Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Finally Some Good News For Gaza: Barack Obama Has Got Your Back

Okay, a little tongue in cheek certainly, but... Finally seeing the whole of his speech I have some reflections which should apply directly to Gaza and, with support and a call to action of heartful people everywhere, Obama needs to see and hear. So, here are the highlights that I took from his speech (as an aside his speech writer is truly AMAZING! and his delivery, the man can talk...) and truly hope DO apply to Gaza in his mind.

"All are equal, all are free, all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness."

The photos I've seen out of Gaza reflect no equality, no freedom, and no chance to pursue happiness. American must hold its "good friend" accountable for its actions. Leave the excuses, leave the complaints and pity calls, come forward as adults who take responsibility for your actions and move forward in a different way. Open the borders and allow freedom, allow aid, stop ridiculous regulations like "new clothing only" for people needing so much aid that even the aid agencies can't keep up. Give the people of Gaza a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness without the intentional attempts to dehumanize and humiliate them daily at each checkpoint.

"America is a friend of ... each man, woman, and child that seek a future of peace and dignity."

I hope that means that America can judge EACH man, woman, and child based on their own measure and hopes, not those of a political party that does not represent them. I hope that means that America will be a friend to those in Gaza who oppose violence and seek only a voice and a measure of justice, freedom, and happiness. Do you really mean it, Mr. President?

And, in a phrase that could have been written for the Palestinian people (in Gaza and elsewhere), "Our spirit is strong and can not be broken. You can not outlast us."

This is, perhaps, one of the defining characteristics of America. It applies no less to the proud and beautiful Palestinian culture. I hope that Barack Obama will be able to remove the blinders from his eyes and experience all that this wonderful culture has to offer.

So, like most Americans, I cling to hope. I anticipate change. And, I will hold MY President accountable for his actions, as every good American should. Please, please prove my vote for change was worth it...

Happy Hopefulness!


At 5:32 PM , Blogger mab3oos said...

I agree with your sentiment. I don't think he wanted to mention Gaza by name because the whole inauguration was more of local event. Mentioning Iraq and Afghanistan was because of direct US military involvement.

However, the action that was worth more than the whole speech was appointing Andrew Mitchell, who is of Lebanese ancestry, as ME special envoy.

At 1:10 AM , Blogger Ahmad Hamdan said...


I hope you are going fine as well as your family.

I agree that his speech was just great and full of hope. I do hope that he will apply what he said to Gaza, and to the whole region in general. However, I am not too optimistic about that, because it will be difficult for him to change a policy that exist for decades now, especially that this policy reflects the whole interest of the USA in the region. I prefer to wait for some time before any conclusion about his ideas and actions towards the region. And I am impatient to hear what he is going to say about the war, the tragedy and the massacres committed by Israelis (who turn to be the closest allies of the USA, ont only in the region, but in the whole world).
Hope is a great feeling for human beings, it helps them keep alive and think of a better future. Unfortunately, hope doesn't really exist in politics (only theoritically maybe). Politicians tend to use hope to get to high positions and to take power, but once they are in position they return back to reality and they realise that they can't dream. I do hope that Obama will be different, but knowing the system in Washington and how it works there, I think that it will be very difficult for him to change something, even if he wants. And there are already some facts about that, his VP is one of the best allies of Israel in the Capitol, his Cheif of Staff is an Israeli citizen (and he did his military service in the Israeli army). Moreover, his Secretary of Defense is known for her almost unconditional support for Israel. So all these choices raise some questions about his will as well as his ability to do some radical changes regarding the question of the ME.

I hope I will be wrong, but from what I have already seen, I don't thing it will be easy.

At 2:27 AM , Blogger MommaBean said...

Mab3oos, you're right, that is good news.

Ahmad, I agree in many areas. However, we differ in that I think he has a huge capacity to almost instantly change direction. I expect in many ways he will be doing that. And, I think that the voices of the American people are what is required to inspire him to change. Overcoming the voices in his cabinet (which you mentioned) is the key. He is smart enough to understand that there are two sides to this story, now we just have to get the second side to him... I am hopeful (I think many of us Americans are given a seemingly unlimited supply of hope as evidence by my dogged persistence in looking for items at Safeway that they get only once every 6 months. I still look every time I go.) and cautiously optismistic. But, the proof is in the pudding, so let's set how it comes out...

At 1:58 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I have read an article in an Israeli newspaper almost citing the same issue. Israelis are pretty sure that things will be changed during the reign of Obama, but they're confident that this will not last long, and will not genrally affect their status. The author explicitly mentioned that the congress will not allow Obama to change many issues regarding support for Israel "except that their prime minister won't be able to call the prisedent, get him out of a meeting, to ask him to order his Foreign Minister to raise a veto on a security council decision"..as I qoute from him.
but any ways, I don't think that we should wait for an outside assitance, I believe that we need to figure out a solution that will allow the Arabs to have a decision upon their own will. I know it's just a dream, but let's hope for the best. I too am a coutiously optimistic.

At 3:28 AM , Blogger Ali Dahmash said...

Obama is hope for millions of people. I know the average Palestinian in Gaza and the West Bank care less about any US president so why should they have hope in Obama. I say, we have to wait and give the man some time. But Im afraid of the heat he will be under from AIPAC and other lobbiests in DC. I'm also doubtful if Hamas are ready to talk with Obama or anyone. Although I respect their struggle and resistance but those guys need to attend alot of diplomacy classes. They should learn from Hezbullah

At 5:25 AM , Blogger MommaBean said...

Tha2ir, Indeed. I agree that Obama will take heat from the Zionist lobby. Howeve,r the President does have the ability to move policy and even the strength of will to stop the "pulling out of meetings" is a help.

Ali, I agree on the act that he will need time, but I'm not sure Hezbollah is an example to be held out ;).

At 12:50 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Robert Fisk disagreed with you in this article http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/opinion/columnists/robert-fisk/robert-fisk-obama-has-missed-the-point-on-gaza-14150111.html.
I guess Americans still think of us "Palestinians" as naive, trusting, and easy to manipulate!!!
So is it that we should look further behind the words searching for a hidden meaning from which we can conclude "how sympathetic he was towards the Gazans in his inaugural speech". COME ONNNNNNNNN!!!!
When will you Americans realize that all we ever wanted was to be left alone?
Obama's own words were used to justify Gaza's massacre by Euhed Barak (If someone was sending rockets on my house where my daughters were sleeping at night, I would do everything to stop it, and I would expect Israelis to do the same thing.) But certainly he doesn’t expect Palestinians to do the same thing, you cannot argue this.
"It seems the two Baraks have more in common than the name".
The weapons that killed the civilians are sold to Israel with the "Complements of the US of A". And not to mention the media "Thank you Anderson Cooper for allowing the Norwegian Red Cross worker to talk about the horrible crimes she saw in Gaza for 25 darn seconds!!"
Don't sympathize, please don't, don't look at pictures of dead Gazans, Palestinian blood is only good for making movies like Waltz with Bashir".

Just keep the weapons you make to yourself, that's all what we ask of you, I promise.

And dear lady, please don’t try to fool us. Seriously, the ones who have hope in Obama are not the Gazans, not the intellectual Palestinians, few might have some hope left, but the vast majority is just patronizing the Americans they see and talk to.

At the end there is no measure of how much someone lacks morality, if they lack it they lack it regardless if the name or the face.

At 7:23 AM , Blogger MommaBean said...

Anonymous, thanks for dropping in. I see that tongue in cheek sarcasm is missed fairly clearly as every poster seems to have missed it. Unfortuantely, you also seem to have not read what wrote either. That is a shame indeed.

If you reread my post, you will see that I did not indicate that one should "look beyond his words" to conclude where his sympathies lie. What I said is that I HOPE his words will apply to Gaza. Specifically he used several phrases that should apply to Gaza and Americans need to hold him accountable for it.

I can't imagine that any American who blogs with any consistency about Gaza will be attempting to claim appropriate reporting of the American press. It clearly is not there. And, judging where Obamas intentions lie by words he said and others used to their ends is an interesting choice. For myself I judge by action (which was rather the point of this post).

So, in reality, I expect I'm not your dear lady and I'm certainly not trying to fool anyone. The ones who have hope in Obama are the ones who have hope in him. I expect that some in Gaza hoped that he would (as he did today) call for reopening of Gaza's borders. Beyond that, I'm glad that the people I see and talk to don't bother to patronize me. I don't need it or want it. If you'd like to have an honest, open conversation, welcome much like the taxi driver I had a very interesting conversation with who indicated he doesn't like America very much. After the last 8 years I agreed with him wholeheartedly. There have been many times (okay 8 years of them) when I didn't like the US and its foreign policies very much). He was quick to say the American people are good, but the government and its relationship with Israel, not so much. Who can disagree with that? Certainly not me.

In the end, yes Fisk and I have some philosophical disagreements. Generaly I agree with what I've seen of his writings, but often his focus seems rather Euro-centric.

As for Obama failing to mention Gaza and Israel, I would not have expected anything else. In the grand scope of America and its problems these days, getting out of Iraq is of far more importance to average Americans than something they don't understand half a world away.

My point was not that he WAS speaking to Gaza, but rather that he SHOULD BE. Again, I'd recommend that you reread my post without the assumptions of what you THINK I'm saying and understand what is actually there. It's a call to apply these fine and noble sentiments, which are after all 7aki fadi, to the people of Gaza.

At 10:11 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please note that Obama signed the closing of Gitmo in the first 24 hours in office AND he ordered the secret torture cells to close. That has to be a good sign of progress already!


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