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US Presidential Elections & the Palestinian Question

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US Presidential Elections & the Palestinian Question

Post by OULGOUT Abdelouahed on Sun Nov 11, 2012 2:57 am

After a long series of feverish campaigns and hot debates between the Republicans and the Democrats, Obama won the US 2012 presidency for a second term. Since the outset of the campaigns in 2011, a big deal of mass media propaganda have been involved in covering and uncovering the event, making prospects and carrying out surveys to predict the chances of each presidential candidate in winning the white house.

Since then, many other countries specifically in the Arab World have been enduring the post-Islamic spring elections, which I think are so fundamental to us than today’s U.S. elections, because they shape the future of our Arab systems, rebuild the Arab states, and consequently determine their end or continuity. Despite all these revolutions which pushed, and are still pushing toward rebuilding the self independence States from within, the eyes seem to look forward and backward, holding our wishes of development and Nahdah on U.S. presidential polls and the next U.S. president.

After all, one must raise these questions: Why are we, Arabs, so worried about U.S. next president? Isn’t that a concrete sign of weakness that we still believe America will save us and work out our problems? Isn’t it silly to think that U.S. foreign policy will, one day, break up with Israel and lend all its hands to us ? Aren’t Romney, Obama, and all the U.S. ex-presidents, servants of the same imperial project? Why do we still insist on negotiating over our stolen home, Palestine? The key answer to these questions lies in Edward W. Said’s saying, “power is the only language they understand.” That is, in order to be understood, we ought to be stronger and more powerful.

A U.S. presidential nominee can’t stand alone without demonstrating his support, loyalty, and commitment to Israel’s existence and security. This is no wonder if we take into account the role of the Israeli Lobby in the American political economy. Though Jews constitute only 2.5 to 3 percent of the U.S. population, the majority of American Jews are listed among the richest people in the United States as they occupy high financial positions in the country. The Center for Responsive Politics (CRP) declared that pro-Israeli groups and individuals have donated more than $ 845,000 to presidential candidates in 2008. In 2004 presidential campaign pro- Israeli interests contributed at least $ 6.1 million to federal candidates and parties. Washington post had concluded that about $ 56.8 million have been contributed by pro-Israel individuals and groups since 1990. In her article The Role of Israeli Lobby in US Presidential Elections, Zeinab Ghasemi Tari states:

“This excessive support is backed and forced by the exercise of influence of Israeli lobby in America. Israeli and Jewish lobby are very influential in Americans foreign policy and this influence becomes clearer when it is compared to other ethnic minorities in U.S. such as Arab Lobbies or Armenians. Perhaps three important factors can explain the reason of this unconditional support: Israel’s strategic value, Jewish economic influence and power in various arenas including US presidential election, and the emergence of Evangelical and Christian Zionism.”

Still, no matter how financial support is devoted to U.S. presidential campaigns by the Israeli Lobby, it is never the only factor that paves the way to presidency. Such support is very little if compared to the total sum of money given by the state in support of campaigns. Yet it’s quite clear that the commitment to provide higher and unconditional backing to Israel is central to the election of U.S. presidents. Obama must have done a good job for Israel to be re-elected for the second term, and that is what lifted him along the way till he succeeded to be re-elected. In his Foreign Affairs essay Obama Has Been Great for Israel, Colin H. Kahl states:

“The case for Obama’s Israel policy begins with record-high levels of Foreign Military Financing (FMF). The Obama administration has increased security assistance to Israel every single year since the president took office, providing nearly $10 billion in aid — covering roughly a fifth of Israel’s defense budget — over the past three years.”

More military financing to Israel reflects the same old-fashioned vision of the U.S. foreign policy in relation to the rest of the world, particularly the so-called Middle East. “The bonds between the United States and Israel are unbreakable, ” states Barak Obama.

So the United States must have vital interests in the existence of Israel in the Middle East. And these interests are beyond money and power. This finds justification in Paster W.O.Vaught’s saying to Bill Clinton (Clinton, 2004:353):

“Bill, I think you’re going to be President someday. I think you’ll do a good job, but there’s one thing above all you must remember: God will never forgive you if you don’t stand by Israel.”

Irrespective of the strategic value of Israel and the Jewish economic power in various arenas of the United States, the belief in backing Israel stems from the biblical belief that by returning to Biblical homeland and live according to the Torah, the Messiah can come. In other words, the striving for presidency in the United States is a struggle to gain the honor of leading the holy mission to pave the ground for the long-awaited Messiah to come.

This belief is growing stronger and stronger by the rise of Evangelical Christianity or Christian Zionism in America. Evangelists feel ideologically attached to the Jews and Israel. A recent Poll found 59 percent of U.S. Evangelicals believe in Israel is fulfillment of Bible’s prophecy; The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs estimates that 85 million Evangelicals believe that God tells them to support Israel.

In short, no U.S. presidential candidate will find a way to the white house without this religious commitment. Obama must have promised Israel to pay her all he can to win God’s praise and compliment. Yet why are we still gravitating toward unconditional peace negotiations with Israel over our stolen properties? The answer is clear: “power is the only language they understand.”

OULGOUT Abdelouahed
OULGOUT Abdelouahed

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