Something is missing from the Republicans and the Democrats’ talking points.
While Mitt Romney and the GOP try to make Obama seem anti-Israel because he isn’t willing to commit to a war in Iran, the Obama camp does little besides give lip service to the conflict in the Middle East. The one moment where I was shocked during his speech at the DNC was when Mr. Obama only stated that we are committed to the security of the Israeli people without so much as mentioning the Palestinian people. We already know that little to nothing is being done to resolve the situation – are we at the point now where we we’re so cynical that we can’t even give lip service to the Palestinian people?
A quick search of the Barack Obama website shows only one result for the word “Palestine” – and it’s a document titled “President Obama’s Unwavering Commitment to the State of Israel and the US-Israel Relationship”.
Palestine does get mentioned in the document and to give you some idea of how the President’s team talks about Palestine, here’s a quick except:
President Obama publicly called for a non-militarized Palestinian state. He has consistently
condemned Hamas and violence against Israelis, called for the immediate release of Gilad Shalit,
and supported Israel’s refusal to negotiate with Hamas before it recognizes Israel’s right to exist, rejects violence, and adheres to all existing agreements.
Of course, this is something akin to telling a man armed with a stick to drop it and stop resisting as a man twice his size continues kicking him in the gut while menacing him with a gun – and his gang of friends who are all standing by with guns waiting to help.
Can you hear that? Probably not, since no one will say a single word about Palestine for fear of being called anti-Israel by the far right.
If our leaders could synthesize the situation for their audience with sympathy towards both sides and present the same challenge to not just the Palestinians but also to the Israelis, I believe that they would have the support of the majority of Americans. As human beings, we want the same opportunities for everyone regardless of their nationality or where they’re born. Everyone deserves the chance at a life free of oppression, free of fear of rockets raining down on their home, free of the fear of a bulldozer showing up one day to demolish their home.
The two campaigns would do themselves both a service to speak to the best in us rather than playing on fears and misrepresentations.
Alas, Palestine. I am sorry. We have failed you.