Thursday, January 19, 2012

Gaza youth hear about Israel lobby’s role from Abunimah via Skype

Yousef M. Aljamal

For the second week in a row, the Center for Political Development Studies holds a video link on the role of the Zionist lobby in US elections. Ali Abunimah, the founder of The Electronic Intifada, joined Gaza activists via Skype and emphasized the reasons for this "unshakable" relation between Israel and the US, which is known to Palestinians more than any other nation in the world.

"The reason of this would be briefly put up into two theories. Some people say Israel plays an important role in U.S imperialism, in allowing it to control the Middle East and its resources. Meanwhile, there are other people (theory) that say there are powerful organizations and networks that consider support for Israel very important and they influence the politics of the United States through elections and contributions to political campaigns to make candidates adopt to Israel's position," he emphasized.
Still, America is a country of institutions and it has its own political interests, so that no one can say Israel controls all walks of life there, or it gets its way to everything it wants.

"We have seen a historical battle in the United States over the role of Israel and the Israeli lobby and it's focus on Iran more than Palestine, where there is a lot of pressure from pro-Israel groups to take a very hard line towards Iran and even to launch a war against it.

Some of these battles are taking place behind the scenes. There is a growing feeling in the United States that Israel is turning into a burden and a problem for the United States. That’s why America is favoring a diplomatic solution to this issue. The is an emerging idea that Israel and US interests are not identical and conflict with each other," he added.

General David Petraeus was quoted, saying the activities of Israel are making the position of the US harder. There is a conflict about the value of Israel to the United States, and the Israel lobby is worried about this and they are fighting to maintain the idea that Israel and the United States have the same interests.

"Palestinians are few in number, though they take an important place in the primary elections, which asserts 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 millions of people in the US are jobless and the country is going through crisis. Some analysts shed light on the unusual rise of the Republican nominee Ron Paul, who believes in pulling US forces out of military bases all around the world.

"The very unique and public 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 has his own reasons to believe in this. The message is that many voters voted for him, though he says he wants to cut aid to Israel. They don't care enough about Israel and this does not mean they are pro-Palestine," he continued. "An indication that politics is changing in the U.S."
There has been an increasing political marriage between supporters of Israel and extreme Islamophobia in the U.S., particularly after September 11th. They did their best 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 TNT newspaper 'I think the attack was very good,' but he corrected himself later by saying 'It's good for Americans to understand the terrorism we face,'" Abunimah noted.

"Islamophobia was very beneficial to Israel in the short run, but in the long run, it will backfire on Israel. The reason is that there is a change in the character of support for Israel 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 the long run, things will be in our favor, especially among young people in Europe who are pushing towards universal and open politics. They are interested in equality and understanding. More and more young people are attracted to the kind of politics that oppose this kind of domination and racism. We see that a lot of pro-Israel groups in the US are worried about this. They teach young people about Israel and organize trips to Israel to show how wonderful Israel is. The next election will bring the most Islamophobic and anti-Palestinian people. But later, things will change to the favor of Palestinians," Abunimah added.

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