Rhetoric vs Reality in the Mideast
By Mazin Qumsiyeh // Dateline: 4 June 2009
Obama speechifying in Cairo. The usual platitudes, with a new coat of paint.
[Mazin Qumsiyeh, a friend of Cyrano’s Showcase in Palestine, sent us the following compilation of observations and analyses of President Obama’s recent speeches and activities in the volatile, too-often tragic, Mideast. While reactions in the U.S. have mostly followed Obama’s contrail of popularity–about 2/3 approving of his policies, in general–responses in the region reveal the sharp divides between Israelis and Arabs, Jews and Muslims. “Change we can believe in,” becomes one more fiction, one more slogan, to both the oppressor and the oppressed. Is it not high time for deeds and actions to match the rhetoric of “respect” and “conciliation”? As it is written in the Talmud, If not now, when?–Gary Corseri, Editor.]
American propaganda notwithstanding, there’s a wide gulf between the official rhetoric being dished out by Obama and the reality in the Mideast
Israeli occupation forces murdered our friend Aqel Srur (age 35) yesterday in the nonviolent demonstration in Ni’lin the day after many people showed excitement about Obama’s “peace” speech without carefully analyzing it (see below).
Israelis get four-fifths of scarce West Bank water, says World Bank. Palestinians losing out in access to vital shared [sic] aquifer in the occupied territories
Obama’s speech shows little real change. In most regards his analysis maintains flawed American policies. See:
Yet, and as is expected people who are 98% supportive of Israeli government policies will be attacked for not being 100% supportive (remember the Pope’s visit?). So in this Video we see young people in Jerusalem express their opinions (this is not just revealing about Obama but about racism in general)
A Palestinian friend reacted to this footage thus: “Within the Palestinian Community, I can say that these attitudes translate into an evil apartheid system that has destroyed our communities and our livelihoods and that continues to perpetrate enormous violence on defenseless civilians. 80% of Israelis supported the recent bombing of Gaza, and that 80% support comes out of attitudes that are shown in this footage. These attitudes also explain how and why Avigdor Lieberman has risen to power in Israel today.”
“The Israeli education ministry” worried about the few teachers who might (God forbid) let students know a tiny bit of the suffering of Palestinian:
Action: Break the siege: Schedule in Palestine (both sides of the green line)
Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD, is “a Bedouin in cyberspace, a villager at home.” His website is http://qumsiyeh.org.