Obama the hawk?

Lee Sustar explains that Barack Obama’s hard-line speech at the AIPAC conference wasn’t just pandering to the pro-Israel lobby, but a statement of his real position on foreign policy issues.

Barack Obama

IS BARACK Obama to the right of George W. Bush on Israel-Palestine?

That was the question across the Arab and Muslim world following Obama’s declaration of support for an “undivided” Jerusalem at the annual meeting of the main pro-Israel lobbying group in Washington.

As Obama said to a meeting of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) on June 4:

Israel’s security is sacrosanct. It is non-negotiable. The Palestinians need a state that is contiguous and cohesive, and that allows them to prosper. But any agreement with the Palestinian people must preserve Israel’s identity as a Jewish state, with secure, recognized and defensible borders. Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided.

This hawkish statement contradicts official U.S. policy. Under the U.S.-brokered Oslo Accords of 1993 that launched an Israeli-Palestinian “peace process,” the fate of Arab and mainly Muslim East Jerusalem, occupied by Israel since the 1967 Middle East war, is to be decided through “permanent status” negotiations between Israel and Palestinian leaders. Since then, the Palestinian Authority has insisted that East Jerusalem must be the capital of the Palestinian mini-state envisioned under the Oslo agreement.

By appeasing the Israeli–and U.S.–right wing with his comments on Jerusalem, Obama was signaling that his administration wouldn’t change the course set by George Bush.

That means further construction of the apartheid wall in the West Bank to Palestinians into ghettos, more carve-ups of the West Bank to consolidate Israeli settlements on Palestinian lands, and continued support for the genocidal combination of sanctions and military strikes aimed at Gaza, one of the world’s most densely populated areas.

This isn’t speculation. Obama spelled it out for the AIPAC audience:

I will bring to the White House an unshakeable commitment to Israel’s security. That starts with ensuring Israel’s qualitative military advantage. I will ensure that Israel can defend itself from any threat–from Gaza to Tehran.

Defense cooperation between the United States and Israel is a model of success, and must be deepened. As president, I will implement a Memorandum of Understanding that provides $30 billion in assistance to Israel over the next decade–investments to Israel’s security that will not be tied to any other nation.

Obama’s blank check for Israel is part of a plan to ensure that the Middle East remains thoroughly militarized under U.S. domination, even if some U.S. troops are shifted out of Iraq.

Continued . . .

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