Much has been made in the last few weeks of the decisive victory President Obama and the democratic party enjoyed on election night. Many people believe that Obama’s landslide victory has given him a mandate, but does this include foreign policy? Does President Obama now have the power to challenge Israel on her unjust and inhumane treatment of the people of Gaza?
According to todays reports the Palestinian death toll has reached 100, including 53 civilians. 840 people have been wounded, including 225 children. An Israeli strike on Sunday morning wiped out one man’s entire family, his sister, wife, two daughters, daughter-in-law, four grandchildren ages 2 to 6, alongside a 18-year-old and his grandmother.
Former President Jimmy Carter is on record saying, “Israeli leaders have decided to abandon the two-state solution. Their policy now is to confiscate Palestinian territory”. Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan went even further calling Israel, “a terrorist state” and saying, ” its acts are terrorist acts”. Last year, Former President Bill Clinton said it was Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who was to blame for the failure of the peace process in the Middle East.
The above video, recorded in 2001, shows Netanyahu, believing he was not on camera, being very dismissive of the power of the United States of America. According to Netanyahu, “America is a thing you can move very easily, move it in the right direction. They won’t get in their way.” President Obama is already on recorded saying he believes Israel has a right to defend herself, but blowing up families and bombing foreign media clearly isn’t that. Neither is saying, “We need to flatten entire neighborhoods in Gaza”, or “We must blow Gaza back to the Middle Ages”.
In his first press conference after the election President Obama showed a toughness I hand’t seen during these last 4 years. He also mentioned that he didn’t have to run for another election. Will this new found freedom allow him to be an honest broker in the Middle East peace process? He’s called out former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, and Syrian President Bashar Assad for their treatment of innocent civillians. He also approved the invasion of Libya and the killing Muammar Gaddafi supposedly for humanitarian reasons.
As more children and civilans are bombed in Gaza, will Obama have the strength to stand up to Netanyahu?