Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Middle East: Obama unwilling to put values before interests, says Memo

London, IRNA – President Barack Obama put advancing his career ahead of opening a new chapter in US diplomacy in his recent speech on the Middle East and North Africa, according to Middle East Monitor (Memo).

“Few statesmen who stride the world stage have the courage to put their values before interests, and Barack Obama demonstrated he is not about to join them. Not for the first time, he chose his personal ambitions over his convictions,” Memo said.

His speech in Washington last week followed on from one given in Cairo in the early stages of his presidency, when he demanded an end to Israeli settlements, giving the impression that he was convinced of their illegality and immorality.

But a spokesperson for Memo told IRNA that two years on as he starts on the road to seek re-election, he did not even mention the illegal settlements “solely, we must assume, to advance his career.”

“Within a matter of hours the Israeli government, with typical arrogance and ingratitude to their benefactors, announced plans to construct 1,500 new housing units in occupied Jerusalem,” the spokesperson said.

“With a better track record of positive action, Barak Obama could have returned to Cairo to deliver his latest speech on the Middle East. Having failed to deliver on his many promises, however, he chose to speak instead from the US State Department,” she pointed out.
Memo is an online monitoring service committed to giving an Islamic perspective on news events from London, It believed that no one had any delusions about what to expect from the US president, being about protecting American interest in the region.

“US support for democracy in the region is there simply because Washington doesn't have much of a choice at the moment,” it said.

Only hours before the president delivered his speech, Jewish fundraisers belonging to the Israel lobby in America reportedly laid their marker that either he stops pressuring Israel's Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu over the illegal settlements in occupied Palestinian or he must do without their funds for his re-election campaign.

“Can a democracy that is hostage to big money in such a way be reconciled with the universal values of freedom and justice that Obama spoke of?” Memo asked in a commentary on the speech.

“Obama and his administration have a duty and absolute right to protect America's interests, but to do so at the expense of other people is immoral and offensive,” the commentary said.
It saw his warning against “symbolic actions” to isolate Israel at the United Nations in September as “evidently a threat” against a growing momentum to recognise a Palestinian state.
“The Zionists went to the UN in 1947 to get their state, so why can't the Palestinians do the same 63 years later? Has America suddenly become a substitute for the UN?” it asked.
Memo said that if the Palestinians have to wait for America to act on their behalf, they will have “no freedom, no independence and no democracy.”

“The unpalatable fact is that America is part of the problem in the region and, in his heart, Obama might possibly acknowledge it if it wasn't for his dependence on the Israel Lobby's money and influence,” it said.