Sunday, January 22, 2012

Gaza Youth Hear About Israel Lobby’s Role

by Yousef M. Aljamal on January 19, 2012, 
Ali Abu Nima addresses CPDS via Skype Jan. 15, 2012
For the second week in arow, the Center for Political Development Studies holds a video link on therole of the Zionist lobby in US elections. Ali Abunimah, the founder of TheElectronic Intifada, joined Gaza activists via Skype and emphasized the reasonsfor this "unshakable" relation between Israel and the US, which isknown to Palestinians more than any other nation in the world.

"The reason of thiswould be briefly put up into two theories. Some people say Israel plays animportant role in U.S imperialism, in allowing it to control the Middle Eastand its resources. Meanwhile, there are other people (theory) that say thereare powerful organizations and networks that consider support for Israel veryimportant and they influence the politics of the United States throughelections and contributions to political campaigns to make candidates adopt toIsrael's position," he emphasized.

Still, America is a countryof institutions and it has its own political interests, so that no one can sayIsrael controls all walks of life there, or it gets its way to everything itwants.
"We have seen ahistorical battle in the United States over the role of Israel and the Israelilobby and it's focus on Iran more than Palestine, where there is a lot ofpressure from pro-Israel groups to take a very hard line towards Iran and evento launch a war against it. Some of these battles are taking place behind thescenes. There is a growing feeling in the United States that Israel is turninginto a burden and a problem for the United States. That’s why America isfavoring a diplomatic solution to this issue. The is an emerging idea thatIsrael and US interests are not identical and conflict with each other,"he added.

General David Petraeus wasquoted, saying the activities of Israel are making the position of the USharder. There is a conflict about the value of Israel to the United States, andthe Israel lobby is worried about this and they are fighting to maintain theidea that Israel and the United States have the same interests.

"Palestinians are fewin number, though they take an important place in the primary elections, whichasserts the role of the Zionist lobby. A candidate called Palestinians invented[people] while another went further by saying they never existed at all,"Abunimah clarified.

This happens while millionsof people in the US are jobless and the country is going through crisis. Someanalysts shed light on the unusual rise of the Republican nominee Ron Paul, whobelieves in pulling US forces out of military bases all around the world.

"The very unique andpublic thing about him is that he said he wants to cut aid to Israel to zero.What I think is that he is not going to be the Republican candidate and he hashis own reasons to believe in this. The message is that many voters voted forhim, though he says he wants to cut aid to Israel. They don't care enough aboutIsrael and this does not mean they are pro-Palestine," he continued."An indication that politics is changing in the U.S."

There has been anincreasing political marriage between supporters of Israel and extremeIslamophobia in the U.S., particularly after September 11th. They did theirbest to make use of the attacks to spread the Israeli propaganda.

"On September 12th,Benjamin Netanyahu, who was in opposition in Israel at the time, said to TNTnewspaper 'I think the attack was very good,' but he corrected himself later bysaying 'It's good for Americans to understand the terrorism we face,'"Abunimah noted.

"Islamophobia was verybeneficial to Israel in the short run, but in the long run, it will backfire onIsrael. The reason is that there is a change in the character of support forIsrael in the last 30 years. In the past, all parties, leftist or rightist,used to support Israel. Nowadays, things are changing," he disclosed.

"In the short run,this is not in our interest, for the world is turning to the right, but in thelong run, things will be in our favor, especially among young people in Europewho are pushing towards universal and open politics. They are interested inequality and understanding. More and more young people are attracted to thekind of politics that oppose this kind of domination and racism. We see that alot of pro-Israel groups in the US are worried about this. They teach youngpeople about Israel and organize trips to Israel to show how wonderful Israelis. The next election will bring the most Islamophobic and anti-Palestinianpeople. But later, things will change to the favor of Palestinians,"Abunimah added.

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