The US democratic candidate, Barack Obama, is campaigning with the help of the Jewish lobby in America. In the process, he is going further than many presidential candidates before him: Obama is calling for an “undivided Jerusalem” and is threatening Iran with unlimited measures against nuclear weapons development.
Unedifying scenes are being played out in the Clinton and Obama camps. A close associate of the Clinton campaign returned to London from the election campaign and spilled her guts about the “treason” committed by old Clinton partisans, secret lists of “defectors” and the arrogant demeanor of old Clintonians compared to the younger generations.
Some earnestly see Chelsea, the popular daughter, as a promising candidate in 16 years time. One of main reasons behind the official reconciliation between Clinton and Obama seems to be that Clinton will be allowed to pay her financial contributions into the winner’s campaign coffer, something which is completely legitimate.
Obama’s contradictory answers to controversial foreign policy questions have confused many voters. When asked the most important question of day “What do we do with Iran?”, Obama gives ambiguous answers. In front of liberal students, Obama portrays himself as a pacifist. However, in front of the Pro-Israel AIPAC group - known in short as the Jewish lobby to supporters and critics alike - Obama declared with deep and utter conviction that there were no limits when it came to preventing Iran from making nuclear weapons.
He also argued for an “undivided Jerusalem”, an idea which even the most convinced friends of the Jewish State do not dare express in such explicit terms. Indeed, his spokesman later tried to downplay the highlights of his very positive, pro-Israeli speech. Not surprisingly, it caused a large storm of indignation in the Arab world.
Arab commentaries from the editorial pages in the Syrian, Egyptian and specially the Iranian press accused him of chicanery, while a Hamas representative in Gaza went as far as portraying him as a puppet of the Israelis, a “Zionist poodle” and a traitor of the Arab cause. Ambivalence during an electoral campaign may be unavoidable, but it may cause considerable difficulties should Obama become president.
Europeans attribute more importance to the Jewish lobby in America than it really has. Arab propaganda is meanwhile very active, specially in Universities.
Centers for Middle Eastern Studies and Islamic culture at the elite universities of the English-speaking world enjoy munificent financial support. In the last ten years, 270 million Euro was paid out for this purpose. Add to that the religious schools, the Madrasahs, which are inspired and directed primarily by radical Saudi Arabian Wahabism.
Increasingly we see academics boycotting scientific cooperation with Israeli Universities and scientific colleagues.
They are in breach of the fundamental principles of academic freedom. No matter what he might have said or concealed during this bitter and tempestuous election campaign, the next president will have to specifically address the issue of intellectual detoxication.