All My Little Words

So, Does Anyone Disagree?

Posted in Uncategorized by nickchristian on January 4, 2009

Four simple words that I would urge Barack Obama use to help define his presidency as he did his campaign. The Bush administration has been, in many ways, defined in opposite terms; details, nuance and tonality rarely, if ever, attended to and opinions that contradicted or conflicted with the consensus seldom considered.

 

This was exemplified by the quote which emerged from the White House via Texas earlier this weekend stating matter-of-factly that “Israel is going to defend itself against people like Hamas” as if the situation could possibly be that simple and pithy.

 

Oddly, and please stay with me here, it reminded me of a quote from Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity, a novel I once loved and now resent. The protagonist is arguing with his girlfriend about Marvin Gaye and Art Garfunkel, saying that to like them both is “like saying you support both the Israelis and the Palestinians”.

 

The point is that this 60 year and counting nightmare will only be resolvable when someone of significance is prepared to do just that. The Bush administration, eternally beholden to Floridian retirees and the Weinstein’s of Wall Street, long ago picked its side. He himself has paid lip service to support for a two-state solution but has done nothing to actively encourage it. Yet security for Israel will only be achieved when the Palestinians (and yes, that includes Hamas) are assured that the same is possible for them.

 

Speaking to a friend this evening I suggested that it must be possible for an American president to both condemn Hamas’ attacks on civilian settlements in Israel, while simultaneously urging Israel’s leaders, political and military, to consider the likely long-term impact of their actions on any hope of a permanent peace in the Holy Land So far Obama has said little but there’s room for optimism.

 

P.S. Great piece, and I don’t say that readily, on this by Jeremy Bowen in yesterday’s Guardian.

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