Obama and Israel – a Difficult Relationship
Posted by Emile Tubiana on May 23, 2011
Since the election of our president, I followed his line of thought.
First I thought that our president was closer to me than any other president, as I was born in Africa like his father, but the more I listened to his speeches, the more I concluded that his thoughts may be closer to the Asian Islamic way of thinking than to the Middle Eastern and North African Islamic Arab one.
Encouraging the Arabs in the Middle East to make revolutions without consideration for the results of this enormous protest, which took on drastic proportions and is leading to unknown consequences, shows me, with all due respect for my president, that he was not well advised on the Arab mentality and traditions. Proof of that matter is that many countries are not prepared to follow his thoughts, but rather distance themselves from him. Instead of the democracy he wished for, his actions created an anarchy which develops towards the unknown without any guidance or direction.
As I happen to know, our ambassadors played an active role in this endeavor and finally he joined them by dictating to the rulers what to do. I was unhappy to see how he treated our friends and allies like President Mubarak of Egypt, who was actually willing to cooperate and prepare democratic elections for September 2011 and to step down at that time. What was the rush for making him go immediately and in a very disgraceful way, which much upset Saudi Arabia? By doing so he alienated another ally, Saudi Arabia, which is our supplier of oil and a serious buyer of all kinds of products. These economic exchanges are the engine of our economy.
Among the alienated Arab countries I can cite the following: Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, which make up a group of eight states against our policy and which may in the near future include Jordan, Morocco and Yemen. Now with his proposal mentioning the 1967 borders for Israel and the way he formulated the Thursday speech and with his words at today’s AIPAC meeting, he alarmed all the Jews in the US and Israel. We should not forget and remember that our Ambassador to the UN, Ms. Rice, pictured Israel many times as an apartheid country. In my view this should be stopped as it aggravates Israel’s situation even further.
Our president’s speech at AIPAC resulted in a lot of applause, but in my view it also created doubt and mistrust. We know that here we are dealing with very intelligent, peaceful and democratic people. I doubt if those applauds were a sign of approval, or rather just being carried away into the election mood, or something else. From experience, deceiving the Jews the first time, one cannot not expect to be trusted the second time. The Jewish people has no margin for error as it has been gratified with such negative experiences in the past. Last time Prime Minister Netanyahu and the Jewish people were humiliated. After a few leaders protested everyone believed that our president understood the significance of the insult and let go. No one knew he would come back with such an uncalled-for proposal like the 1967 borders.
As for me, a American Jew born in Africa, I believe it is my duty to be cautious when elections come around. Please remember, we the Jews from Arab countries have been displaced the same way the Palestinians have been displaced. Today all these Jewish refugees are settled by their own means and have left behind their property which is worth more than the property Palestinians have left behind. I believe that is a balanced claim and Israel should not be forced to receive the Palestinian refugees or have to pay any money for damages, unless Israel wants to show a good will to help them going further in their life.
Copyright 2011 Emile Tubiana