5 thoughts on “Obama’s First Year: an Appraisal – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
Comments are published at the sole discretion of the owner.

  1. ‘That is why if Barack Obama really wants a peace agreement he will have to be much tougher than he has till now. Instead of the visionary Obama, we need Obama the doer. Results are far more critical than glowing words.’

    How very true….. and yet, so far, all we seem to be left with are those selfsame ‘glowing words’. Perhaps, it’s not only Barack Obama that needs to get much tougher. Maybe, we all do.

    ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me’.

    If so, then there may be a case to be made for including a few serious sticks and stones in all the rhetoric. A little more direct action and a little less talking about the subject might yield much better results.

    On this very day in 1605, here in the UK, I believe a certain Mr. Guido Fawkes had that very thing in mind.


  2. “Obama Israeli-Arab Scorecard: A for Vision, C for Execution”

    The complete lack of “execution,” renders the “vision” rather meaningless: perhaps Marketing, something US politicians are so good at, would be more appropriate; better yet – Propaganda is most meaningful and accurate.

    During the term of the Obama administration, there’s been no evidence – none, nothing at all – of any intentions to perform the “execution” portion of any specific ME policies. In fact, quite the opposite: we were directly told that US ‘aid’ to Israel is off the table, that the ‘special relationship’ will prevail, and that no change in US diplomatic positions is under consideration.

    On “tough love:” Again, neither Mr. Obama, nor Lady Mouthpiece, has provided any evidence whatsoever of even the mere consideration of applying US pressure on Israel.

    Therefore, it would be more meaningful to focus our attention on deeds – especially things NOT done – rather than on propaganda, even when it’s called “vision…” And to focus on the meaning and consequences of lack of action (“execution”), e.g., continued hunger, disease and destruction in Gaza; continuation of Israel’s colonial program – daily, throughout the West Bank – in a manner purposefully-designed to forever prevent a viable Palestinian state from becoming a reality; and Occupation as usual on the part of Israel: Occupation as a normal state of affairs of the ‘only democracy in the Middle East.’

    Focusing on reality – in whatever terms *you* choose to describe it – is far more meaningful than talking about “vision” and “execution:” because chances are the former doesn’t exist and the latter will never materialize.

    Moshe Neeman
    Israeli Occupation Archive

    1. Deeds require structure before they can be of much use.

      By themselves, they signify almost nothing, being more a reaction to events and circumstances rather than the pursuit of anything long-term. Words are even less effective until some solid application can be derived from them.

      Words and deeds. Both are, in substance and in form, a bit like floating jellyfish. Within the limits of their own environment, they can exist quite happily, causing, at worst, only minor irritation to those around them. But, once taken outside that special habitat, they collapse into useless membranes, merely adding to the detritus of a world already far too cluttered with previous examples of their kind.

      The trick has always been to harness the two together. In isolation, they achieve very little. Indeed, each can make things so much worse; hopes being dashed and expectations diminished.

      If words and deeds are to make an impact here, then they must operate within a framework that sustains them, focusing all the power they undoubtedly possess and not dissipating it in fruitless wrangles over what are, very often, secondary issues.

      Structure, framework, a proper housing in which to convey the words and, should it become necessary, apply the deeds.


      Mr. Obama may wish to take note.

  3. I you recall, I repeatedly have stated here and in other places that all Presidents of the United States end up carrying out the same policy, more or less, regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict…..trying to nudge the sides to negotiate, but realizing that the gaps are unbridgeable, being reduced to managing the conflict. This is the case no matter whether they try to flatter Israel (Clinton) or try to distance themselves (Bush I and early Obama), it eventually reduces itself to the same thing. This is because the President, unlike what Bernard Avishai and some other commentators think, is not absolute dictator in the US due to domestic political constraints (and this is not just due to AIPAC-note that most strong supporters of Israel are non-Jews) and does not have unlimited power in the international arena.

    1. On a scale of 1 to 10 your comment corresponds to reality at about a 3 (or less). Yes, it is difficult for presidents to stray fr. a script established for them by the Israel lobby. But to say there is no diff. bet Israel policy for any U.S. president is rather ludicrous & reflects yr own prejudices & political preferences.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *