President Obama: “The Best Is Yet To Come” – OpEd


The American people have spoken: Four more years for the “Nobel Peace Prize Laureate”; they voted for cholera. In any country, policy can be sustained only if you’re a cynic: Look at the European Union, the United States, Russia, China, large parts of Africa, the Near and Middle East and what have you: Chaos all over the place, created by globalization, the distractive influence of the finance oligarchy and plaint politicians. They have long lost their sovereignty against powerful interest groups, and they are doing their bidding.

To recapitulate Obama’s political behavior during his first term, one should not expect too much of him foreign policy wise. Perhaps, we’ll get more of the same; inter alia, war against Iran. As a political opportunist, why should he change or should get into a senseless battle over the creation of a “Palestinian state”? Has he not capitulated to Netanyahu in his first term in office? Neither the Israeli leadership nor the US Congress, not to speak of the “Israel Lobby” wants an independent “State of Palestine” that deserves the name. The power configuration in Washington has not changed, too, and the next mid-term elections are imminent in two years. So, why engaging in a fight over an issue in which there is no pot to win?

In a recent phone call between US-President Obama and Palestinian “President” Mahmoud Abbas, Obama voiced his opposition to the Palestinian bit at the United Nations to upgrade its status. If the train to the UN has already left “Ramallah Station” to ever reach Penn Station in Downtown New York City will be seen! The Obama administration has already blocked the Palestinian motion for full membership to the UN and it will also prevent enhancing the status of a “Palestinian State”.

Theoretically, an enhanced status of the “State of Palestine” by the UN General Assembly would, at least, preserve a Two-state solution. Whether there will be a “state” or rather a collection of Bantustans will be seen in the future. The official Israeli maps do not even show Palestinian Bantustans. The occupied Westbank has vanished long ago from the screen of the Israeli political elite. All the more reason, therefore, that world public opinion upholds the UN resolutions concerning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. According to the resolutions, the Westbank, the Gaza-Strip, the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem are Occupied Territories. Any one-sided Israeli decisions that do not serve the indigenous people are null and void.

To break new ground, the Palestinian people should start a new Intifada but not against Israel but against their own corrupt leadership in the Westbank and the Gaza Strip. The “Arab Spring uprisings” have shown that even long-time dictatorships cannot prevail against a people’s revolt. The Palestinian people deserve a better leadership that is democratically legitimized and has the guts to stand up against Israeli occupation and that is not bribable. Abbas and his cronies all have made their pile in Jordan and elsewhere. They don’t care about the guy on Main Street. Hasn’t the “President” of Palestine recently given up the right of return of his people by reducing “Palestine” only to the occupied Westbank?

At the beginning of the 1990s, I wrote about the national aspirations of the Palestinians under the regime of Yasser Arafat that the Palestinian people need a Palestinian Nelson Mandela to get anywhere. I think that holds true up till now. Marwan Barghouti could be the one to lead Palestine to real independence. The old elites have had their days and must disappear from the political scene. They should not resume the humiliating negotiations but rather look at the actual map. Despite an ongoing “peace process” Palestine is disappearing. If a Palestinian leadership keeps “negotiating” for another 20 years there will be nothing left of Palestine. It seems that the Palestinians haven’t learned anything from the Zionist enterprise, which started at the end of the nineteenth Century and turned not only the political conditions but also the property situation upside down.

The Palestinian leadership should not expect something of Europe and certainly nothing from US President Obama. Political changes in Palestine can be brought about only by the spirit of its own people under the leadership of a Palestinian Nelson Mandela. Could such a leader stop the disappearance of Palestine from the map?

Ludwig Watzal

Dr. Ludwig Watzal works as a journalist and editor in Bonn, Germany. He runs the bilingual blog “Between the lines”. He can be reached at

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