On his first day, in addition to ordering the close of Guantanamo Bay, stopping all Bush’s last-minute orders, banning torture, demanding the closure of overseas CIA detention centres (read: “extraordinary rendition”) and setting out new ethics rules, Obama also appointed George Mitchell, who negotiated an end to Northern Ireland’s Troubles, as his Middle East envoy. If anyone isn’t happy with that start they need an ass-whoopin‘.
Oh but there is! No, I don’t mean far-leftie Lenin, who will shout Uncle Tom regardless, but pro-Israel organisations in US. Apparently Mitchell is too even-handed: “Sen. Mitchell is fair. Heâ€™s been meticulously even-handed. But the fact is, American policy in the Middle East hasnâ€™t been ‘even handed’ â€” it has been supportive of Israel when it felt Israel needed critical U.S. support. So I’m concerned. I’m not sure the situation requires that kind of approach in the Middle East.”
So the head of the (US) Anti-Defamation League not only admits foreign policy has been supportive of Israel, but thinks someone “even-handed” in a conflict is dangerous where the only way forward should be more support for Israel. This rather reminds me of those bloggers who scream “moral equivalence” when talking about Israel/Palestine. Apparently, they all want peace, but you can never, ever, ever be even-handed by treating Israel and Palestine equally! I mean… they’re…. Muslims! Even to treat them equally is favouritism! If you don’t believe how nutty these organisations are, see this.
Meanwhile, the Obama administration has finally issued a proper statement on Gaza:
I was deeply concerned by the loss of Palestinian and Israeli life in recent days and by the substantial suffering and humanitarian needs in Gaza. Our hearts go out to Palestinian civilians who are in need of immediate food, clean water, and basic medical care, and who’ve faced suffocating poverty for far too long.
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Filed in: Current affairs,Middle East,Race politics,United States