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  • Technorati: graph / links

    Israelis sour on Obama’s Emanuel


    by Sunny on 17th August, 2009 at 4:36 pm    

    Just after the American elections I attacked people like John Pilger who said that Obama was an ‘Uncle Tom’ because he surrounded himself by people like Rahm Emanuel. The chief of staff was a ‘committed Jew’ according to reports and thus a right-wing Zionist to Pilger.

    And this is why I believe people like Pilger now don’t understand politics. I said at the time that: first, you had to wait and see what stance Obama was going to take on the Middle East; secondly that employing Israel-supporters actually made the job easier for Obama because right-wing Israeli parties could not easily point the finger at him and say he was biased against them. And this article in the Politico supports my reading of what is going on:

    As the Obama administration presses Israel to cease settlement expansion as part of a renewed push for a Middle East peace deal—a course of action that many Israelis have interpreted as evidence of the president’s favoritism towards Palestinians—Israelis have increasingly focused their disappointment not on Obama, but rather on his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel.

    But in a dramatic emotional shift, Israelis have become increasingly disenchanted with Emanuel, and the disappointment is especially intense on the Israeli right, which supports Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in his opposition to Obama’s call for ceasing settlement activity.

    Israelis across the political spectrum were skeptical of Obama’s commitment to the Jewish homeland during the presidential campaign but many viewed Emanuel as a guarantor of their interests, the best hope for continuing the U.S. government’s favorable treatment of the Jewish state. Today, however, widespread unhappiness with their treatment at the hands of the Obama administration has led to feelings of betrayal—and Emanuel is bearing the brunt of it.

    You see my point. People like Pilger just want to scream ‘betrayal’ at the earliest opportunity and to a certain extent that harms the far-left. They don’t understand realpolitik and thus everything is seen through a simple prism, without understanding context or strategy.

    Now I think Obama needs to get Israel to stop the settlements while stopping Iran from developing nukes. I’m a supporter of Israel’s right to exist (under the 1967 borders) as I keep stating. But American policy has traditionally been far too favourable to Israel in the past. And thus having Clinton and Emanuel on side was use to neutralise accusations that Obama was anti-Israel while gently pushing them to recognise the new reality. That strategy is much more likely to be effective than Pilger’s wild ranting that such ‘Zionists’ just signals betrayal. It’s about as uninformed opinion as you can get.



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    8 Comments below   |   Add your own

    1. London Muslim — on 17th August, 2009 at 5:22 pm  

      Axelrod has also come under attack from no less than the Israeli PM himself as a “self hating Jew”

      http://londonmuslims.blogspot.com/2009/07/israeli-pm-slams-obamas-advisors-as.html

      Btw think you mean Israel’s 1967 border in the last para.

    2. Leon — on 17th August, 2009 at 5:29 pm  

      And this is why I believe people like Pilger now don’t understand politics.

      You might want to qualify that a bit otherwise it’s going down as the most comical thing I’ve heard this year!

    3. BenSix — on 17th August, 2009 at 6:16 pm  

      “Just after the American elections I attacked people like John Pilger who said that Obama was an ‘Uncle Tom’ because he surrounded himself by people like Rahm Emanuel.

      Actually, Rahm Emanuel didn’t come up in the “Uncle Tom” article - how could he have done? It was months before he was picked.

      “The chief of staff was a ‘committed Jew’ according to reports and thus a right-wing Zionist to Pilger.”

      Actually, Pilger criticised him for being, apparently…

      “…a fervent “neoliberal” devoted to the doctrine that led to the present economic collapse and impoverishment of millions. He is also an “Israel-first” Zionist who served in the Israeli army and opposes meaningful justice for the Palestinians – an injustice that is at the root of Muslim people’s loathing of the United States and the spawning of jihadism.”

    4. dave bones — on 17th August, 2009 at 11:44 pm  

      I don’t really like any of em but I think I can see sense in what you are saying. An American friend of mine who is fairly left wing reckons he is sick of the left and the right swapping sticks to hit each other with every few years. After such a close election he says he’d rather see Obama representing ALL the people.

    5. Neil — on 18th August, 2009 at 1:29 am  

      Actually, Pilger criticised him for being, apparently…

      “…a fervent “neoliberal” devoted to the doctrine that led to the present economic collapse and impoverishment of millions. He is also an “Israel-first” Zionist who served in the Israeli army and opposes meaningful justice for the Palestinians – an injustice that is at the root of Muslim people’s loathing of the United States and the spawning of jihadism.”

      Indeed, and that’s the worst thing about it. The ’served in the Israeli army’ bit is not only a lie, but one which originated from an anti-semitic opponent. Christ, if some unpaid blogger can do this kind of fact-checking in his spare time, Pilger should be able to do a bit of, y’know, reading(http://bit.ly/17cnEo)

    6. Random Guy — on 18th August, 2009 at 1:40 am  

      TBH, who gives a damn what Israelis think of Emanuel? His job and duty is first and foremost to the U.S and her interests, not to any other state. And one article in Politico does not a fact make….

      Also agree with Leon - people ‘like Pilger’ understand more politics through their own experience than anyone on this blog.

    7. Shatterface — on 18th August, 2009 at 1:56 am  

      Pilger has done some magnificent work in the past but he’s currently one step away from locking himself in the bathroom and laughing at his own balls.

      It’s sad.

    8. Sunny — on 18th August, 2009 at 2:38 am  

      I’ve corrected the first link to my original article.

      Here is the article where Pilger once again insinuates that Obama is an uncle tom (after doing it first in Jan 08!) for appointing Biden and Emanuel.

      http://www.newstatesman.com/north-america/2008/11/barack-obama-pilger-texas

      Funny how these things turn out eh?

      You might want to qualify that a bit otherwise it’s going down as the most comical thing I’ve heard this year!

      Pilger knows how to rant. That’s about it. Politics is the art of compromise and requires a great deal of positioning. I wish Pilger understood politics but he doesn’t. He used to make good docs though.



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