Obama does Cairo

Friday, June 5, 2009 6:52 AM

POTUS 44 hit the ball out of the park in Cairo yesterday. Just getting in and out of town without incident meant Obama hit a double. His speech succeeded not because of its content, but by its delivery. What was said was inconsequential, on a par with a presidential campaign speech. President Obama said what his audience wanted to hear. Recall that candidate Obama employed the same approach when speaking before AIPAC's annual Kowtow conference in Washington last summer. Obama acted sincere, open-minded, reasonable and pushed the right buttons for his Arab audience in Cairo; he did the same before his Jewish audience at AIPAC. So it was a public relations triumph for the United States, and Obama deserves all the credit. 

But it is difficult to see where Washington goes from here in terms of substance, especially with respect to the so-called "peace process" between Jews and Palestinians. As for Iran, Iraq, "AfPac" and "the war on terror", they are imaginary problems, expensive distractions and diversions, self-created, which would disappear with the application of a little common sense, free of “Neocon” input and incitement. 

As for Israel, it is ruled by its most extreme elements, and the Jewish settlers on the West Bank now have an effective veto over Tel Aviv. It is called politics and facts on the ground.

It is one thing for the White House to insist upon a freeze of settlement activity; it is quite another to urge that Zionist fanatics actually decamp from Arab territory and for "the Jewish State" to return land which its Likud leadership considers to be part of "the land of Israel". (We are not even addressing the subject of East Jerusalem or the Golan Heights, mind you, both of which have been colonized and annexed by America's "only true ally" in the Middle East.)  

As deranged and dangerous as the settlers are, one can empathize with their predicament. Tel Aviv and Washington set them up where they are. So Tel Aviv and Washington are responsible for the present impasse. The settlers could be viewed as pawns in a game. Now Obama acts like he wants to change the rules in the middle of the game, if only symbolically.  

Bottom line, Obama cannot deliver. The game has been played far too long by rules which rigged the game, and the Zionists are not about to accept a change which might require them to give up anything of substance or value. Why should they? It would be a slippery slope indeed. The West Bank, the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem, all seized in 1967, no more belong to Jews from Poland, Russia and Brooklyn, than does the land inside Israel's recognized borders taken from the Palestinians in 1948. It is all occupied Palestine, a real estate swindle, an adventure in naked neo-colonialism.

The Zionists understand this reality better than anybody, but feel they are entitled. Look up some quotes from David Ben Gurion. The dispossessed Palestinians comprehend their own subjugation, which has largely been made possible by Washington. There is no way the Palestinians are going to condone what has been done to them without substantial restitution and some kind of sincere apology. They deserve it.