Will Obama stop off in Gaza?

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2009-06-05

Obama is to be congratulated, of course, on the change of tone he brought to the world stage. Great. And he is getting deservedly excellent high marks for that from almost all quarters of the world. Well and good.

But on the issue that I believe is at the core of probably ALL of the insurgency and "terror" -- and nationalism -- in the Muslim world, the Israeli/Palestinian issue, Obama has established nothing more than the request to Israel to stop the growth of the settlements, as if that were the whole problem, (important, of course, but not the primary problem.)

The more crucial problem is the building and massive encroachment of the settlements themselves into the Palestinian West Bank area -- (in 2003 Israel had signed the agreement with the 4 Quartet countries to stop all further expansion even at that time -- which they never adhered to.) To say nothing about the humiliations of hundreds of checkpoints, and road barriers, and settler harassment of the Palestinians, with impunity, and open military brutality, and enclosing and stealing of water sources and destruction of Palestinian agricultural lands, and massive bombing of civilians and infrastructure in Gaza, and extra-judicial killings, and the on-going ethnic cleansing, etc., etc., all of which Israel denied and still denies exists, but that the whole world knows about -- (except many Americans of Jewish decent.)

And now Obama is visiting Buchenwald (truly of horrendous memory, of course) but while there, the photo-ops symbolically emphasizing his "credibility" and greater attachment to Israel's "interests" -- And will he stop off or go to Gaza too? I doubt it. Not as important? (I hope I'm wrong.)

So while Obama chastises Netanyahu about growth of the settlements, Israel's usual practice of stalling and equivocating -- while even suddenly possibly agreeing to hold new negotiations with one of the (conservative) parties of the Palestinians -- can go on, as usual.

We've seen it all before -- albeit, with a different tone.