While I listened to Obama address the State Department two days ago with Clinton and Biden, I was filled with pride for my new president. The U.S. is against torture, we’re closing Guantanamo, and no more big money lobbyists allowed. Oh, and Palestine gets a slap on the wrist for killing those thirteen Israeli soldiers! Jigga whaaaat??
Was this a game of “opposites” by the grassroots, pacifist campaigner, like I used to play in the fourth grade? Didn’t he mean, Israel needed to stop the bombing? Weren’t the Palestinian death tolls at something like 1,300?
I don’t care that Palestine started the attacks. Let’s talk about Israel halting humanitarian aid to Gaza during the ceasefire agreement, egging on the Palestinians to fight for their rights. And how about Israel creeping inch by inch over their originally decided borders to create a larger, more powerful empire?
Yes, the Palestinians and the rest of the Arab world need to get over the past and accept Israel’s presence in the region. The terrorism and violence against the only supposed Jewish safehaven in the world needs to stop. But Israel’s blasting of thousands of innocent adults and children just to prove their military might does not go down well in the eyes of this American. And surely not when the weapons which were used to kill those civilians were paid for by my country’s government.
Obama’s first week started off with a bang, but in that one moment of his speech on Thursday, my confidence in him wobbled significantly. I thought he was going to fight for human rights, stop torture, stop the violence, end the wars. Wasn’t that his original aim? Doesn’t that encompass everything he stands for?
Ostracizing the Arab world for killing 13 Israeli soldiers while Gaza’s population gets slowly wiped off the map not only makes Obama look callous, but significantly pulled by the big money strings in Washington.
That Thursday Obama was not the Obama I elected.