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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Israel: Obama's Foreign Policy - No Change

by Sarah Meyer
Index Research
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Updated 01.11.09

“The Obama administration took over the cyber-address of the presidency,, with a flourish,” wrote the New York Times (21.01.09).

There may be "CHANGE" at the White House web site, but there is NO "change" on the new U.S. President’s Foreign Policy page:


* Ensure a Strong U.S.-Israel Partnership: Barack Obama and Joe Biden strongly support the U.S.-Israel relationship, and believe that our first and incontrovertible commitment in the Middle East must be to the security of Israel, America's strongest ally in the region. They support this closeness, and have stated that the United States will never distance itself from Israel.

* Support Israel's Right to Self Defense: During the July 2006 Lebanon war, Barack Obama stood up strongly for Israel's right to defend itself from Hezbollah raids and rocket attacks, cosponsoring a Senate resolution against Iran and Syria's involvement in the war, and insisting that Israel should not be pressured into a ceasefire that did not deal with the threat of Hezbollah missiles. He and Joe Biden believe strongly in Israel's right to protect its citizens.

* Support Foreign Assistance to Israel: Barack Obama and Joe Biden have consistently supported foreign assistance to Israel. They defend and support the annual foreign aid package that involves both military and economic assistance to Israel and have advocated increased foreign aid budgets to ensure that these funding priorities are met. They have called for continuing U.S. cooperation with Israel in the development of missile defense systems.”

Last evening, the reporter Robert Fisk, interviewed on al jazeera following Obama’s inaugural speech, was incensed that no mention had been made of the primary US foreign policy problem: Justice for the Palestinians.

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Did Clinton Sabotage A Palestinian Reconciliation?
05.03.09. Hasan Abu Nimah & Ali Abunimah, countercurrents. There are many in the region who were encouraged by US President Barack Obama's appointment of former Northern Ireland mediator Senator George Mitchell as Middle East envoy. But in all other respects the new president has continued the Bush administration's disastrous policies. It is not too late to change course, for persisting in these errors will guarantee only more failure and bloodshed.

Obama and Israel's Military: Still Arm-in-Arm
04.03.09. Stephen Zunes, FPIF. In the wake of Israel's massive assault on heavily populated civilian areas of the Gaza Strip earlier this year, Amnesty International called for the United States to suspend military aid to Israel on human rights grounds. Amnesty has also called for the United Nations to impose a mandatory arms embargo on both Hamas and the Israeli government. Unfortunately, it appears that President Barack Obama won't be heeding Amnesty's call. Sections on Obama Tilts Right; Obama's Defense of Israeli Attacks on Civilians; Not Good for Israel; Betraying His Constituency

05.03.09. Khaled Amayreh, uruknet. In her recent visit to Occupied Palestine, the former NY senator, who had proven herself a submissive pawn in the service of Zionist circles, reiterated the same old platitudes about US commitment to the "two-state" solution. ... However, she didn’t dare utter a word against the unmitigated expansion of Jewish colonies in the West Bank. ... Mrs. Clinton dutifully asserted US commitment to Israel’s security, ... which possess hundreds of nuclear warheads and has one of the world’s strongest armies ... .

U.S. Military Aid to Israel
06.03.09. Kathleen and Bill Christison, Counterpunch / ICH. U.S. military aid to Israel is doled out in annual increments of billions of dollars but remains virtually unchallenged while other fiscal outlays are drastically cut.

Obama and Israel's Military: Still Arm-in-Arm
08.03.09. Stephen Zunes, z mag / uruknet. ...Currently, Obama is on record supporting sending up to $30 billion in unconditional military aid to Israel over the next 10 years. Such a total would represent a 25% increase in the already large-scale arms shipments to Israeli forces under the Bush administration. Obama has thus far failed to realize that the problem in the Middle East is that there are too many deadly weapons in the region, not too few. Instead of simply wanting Israel to have an ad! equate deterrent against potential military threats, Obama insists the United States should guarantee that Israel maintain a qualitative military advantage. Thanks to this overwhelming advantage over its neighbors, Israeli forces were able to launch devastating wars against Israel's Palestinian and Lebanese neighbors in recent years...

"The hawkish Hillary Clinton’s naming of veteran Israel supporter Dennis Ross as her special adviser on Iran and the Gulf suggest she is more interested in building future domestic political support than securing balanced advice." Eric Margolis, Here We Go Again With the Iranian Nuclear Scare [09.03.09]

$30 Billion For Israel's Military
13.03.09. Haitham Sabbah. Same old story, new president: U.S. President Barack Obama will not cut the billions of dollars in military aid promised to Israel, a senior U.S. administration official said Wednesday. The $30 billion in aid promised to Israel over the next decade will not be harmed by the world financial crisis, the official told Israel Radio. He spoke on condition of anonymity. The U.S. military aid to Israel was increased in a decade-long deal agreed to by Bush in 2007.! ..

$30 Billion For Israel's Military
13.03.09.Haitham Sabbah, uruknet. Same old story, new president: U.S. President Barack Obama will not cut the billions of dollars in military aid promised to Israel, a senior U.S. administration official said Wednesday. The $30 billion in aid promised to Israel over the next decade will not be harmed by the world financial crisis, the official told Israel Radio. He spoke on condition of anonymity. The U.S. military aid to Israel was increased in a decade-long deal agreed to by Bush in 2007.! ..
See also:
Amnesty: US Arms Delivery to Israel Threatens "Mideast Peace"
02.04.09. almanar / ICH. The delivery of munitions in the Zionist entity from the US earlier this month has thrown President Barack Obama's commitment to maintaining peaceful relations between Israel and Palestine into question, according to Amnesty International. The humanitarian group said Thursday that the arrival of the Wehr Elbe, a German cargo ship, and her delivery of 300 containers of munitions to the Israeli port of Ashdod suggested the new administration will not act to prevent further attacks against civilians.

Please Tell Me, Where is Israel Headed?
31.03.09. John J. Mearsheimer, FP / ICH. The Israel lobby, will adamantly defend Israel's right to do whatever it wants in the Occupied Territories and make it impossible for the president to put significant pressure on Israel. Netanyahu, like all Israeli leaders, understands this basic fact of life.

Obama tells Netanyahu: U.S. committed to Israel's security
01.04.09. Haaretz. U.S. President Barack Obama called newly sworn in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday to congratulate him on his new position, and to reaffirm steadfast U.S. commitment to Israel and its security.

Obama’s death squads in Jerusalem

Obama's Blackwater? Chicago Mercenary Firm Gets Millions for Private "Security" in Israel and Iraq
02.04.09. Jeremy Scahill, alternet. Federal records obtained by AlterNet reveal a multi-million dollar contract for a private U.S. paramilitary force operating out of Jerusalem. On the campaign trail, Barack Obama's advisers said he "can't rule out [and] won't rule out" using mercenary forces, like Blackwater. Now, it appears that the Obama administration has decided on its hired guns of choice: Triple Canopy, a Chicago company now based in Virginia. It may not have Blackwater's thuggish reputation, but Triple Canopy has its own bloody history in Iraq and a record of hiring mercenaries from countries with atrocious human rights records.

Obama’s ‘scientific’ prostitution

Procuring Academics for Empire: The Pentagon Minerva Research Initiative
04.04.09. James Petras, ICH. The Pentagon is seriously engaged in this military-academic empire building strategy, allocating almost 100 million dollars to contracting academic collaborators and funding multiple ‘research’ projects throughout the world against targeted states, movements and communities: The “Minerva Research Initiative” (MRI)

As long as the threat from Iran persists, we will go forward with a missile defense system that is cost-effective and proven. Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile activity poses a real threat, not just to the United States, but to Iran’s neighbors and our allies.’” Barack Obama

US policy on Hamas 'unchanged'
22.04.09. al jazeera. Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, has reiterated the US position that it will not deal with or fund a Palestinian government that includes Hamas until certain conditions are met.

Illegal Israeli settlements continue unchecked today

"Secret Israeli Database Reveals Full Extent of Illegal Settlement"
by Uri Blau, Haaretz, February 1, 2009. Last January 30, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz disclosed a secret Israeli government database on settlements in the occupied West Bank, and posted the Hebrew text (pdf) of the database on their website. Last month, the ODNI Open Source Center completed an English translation of the 200-page document. Secrecy News obtained a copy of the translation (pdf) which we are publishing today...

An English translation of the settlement dataase prepared by the ODNI Open
Source Center is now available here

NB: Ilan Pappe writes extensively about the Zionist plans and developemnt for the first settlements in his superb book The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine . Will someone please give this book to Obama?

Goldstone Report

Obama joins Netanyahu in Shielding Israel from War Crimes Charges
19.10.09. Jean Shaoul, WSWS / ICH. The United Nations Human Rights Council has endorsed a report into Israel’s 22-day assault on Gaza in December and January, accusing Israel of war crimes. / Israel’s premier, Binyamin Netanyahu, predictably denounced the report as biased against Israel and unjust and insisted that he would not allow any Israeli officials to face trial for war crimes. The Obama administration echoed Israel, calling the report unbalanced, and said that its adoption would damage the possibility of resuming talks between Israel and the Palestinians. The talks are a necessary fig leaf for bringing the Arab regimes on side against Iran.

Hillary's Betrayal : Facts screwed up
US backs Israel on 'preconditions'
01.11.09. jazeera. She said Israel has made "unprecedented" concessions on settlement building. [NB: How much was Hillary paid by AIPAC to make this statement?]


Obama's Iraq: No Change

Obama: Our “Seamless” President Elect (updated)

Who Is The President Elect - Obama or AIPAC? (updated)

Will Israel Play Proxy in Iran? (23.11.09, updated)
Palestine: Wake up America (Updated 01/06/08)



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Sarah Meyer is an independent researcher living in the UK. She is a member of the BRussels Tribunal Advisory Committee.


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