relates to American efforts to reach peace.
In other words, the U.S. has only carrots for Israel, never a small stick, and no matter what Israel does or doesn't, Israel will be awarded and rewarded.
Needless to say, this is not the right way to achieve peace in the Middle East. An honest broker is like an honest judge who must not take sides. But the U.S. is neither an honest judge nor an honest broker as successive American administrations proved ad nauseam that they are first and foremost answerable to the intrinsically unconscionable considerations of the Israeli lobby.
This means that as long as the American policy toward the Palestinian issue remains hostage to AIPAC and other Israel-firsters on the American arena, there can be no just and durable peace in this part of the world.
In light, the Obama administration should perhaps declare its inability to achieve peace since its hands are thoroughly cuffed with impossible restrictions imposed by the Jewish lobby.
Such a stance would dissipate much of the illusion, wishful thinking and daydreaming that falsely and unpromisingly keep titillating many people in this part of the world, which only ultimately increases frustration and makes violence inevitable.
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|Liaquat Ali Khan|