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Al-Khaleej, UAE

The Objectives of Obama’s Visit

By Rashid Fayz

Translated By Joseph McBirnie

18 February 2013

Edited by Natalie Clager

UAE - Al-Khaleej - Original Article (Arabic)

The White House announced President Obama’s official visit to the Zionist entity and Ramallah, Jordan, on March 20-21. This announcement increased the optimism of many politicians, observers and analysts who supposed that the U.S. president would propose a new project for a peace settlement between the Palestinians and “Israel.”

This is the first of Obama’s visits at the beginning of his second term, as well as the first to the Zionist state. It comes after the appointment of John Kerry as secretary of state, the whirlwind confirmation hearing of Chuck Hagel as secretary of defense and the unprecedented election results that occurred in Washington and particularly in Tel Aviv. Ahead of the visit, many political analysts appeared to bring up direct or indirect “contradictions” between Netanyahu and Obama, such as those raised by supporters of Republican candidate Mitt Romney, who had announced that if he won the presidential election his first visit would be to “Israel.” To start, what appear to be substantial differences between the U.S. president and Netanyahu is pure illusion. While there may be differences between the parties, it does not reach the level of contradiction.

Leaders of “Israel” are good at blackmailing candidates of either party. They announce their support for the stronger party, thus guaranteeing its loyalty to the Zionist state. And if the party loses, the other party will obsessively attempt to prove his loyalty to that country.

This is what happened with Romney and Obama.

On the other hand, the decisions for American strategic policies (especially concerning “Israel”) rely on financial, military and industrial cooperation with AIPAC. The U.S. president is in charge of implementing these policies.

Nevertheless, after Obama gave speeches in Ankara and Cairo in which he established the foundations for the new deal with the Arab and Islamic world, he returned to his hawkish policy.

He has abandoned all the pre-negotiation requirements between “Israel” and Palestine and echoes the Zionist claim that settlements do not present an obstacle for returning to negotiations. Obama backtracked on the dates of the viable establishment of a Palestinian state and has adopted overall “Israeli” attitudes. Because of the issues raised on the negotiation table, America is known for its “Israeli Jewishness.”

Optimistically linking the visit to the achievement of a peace settlement, the White House was careful to curb these aspirations, saying, “It is an opportunity for the United States to demonstrate that support for Israel and support for Palestine is not a zero-sum game.”*

This was confirmed by Bruce Jentleson, a Duke University professor who was once a senior advisor to Obama’s state department: “I don’t think that presidential trips are just about deliverables. If you look at the trips the president made in his first term, to China for instance, these were about moving the relationship.” Also, the top priorities for Netanyahu are to take charge of the formation of his new government and to curb Iran’s nuclear project. This has been announced repeatedly, most recently when Shimon Peres resigned as head of state to a remote assignment in the government.

Therefore, the peace settlement is not a priority for Netanyahu, despite the fact the conference of major American Jewish organizations’ presidents, held in Tel Aviv, believes in a two-state solution. In practical terms, because of settlements and the confiscation of Palestinian land in the West Bank, the chance of achieving this solution is zero. Shortly after the announcement of Obama’s visit, the “Israeli” government approved the construction of 90 housing units in the West Bank.

Because of each of these issues, the goals of Obama’s visit emphasize the depth of the strategic relationship between the United States and “Israel,” America’s commitment to “Israel’s” full security and existence as determined by “Israel.” Also emphasized is the need to respond to the aforementioned contradictions between Obama and Netanyahu and the message to the U.S. Congress and “Israel” that the Obama administration is sincerely pro-“Israel.” The two states also will coordinate their positions in relation to the Iranian nuclear program, the settlement issue, pressure on the Palestinian side to return to negotiations with “Israel” without preconditions and coming to terms with “Israeli” attitudes toward settlements without achieving reconciliation.

The U.S. Congress promised imminent resumption of granting U.S. authority after suspending it. This will also put pressure on Jordan to bear the responsibility of accepting the idea of confederation with the Palestinian territories and will continue to facilitate the American deception that the U.S. intends to spread democracy in the Arab world.

One cannot be optimistic concerning the objectives of Obama’s visit to the region.

*This quote actually appears in Robert Danin’s opinion blog on the Council on Foreign Relations website.



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