USC Students for Justice in Palestine

history, analysis, news, and event updates on the struggle for justice in palestine

Gazans and Israelis “Vote” Obama: Editorials from Free Gaza and The Jerusalem Post

Posted by uscsjp on November 3, 2008

Gaza Votes Obama

“As the U.S. Presidential campaign enters its final days, Palestinians in Gaza are closely following the polls. Televisions in many homes and shops are tuned to 24 hour news stations, focusing almost entirely on the campaign.

Most people in Gaza are rooting for Democratic candidate Barack Obama. Sameh, a local political organizer, explained his interest in the election by saying, ‘I totally support Obama. He’s the lesser of the two evils because, from the 1990s, his stances and actions are in support of the Palestinians. So I believe that his real positions are different from what he has to do and say for the Presidency. The suffering of black people is embodied in him, so we hope he will care about the suffering of other people.’

Hatem, a relief worker in Gaza City, agrees. ‘I support Obama simply because McCain is very bad, a bad person,’ said Hatem. ‘In the last years [the Republicans] have made all these terrible things, and they have almost destroyed the world. Obama comes from Africa, where people have witnessed a lot of difficult times, so a person coming from such a background is expected to do good things for America and the world. I know that generally U.s. policy is pro-Israel, but sometimes you can get people who try to do better. Obama will support Israel, but it may be that he will also support Palestinians a little as well’…”

–Ramzi Kysia, The Free Gaza Movement,  November 2, 2008

A conservative, pro-Israel view: Martin Indyk in the Jerusalem Post

“On Tuesday, American Jews have an opportunity to make history by helping to elect Barack Obama president of the United States. As a wholehearted supporter of Hillary Clinton in the primaries, this is not the history I had originally hoped to make, but it is now an opportunity I enthusiastically embrace.

My journey began with Hillary’s injunction to ‘support Barack Obama.’ First, I attended the AIPAC policy conference to listen to his speech on the morning after he clinched the nomination. All the usual pro-Israel rhetoric was there, but something else distinguished the speech and the candidate.

First, Obama clearly articulated his understanding that Iran’s nuclear program represented a grave threat, and that if he became president he would do everything in his power to prevent Teheran from acquiring nuclear weapons. He explained that he would first try tougher economic sanctions, combined with direct diplomatic engagement with Iran’s government. If that failed, it would at least make the other options, including the possible use of force, more acceptable at home and abroad…”

–Martin Indyk, The Jerusalem Post, November 1, 2008.

Also, from Democracy Now:

Israel to Cut Off Funding to Unsanctioned Settlements

“Israel has decided to cut off funding for unsanctioned settlement outposts in the West Bank after a series of clashes between Jewish settlers and Israeli security forces. The decision applies to more than 100 so-called ‘wildcat’ colonies that have been built on Palestinian land in the West Bank. Tension between the settlers and the Israeli government has deteriorated in recent weeks. One rabbi at at a settlement in the West Bank compared the Israeli security forces to ‘the Nazis in Poland’ during World War II. Meanwhile, the head of Israel’s domestic intelligence agency Shin Bet told the cabinet he is ‘extremely worried’ that right-wing extremists may attempt to carry out assassinations ahead of general elections in February. One Israeli cabinet minister said, ‘The settlers don’t think like us. Their thought is messianic, mystic, satanic and irrational.’ November 10th marks the thirteenth anniversary of the death of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who was assassinated at a Tel Aviv peace rally by a Jewish extremist.”

–Democracy Now, Nov 3, 2008.


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