Ever since his selection as Obama's Chief of Staff, dissident and anti-war web sites have been flushing out Emanuel's family background, personal history and political record, alarmed that he is among the most hawkish pro Israel activists in the US Congress, has Israeli citizenship and has served in the Israeli army. The Arab world, meantime, is now dismayed that hopes for a more compassionate or at least a more balanced new American administration under Barack Hussein Obama have been quite premature. Some observers and critics go as far as claiming that an Obama administration will prove to be more pro Israel than the Zionist-Neocon run Bush administration.
What has been equally alarming is the great likelihood that another zealot Zionist and pro Israel activist, Dennis Ross, will be Obama's advisor and front man in dealing with the Middle East and the Israeli-Palestinian issues.
No one could deny that Mr. Obama's appointees with regard to his foreign policy objectives in the Middle East have extreme pro Israel profiles and track record. At the same time, setting prejudice aside, neither Dennis Ross nor Rahm Emanuel could be classified as political ignoramuses bent on wreaking havoc for the sake of some blind passion for the Jewish state; they must know as much as the best of us, and perhaps more.
So, what is it that we critics know and Rahm Emanuel and Dennis Ross must also know?
- The power and influence of the Israel lobby over any American administration, whether Democrat or Republican, cannot be denied, over exaggerated, ignored or neutralized anytime soon.
- Sentiment for Israel is so deeply entrenched within the American consciousness that any open criticism of Israel or its policies is viewed with suspicions of bigotry and anti-Semitism.
- Being a Moslem or showing any sympathy toward the Islamic world, especially by any politician seeking a position or attempting to implement national policies is tantamount to political suicide.
- Israel can, if its leaders so choose, rationalize and ultimately legitimize any act of aggression, as it has numerous times, in the name of self-defense, all with impunity from international condemnations, as long as it can find sanctuary under the protection of the United States.
- Any Israeli aggression in the Middle East will automatically implicate and involve the United States; the Israeli leadership is counting on that, and the American administration is fully aware of all the ramifications thereto.
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