Sunday, March 9, 2008

Chutzpah & Rekindling Hope in Obama


According to the Israeli TV and to Al-Quds Al-Arabi (as translated by the Missing Link and reported by eatbees), the Israeli cabinet has decided to forcibly evacuate northern Gaza. "[Defence Minister Ehud] Barak intends to plan for the removal of tens of thousands of Palestinians from the northern Gaza Strip, namely from the region that the resistance uses for the launch of these rockets, and to move them toward Gaza City and to confine them there," said the television report.

Chutzpah means shameless, arrogant audacity and effrontery in Hebrew, a feeling well known and "enjoyed" amongst Israelis those days. Contemptuous as they are, of the lives of hundreds of thousands they have destroyed, of the cry for reason and peace of millions who marched for justice around the world. This unmitigated effrontery, betrays in fact the levels of confidence Israel and its supporters have today, on their ability of taming most of international bodies and most importantly, the capacity to control US's foreign policy and dictate their own interests to the American decision makers.

Talking about American decision makers, I've had a protracted and interesting discussion with my friend eatbees, about the ability for someone like Sen. Barak Obama to force change in an already corrupt political system, deeply plagued by the anti-democratic influence of lobbies and pressure groups. And we evoked the relationship Obama has with the Israel lobby. The speech he gave in front of the AIPAC gathering last year, wasn't a straightforward neocon-style obsequious eulogy, but was nonetheless quite in favour of the Zionist state and it's recent actions, including its criminal destruction of neighbouring Lebanon, some mounts before. A support he reiterated in some of hes recent comments. Eatbees referred me to
this article, in which I learned that the man had in 1998, attended a dinner keynoted by the late Columbia Professor Edward Said -that must be a first for a presidential hopeful,- and that one of Obama's colleagues at the university of Chicago was the Palestinian scholar at Columbia, Rashid Khalidi. George Galloway, the pro-Palestinian British MP and radio host, answered in favour of Obama when I phoned his program last year to quote parts of Barak's address in front of AIPAC. Galloway claims that Obama's body-language betrayed the feeling of unease he must have experienced in such sycophantic place, much to the dismay of many of Israel supporters who attended the speech. Obama was indeed attacked virulently recently by some prominent Israel lobby muggers, who clearly want to force him into the polemic.

Now, of course, I don't think that having dinner with Said is by any stretch of the imagination, a guarantee that a future Obama administration would at last play the role of the honest broker other administrations ought to have played for decades, but surely Obama comes at a time when many great taboos in American politics are collapsing. The lobby might have retained an enormous influence, but many analysts have decided not to succumb to its intimidations anymore and have began to expose its mafia-like machinery. What's more, the traditional fund-raising mechanisms which the Israel supporters have long dominated can now effectively be bypassed through the usage of Internet. Obama proved that to be efficient!

Will Obama be the providential emperor who will put an end to that damn Chutzpah? I prefer to wait and see.

2 comments:

Wassim said...

I strongly doubt it. There is no hope in anything that the Americans can bring to the situation and they are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

Hisham said...

I afraid you're right Wassim... Lakin Ma bil Yadi 7ila... Time will tell!