What Obama can do for you
Barack Obama is the first African-American president in US history. But what
does he have in store for you, me and the Arab world?
November 5, 2008 7:01 by kippreport
The man’s a good talker. He can rouse a crowd with anecdotes about his encounters with ‘real’ people without making his speech sound like a political spiel written by a professional speech writer. And if you’re anything like the millions of US voters who made Barack Obama president, you’ll be looking forward to hearing stories about how wonderful ‘real’ people truly are for the next four years. But like most presidents, he’ll make your life both better and worse…especially if you’re Arab. Here’s why:
President Obama (that’s right, PRESIDENT Obama, get used to it) has a dialogue driven foreign policy, which is great news for those of us who come from nations generally shunned by US presidents. One example he used incessantly throughout his campaign is how he plans to use dialogue to deal with Iran. According to his official website “Obama supports tough, direct presidential diplomacy with Iran without preconditions. Now is the time to pressure Iran directly to change their troubling behavior”
Another major point for Obama is his attitude toward Israel. Anyone in the know about US politics and elections understands the importance of Jewish lobbies’ endorsements; without them, US candidates can be left out in the cold. Obama’s commitment to Israel, however, is very pronounced:
“Barack Obama and Joe Biden strongly support the U.S.-Israel relationship, believe that our first and incontrovertible commitment in the Middle East must be to the security of Israel, America’s strongest ally in the Middle East,” states Obama’s official website. It even addresses Obama’s support of Israel’s attacks in Lebanon in 2006: “During the July 2006 Lebanon war, Barack Obama stood up strongly for Israel’s right to defend itself from Hezbollah raids and rocket attacks, cosponsoring a Senate resolution against Iran and Syria’s involvement in the war, and insisting that Israel should not be pressured into a ceasefire that did not deal with the threat of Hezbollah missiles.” Those are chilling words to the Lebanese men and women who have lost family and friends during Israel’s raids.
The good news, however, is that Obama wants to see a two-state solution for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. He wants Israelis to have a state in Israel, and Palestinians to have a state somewhere else…neither he nor his website named a location. Perhaps that’s because if he said that a chunk of Israel would go to the Palestinians, he would’ve lost numerous Jewish votes.
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