Saturday, December 27, 2008
Contemplating Obama's Role in MiddleEast Peace Process: Just Ramblings
. . . and your silence gives consent."~Plato
(At the bottom of this post is a link to Muhhammad Sahimii's Prayer for Obama, which clarifies and illuminates these ramblings, and brings all into focus. SMK)
Strikes come after days of warning, in retaliation for rocket strikes on Israel
With 205 dead after mid-morning reprisal strikes by Israel on Hamas security compounds within the Gaza strip, one is led to reflect on what Obama's future role may be in future Middle East Peace process. Will his philosophy of diplomacy and unity be formidable enough to effect substantial change in this area?
I recall reading Brian Klug's essay on the idea that Zionism and a home state for Israel was and is highly controversial, and the idea that asserting this is anti-Semetic is nonsense (much the way that charges of homophobia against those who do not support gay marriage is nonsense). To move toward post-Zionism, to stop the Islamophobia which demonizes Muslims: All of these Klug asserted in 2003 as worthy and perhaps necessary goals. Does Israel constitute a legitimate Jewish state, or is its Zionist mania a drain on the world at this point?
What will Obama's stance truly be in his alleged support of the state of Israel? Zionism at all costs is clearly not the answer, and perhaps was a delusion at the outset. Charges of anti-Semitism clearly have little to do with the realities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and perhaps a messianic psychology has wrought its own strange nemesis and secret animus. Chris Hedges, an author whom I especially respect and admire for his robust thinking and candor, has made the assertion that the lengthy occupation by Israel has both "transformed and deformed" its society, and led it into "abandoning Democratic principles and norms".
But what of Obama in all of this? The situation to a layperson such as myself is complex and mysterious, illuding any strand which can be followed to grasp the situation firmly. It is highly nuanced: Can there be any doubt that Israel is attempting to warn Iran regarding its impending nuclear build up and their refusal to tolerate such; striking the Hamas, who they view as Iran's puppet?
Conversely, Chief of Parliaments National Security Commission Boroujerdi has said that the US and other western countries who support the Zionist regime should be sent the bill for the mess. He also says the strikes show "flagrant disregard" for human rights and the weakness of the enemy. I am inclined to say there is some truth in this, but then, I have a particular beef with Zionist philosophy, and do not want to risk being prejudiced by philosophical conflict. Nor am I qualified to give much commentary on this subject ( that is, after all, why I call my blog, "Musings" and not something more authoritative like "Pronouncements"- LOL).
And of course much points to Hamas being the villain in so much of this, and retaliation by Israel being appropriate. Thus far, there has been no commentary coming from Camp Obama, so we shall wait and see. Innovation and a radical new stance may have been part of the Obamamanic Machine which spins delusion; more likely, some like myself were too inclined to see Obama as holding the key to change on a grand and global scale. Or perhaps the situation is too far gone, too complex, for any clear political solution, and will require decades and even centuries to evolve.
(* addendum: Just found this piece in Huffington Post, by Muhammad Sahimi, entitled "Let us Pray for Obama", which is an excellent and illuminating analysis of Obama's future burden: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/muhammad-sahimi/let-us-pray-for-obama_b_153610.html ) and another excellent piece , "Is there a Middle Ground in the Israeli-Hamas Warfare? : http://www.arabisto.com/p_blogEntry.cfm?blogEntryID=1406
Also, from 2006, but still timely, in this author's opinon, is this piece from Matt Hutaff, "What does it take to see that Israel is a global menace the U.S. should not support?" : http://www.thesimon.com/magazine/articles/canon_fodder/01196_it_time_stand_against_israel.html
Cannon Fodder for the bold: Available @Amazon.com, The Case Against Israel by Micheal Neumann (Counterpunch and AK, 2005)
* and a question to ponder : Does AntiZionism=AntiSematism? I think not, but I am open to opinions, comments, and refutations, of course!