Thursday, September 23, 2010

Obama: Black Skin White Mask

Ali Abunimah

When Obama spoke of "the young girl in Gaza who wants to have no ceiling on her dreams" I thought of her (graphic)

In his speech to the UN General Assembly on 23 September, U.S. President Barack Obama had a throwaway line typical of folksy American campaign speeches to justify why "this time" the so-called "peace process" would be different:
This time, we will think not of ourselves, but of the young girl in Gaza who wants to have no ceiling on her dreams, or the young boy in Sderot who wants to sleep without the nightmare of rocket fire.
When he uttered those words, this was the image that came to my mind. It is of the body of a young girl from the al-Daya family dug out of the rubble after her family's home was destroyed by an Israeli bombing on 6 January 2009.
This young girl and all the other hundreds of children slaughtered by Israel in cold blood with American-supplied weapons. Of course if Mr. Obama did care about the children of Gaza, he would have stood at the UN podium and demanded that the war crimes and crimes against humanity that the Goldstone Report alleges Israel committed be fully investigated and those responsible brought to justice. What he would not do is what he did -- stand there and utter cheap words, even having the chutzpah to tell people not to "tear Israel down" as if those who demand justice and accountability were simply schoolyard bullies picking on a blameless but unpopular student.
Obama, who often uses his own daughters to score political points and pander, once inserted them in a speech to the Israel lobby AIPAC. He recalled a January 2006 visit to the Israeli town of Kiryat Shmona near the border with Lebanon that resembled an ordinary American suburb where he could imagine the sounds of Israeli children at "joyful play just like my own daughters." It was in that particular speech that he justified Israel's 2006 bombing of Lebanon as "self-defense" just as he justifies every Israeli massacre of civilians as "self-defense."
He has never -- as far as we know -- imagined his daughters as Palestinian or Lebanese children (or Iraqi, or Afghan, or Somali, or Pakistani) victimized by the weapons his administration supplies to Israel and other rogue states or drops from the sky. Quite naturally, no parent, anywhere in the world, would want to imagine their daughter or son going through what children in Gaza suffer and have suffered as a result of Israel's illegal blockade -- itself a crime against humanity -- let alone its regular massacres of civilians whose only crime is that they don't belong to the privileged group under Israel's system of apartheid and racialism

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