US Kills Hope For Palestine – OpEd


By Ismail Salami

In his Wednesday address before world leaders at the General Assembly, US President Barack Obama once again revealed a blatant duplicity in the country’s foreign policies by declaring opposition to the Palestinian bid for statehood on the one hand and going into raptures over the democratic aspirations reflected in the popular uprisings in the Middle Eastern and African countries on the other.

With utmost oversimplification of the issue, he naïvely (though he is not naïve) said that peace would not “come through statements and resolutions at the U.N.,” in his reference to the Palestinian request and continued that “If it were that easy, it would have been accomplished by now.”

It goes without saying that the de facto recognition of Palestine at the UN could be an effective step for the Palestinian people in order to be able to resolve further plight that is taking hold of the country. Besides, it could be a moral victory for a nation which has long stripped of its identity. Mr. Obama could have done better than that. He could have voiced his full-throated support for the Palestinian bid, surprised the international community with his political about-face, gained incredibly abundant popularity at home and abroad and, in short, turned everything to his own benefit as president. However, he ruined the marvelous opportunity and instead insisted on the two sides to resume their talks on the four issues which have, in the light of his interpretation, scuppered the peace process between the two parties since 1971 namely borders of a Palestinian state, security for Israel, the status of Palestinian refugees and the fate of Jerusalem, which the two parties wish to have for their capital.

When it comes to Israel, Washington easily twists its policies 180 degrees only to avoid ruffling the feathers of the former or to make sure that its interests might not be jeopardized simply because Israel is a staunch ally of Washington. But is being an ‘ally’ enough to legitimize Israel’s atrocities in the eyes of the US government and the international community? As for the international community, the answer is simply NO. However, for the United States which unfortunately follows the policy of ‘whoever loveth me is my friend no matter what he doth to others’, the answer is clearly YES.

Oblivious of the persistent persecution sustained by the Palestinians at the hands of the Israelis, Obama said to the chagrin and disappointment of many, ”Let’s be honest – Israel is surrounded by neighbors that have waged repeated wars against it. Israel’s citizens have been killed by rockets fired at their houses; and suicide bombs on their buses. Israel’s children come of age, knowing that throughout the region other children are taught to hate them.”

Openly defending the Israeli regime, he said, “Israel, a small country of less than 8 million people, looks out at a world where leaders of much larger nations threaten to wipe it off the map. The Jewish people carry the burden of centuries of exile, persecution, and the fresh memory of knowing that 6 million people were killed simply because of who they were.”

Upon the ears of the Palestinian delegate present there, the whole Palestinian nation and those who defend the rights of the downtrodden Palestinian people, Obama’s words certainly fell with overwhelmingly agonizing heaviness.

However, the issue of Palestinian bid for statehood was not the only issue addressed by Obama. Also, he repeated Washington’s baseless allegations against Iran, lambasting Tehran’s defiance of UN Security Council resolutions demanding a halt to Iran’s enrichment of uranium, a demand which is clearly void of any legal validity and reeks of unwarranted antagonism.

“In Iran, we have seen a government that refuses to recognize the rights of its own people. The government in Tehran cannot demonstrate that its program is peaceful, has not met its obligations and rejected offers that would provide it with peaceful nuclear power,” Obama said.

He also warned Iran of deeper isolation, saying, that Iran would be met with greater pressure and isolation if it continued down “a path that is outside international law.”

Besides, the US-engineered economic sanctions imposed on Iran have proved pointless as Iran has been made stronger from an economic perspective. According to a recent IMF report published on 3 August, the outlook for Iran’s economy is “positive and growth is expected to rebound in the medium term, thanks to high oil prices and expected efficiency gains resulting from the domestic subsidy reform.”

His accusatory tone apart, he seems to be governed by a one track mind. He is very well aware that Iran does not pursue any nuclear weapons program and that all these accusations can be used by Washington to demonize Iran and shift all the blame on Tehran and hold it responsible for the insecurity the US alone foments in the region; The US also seeks to divert international attention from the crooked policies it pursues in Afghanistan and Iraq and other parts of the world and allow Israel, its stalwart ally, to go on implementing its long-term destructive plans.

It is proven that the US government has always sought to demonize Iran by showing the country recalcitrant in its relations with the West and particularly with the US. However, Iran is willing to converse but the terms under which the dialogue may take place really matter and as Iranian President Ahmadinejad has recently said in his interview with Charlie Rose from the PBS channel, “American officials need to modify their attitude toward Iran, give due respect to the Iranian nation and government, and adhere to their commitments for any improvement of relations between the two countries.”

It is interesting to note that enmity with Israel is tantamount to enmity with the US. The idea was reflected in the demand of Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann of Minnesota who had asked the government to prevent Iranian President Ahmadinejad from entering the country for the opening of the UN session because he is an “enemy not only of Israel, but also of the United States.”

But what is Mr. Obama worried about? Washington’s prime concern and false assumption for all this hullaballoo is that if Iran acquires nuclear weapons, it can jeopardize the security of the Middle East. His conception of the security of the Middle East is of course that of ‘Israel’ which best serves the interests of the United States. But why should Iran pursue to develop nuclear weapons? If the US is so concerned about security in the Middle East and the world, what grants it the authority to hold nuclear weapons? Is it because it is mature enough to use them properly? Yes properly indeed. If it seeks a nuke-free world, why does it not care about the nuke arsenal which holds more than 300 nuclear warheads in Israel?

Two and two makes four but Washington’s policies do not make any sense at all.

— Ismail Salami is an Iranian journalist and author. He has written numerous books and articles on Middle East some of which have been translated into more than ten languages. His articles can be found on many other online publications such as Global Research, Palestine Chronicle, Dissident Voice, Foreign Policy Journal, Veterans Today, Media Monitors, Salem News, Opinion Maker, Intifada Palestine, Iran Review, Counter Currents, Turkish Weekly Journal, Intrepid Report and Ramallah Online.

Press TV

Press TV is a state funded news network owned by Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB). Its headquarters are located in Tehran, Iran and seeks to counter a western view on news.

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