Palestine: Like Obama, Like Abbas

Emotions continue to run high following US presidential hopeful Barack Obama's visit to the Middle East. The feelings range from desperation and hopelessness to disappointment and disbelief to the conclusion that all politicians are the same – that they just have to say what people want to hear until they are in office. One blogger even draws parallels between Obama and Palestinian leader Mahmood Abbas.

American-Palestinian blogger Osama Hamdan, who was in Palestine during Obama's visit, shares his thoughts on the visit and how people around him reacted. He says:

Having [been] in Palestine during the Obama Visit, it was exciting to see he was coming to town. Being an Obama supporter, it was easy to start a conversation with people about the visit. The responses I got were much more surprising to me.
Although the entire trip for Obama was good PR for the US voting public, here in the Middle East, everyone, I mean everyone I talked to had no love for Obama and borderline compared him to George Bush. Needless to say it was both eye opening and uncomfortable and this was before he spent a day in Israel.
Once he spent a day in Israel, and wore the traditional hat that Jews wear, the tone got much worse and the comparisons to him even considering wearing a Palestinian head covering were abound.

Hamdan then shares his feelings when he writes:

Being a Palestinian-American, I was torn, while I understand that Obama must cater to the US Jewish voting public with this spectacle, it also feels like a slap in the face when he cannot even entertain the Muslim public with even a kind gesture.
The other interesting part of this is that Obama had met with PA president Abbas in what was billed as Ramallah, a Palestinian controlled territory. The reason I treat this with such suspicion, is that I have travelled the borders of Ramallah and its surrounding cities and to get in and out of it is like entering a prison. I just can see a Presidential caravan going in and out of the check point. It looks to be some sort of charade.

Another American-Palestinian blogger Al Falasteenyia admits she is bothered by Obama's pro-Israel stance. Aside from his foreign policies, the blogger also has issues with his domestic agenda. She points:

* he voted for the patriot act.
* his healthcare plan is catered towards insurance companies, not the american public.
* he voted for the wall to be built on the US -Mexico Border.
* after saying he would use public financing, obama opted out. (the man hasnt even gotten into office yet and he's already gone back on his word)

As for his foreign policies, Al Falasteenyia notes:

* he came into the race saying he wanted to talk to everybody. iran apparently, isn't everybody.
* his stance on iraq? vague at best. my bet is he will not stick to any sort of timetable.
And what about FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act)?
* well, Obama went back on his word on that too!

Al Falasteenyia goes on to compare Obama to Palestinian leader Mahmood Abbas saying:

Now i know what you're thinking. “But Obama's black. he's gonna make history. “
Obama may be black, but will he stand up for black people- and the issues most affecting black people today. given his track record (see above) i don't think he will.
Its like Abbas. He's Palestinian, right. Am i happy that he's the so-called Palestinian president? No. Do I believe he serves our interests? No. Do I believe he's a puppet ? Yes.
My point is just because you get someone who looks like you into public office, doesn't mean that they're gonna fight for you.

From South Lebanon, Jnoubiyeh too doesn't hide her disappointment with Obama's visit to the region and says:

Barack Obama's visit to Israel was a disturbing sign to activists and the Palestinian people of how he is very afraid of facing real, crucial issues. Obama spent 32 hours with Israeli officials and less than 1 hour with Palestinian officials. Most disturbing is how Obama praised the fall of the Berlin Wall yet ignored the walls Israel has built in Palestinian communities, Obama also disappoints many everyday with his demands that Jerusalem be soley Israel's capital.

Writing on Camel's Nose, Jordanian Nijma says Obama has no serious intent of solving the Palestinian Question. She remarks:

So now what does Obama propose for the Middle East?
Maybe this time we’ll be willing to work for Palestinian statehood?
Maybe this time America won’t demand that Israelis and Palestinians skip hand in hand singing Kum Ba Yah before they’re willing to lift a finger to support any actual movement toward that two state solution?
Maybe this time, this year, Palestine will declare its independence?
Maybe this time America will be first in line to give official recognition to the new nation of Palestine?
Nope. If Obama was president he would be having a goal to be making sure to be working to be starting to be trying to be finding …..Uff da! So many verbs, you forget was he started out to do. Funny that a savvy politician who also happens to be a lawyer would talk that way.

She further adds:

Obama is WRONG.
Obama is saying no, when there is not any reason to say no. This is called a “self-fulfilling prophecy”. He is claiming Palestine can’t be a nation until they do a bunch of stuff that other nations never had to do. Obama is setting Palestine up for failure. No we can’t, says Obama.

Also on Voices without Votes:

Palestine: Left Behind by Obama


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