Not all the voices coming out of the Palestinian Territories are downcast after Barack Obama’s first trip to the region as president. For Al Hayat Al Jadidah in the Palestinian Territories, columnist Yehiah Rabah writes that the visit, more than just a photo-op and repetition of well-known policies, put the U.S. president in a position to do what no other has done before: stand back from a biased favoritism of Israel that almost the entire world disagrees with, restore America’s image, and genuinely back the formation of a nation for the Palestinians.
For Al Hayat Al Jadidah, Yehiah Rabah starts off this way:
Despite the exaggerated talk of Israeli security we heard from President Obama during a press conference in Israel last Wednesday – with Benjamin Netanyahu by his side – there is still a chance for Obama to change the trajectory of affairs in the region. He may yet leave his mark as a distinguished policy maker deserving of the Nobel Peace Prize he was awarded at the beginning of his first term, and put his fingerprints on the Palestinian cause, the oldest, deepest and most worthy of justice. That will allow America to escape its growing isolation and doubts about it that infuse the population in this part of the world. Strategists are aware that ultimately, such doubts and isolation come at a very high price.
Barack Obama’s visit to Palestine and Israel is very important, and its essence should not be reduced to sugary talk about the necessities for Israeli security. That is a traditional American policy, it is nothing new, and is not the reason for the visit – especially after Netanyahu pre-empted Obama’s visit by forming a new governing coalition trending even more to the right, up to no good and clinging to additional settlements.
The purpose of this visit, at the beginning of Obama’s second term, should be to look for an opportunity, a serious opportunity worthy of one of the world’s greatest nations, and worthy of a man whose second ascension to the U.S. presidency is considered one of the most important events in modern American history!!
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