Why do they hate us? You don’t suppose fifty years of overt hypocrisy could be related to it, do you?
“When we come back here next year, we can have an agreement that can lead to a new member of the United Nations, an independent, sovereign state of Palestine living in peace with Israel,” Obama said in [a] 2010 [UN speech].
So now here we are a year later, and the Palestinians want him to live up to that. Naturally he didn’t mean it, it was just a bunch of rhetoric; but it cost him big with pro-Israeli voters in the US, and it left him vulnerable once again to the charge of saying one thing and doing the opposite. Supporters of Israel are angry with him for pushing to end settlement activity; supporters of Palestine are angry with him for failing.
Politics is the art of compromise, they used to say, but in the US it hasn’t been true for at least thirty years. When Reagan came into office we gave up our last shred of seriousness and replaced it with full-time PR. JFK had nearly weekly press conferences where he spoke directly with reporters who had at least to pretend to be interested in the country’s welfare. Reagan was carefully protected from questions because, being both stupid and uninformed, he always made a fool of himself when he tried to answer. They came up with the idea of keeping the rotors on the Presidential helicopter running while he walked to the White House door so that reporters would be unable to shout questions at him as he walked past.
As the empire fails, we’ll see more and more of this kind of behavior, completely out of keeping with the actual situation. Leadership in the US continues to act as if we’re the sovereign power and everyone else knows they must defer, but it isn’t true. In fact the world has seen us lose our grip, hand control of our economy to China, and expose our military weakness by being unable either to win or withdraw in Afghanistan and Iraq. This is why now is the perfect time, from a game-player’s point of view at least, for the Palestinians to go to the UN in search of recognition.
Most likely the US will end up vetoing the Security Council resolution in favor of statehood for Palestine, very possibly being the only negative vote. This will, as the former Saudi intelligence chief and ambassador to the US recently pointed out, make the US toxic in the region, or more precisely more toxic than at present.
Ironically, Obama is doing all this for political reasons as his support among Jewish groups in swing states like Florida drops and Netanyahu continually thumbs his nose at the President. Yet Obama has his UN ambassador proclaim that:
There’s no shortcut, there’s no magic wand that can be waved in New York and make everything right. In fact, there’s a risk in that because if you’re an average person in the Palestinian territories and your hopes have been raised that by some action here in New York something will be different, the reality is that nothing is going to change.
And why is nothing going to change? Because the US will continue to fund and support the occupation it claims to be against. Everyone can see this but Americans; we’re fooling no one, and endangering ourselves in the process. Obama is doing this for political reasons, and it isn’t working. That is simple ineptitude.