Don’t let us down, Mr. President
Linda Heard, an Arab News journalist, comments on the eagerly awaited inauguration of Barack Obama, the 44th US President, and the first African-American to rule the United States.
January 20, 2009 3:08 by Linda Heard
If there is a sense of knife-edged anticipation here as to the final shaping of Obama’s Middle East policy, it is no less in Israel. It’s no accident that the Israeli government picked a pre-Obama window of opportunity to launch its onslaught on Gaza and now seeks any face-saving pretext to scurry out before Obama’s daughters get their promised puppy.
We will not have to wait long to discover whether an Obama administration can be an honest broker in the Israel-Palestine conflict. Within the coming days, America’s new commander-in-chief will be obligated to speak out on Gaza, which he has so far refrained from doing citing “there is only one president at a time”.
Will he stick to the Bush line, which is basically Israel has the right to do anything? Or will he echo what just about every other world leader is saying, including his ally Britain’s Gordon Brown, who says Israel has used excessive force during an offensive that has cost too many lives? Let’s keep an open mind. Let’s reserve judgment. And in the meantime, let’s congratulate the American people on their pick and wish Obama well in his new job. Good luck, Mr. President! You’re going to need every ounce of it you can get. Please don’t let us down!
First seen in Arab News.