Obama and Gaza

21 Jan 2009

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Author of the book, "American Raj," Eric Margolis argues that Hamas is regarded by US-backed governments in the Middle East as a threat.  These states tend to be monarchies, dictatorships and oligarchies that do very little for their people, while Hamas delivers a revolutionary message against corruption, he says.

Margolis contends that there was a collusion between the United States, israel, Egypt and Britain to lock up Gaza, put it under siege and try and crush the life out of Hamas. He believes that George Bush gave the green light for Isreal's attack on Gaza.

As such, Israel has presented the Obama administration with a fait accompli: There will be no Hamas and peace talks, except on Israel's terms and only with the Palestinian Authority, which has become the lap dog of the Israelis and Americans.

Margolis argues that there will be no major Israeli withdrawal from useful parts of the West Bank.

According to Margolis, Israel's plan is to set up tribal reservations for the Palestinians. Keep the most useful parts of the West Bank for Jewish settlements and leave the Palestinians completely surrounded in South African style Bantustans.

Even if there is a viable Palestinian state that somehow emerges, it will still remain an Israeli protectorate because the Israelis plan to monitor all its entrances and exits as well as its air spaces, argues Margolis.

In Margolis' view, Obama's hands are tied. But he still argues that Obama should press Israel to bring out its best side. To be more accommodating in its negotiations and try and really develop a viable Palestinian state with some dignity and workability to it, as well as start offering peace gestures to the Arabs. He says that the Arab League of Nations, all 22 members, offered Israel full peace and recognition and integration into the muslim world, if Israel would agree to the Saudi peace plan and go back to the borders of 1967, but Israel is unwilling to move from the West Bank and the Golan Heights.

Margolis concludes that with President Obama, the problem is that he has already given commitments to the Israel lobby in the United States, saying we will never divide Jerusalem. But this still remains a key point on the negotiating table for lasting peace. As the Israeli offensive on Gaza proceeded, Obama remained mute, except for a few platitudes. He has spoken up about other American foreign policy issues. His silence on this issue is dismaying and the appointments that he has made don't suggest that there will be any change in American Middle East Policy.

You can find this page online at http://sacsis.org.za/site/article/98.19.

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