On Saturday, November 3rd, a fisherman in Gaza asked me to send his picture to President Obama. “Obama good; Romney bad.” He and other Palestinians in his community of Beit Lehia in the northern Gaza Strip are following the US election on the radio.
His comment blew me away for a couple of reasons. First, a man on the opposite side of the planet, living in very difficult circumstances, is aware of the US election and the candidates running for office! He said “Romney” … I didn’t give him a hint. How many Americans don’t know the names of the candidates, or worse yet, know but don’t care enough to cast their ballots?
Second, this Palestinian fisherman obviously realizes the influence that the US has in the Middle East and on his life in Gaza. Many, many Americans have no clue about the US role in the Israel-Palestine conflict. Not a clue!
Americans may argue about which candidate is better on the Middle East issues, but I don’t see much difference. Both men have drunk the AIPAC kool-aid, and they each have shown their allegiance to Israel.
Romney believes that the “Palestinians have no interest whatsoever in establishing peace.” He also believes that Jerusalem is Israel’s Capital. Anyone who has been following the Middle East for any length of time knows that Jerusalem represents a significant place for both Israel and Palestine, and based on previous negotiations, Jerusalem will be divided. East Jerusalem will be Palestine’s Capital.
Obama’s critics claim he has thrown Israel “under the bus” but any objective review of Obama’s actions while in office show that he is Israel’s best friend in a world that is quickly shunning Israel as a pariah state.
In 2011, Obama vetoed Palestine’s request at the UN for recognition as a state despite overwhelming support by the community of nations. Every year, the Obama Administration has given Israel $3 billion+ in foreign aid, much of it for Israel’s military to maintain the occupation. Most recently, Obama is now warning European nations not to support Palestinians in their quest in 2012 for “observer status” at the UN. If granted, Palestine would have access to the International Criminal Court. Hmmmmm!
Both Romney and Obama have made their obligatory journey to the Western Wall and donned the kippa for photo ops.
If I was a Palestinian, I wouldn’t be able to support either man for President. President Jimmy Carter was the last honest peace broker from the US. But as an American, I know there are many differences between the two on other issues which deserve serious study and consideration by every American old enough to vote.