Arab Americans voted overwhelmingly for Barack Obama in November. Now the Arab world community is afraid that Obama has forgotten his roots by appointing too many pro Israel members to his administration.
An editorial in CounterPunch by Rannie Amiri claims that “Obama’s Dual Loyalties Will Doom Obama”.
Amiri writes that history will record the 2008 U.S. presidential campaign as having “marginalized, ostracized and disparaged” American Arabs and Muslims, and that the election of Barack Obama isn’t likely to change the situation.
Amiri believes that Obama did little to quell rumors and innuendos about his background and now that he has been elected his decision to employ “Israel-firsters” is a sign of times to come.
First blaming the Sen. Hillary Clinton campaign for starting the rumors that Obama was “a closet Muslim,” and later blaming “Republican operatives” who used the rumors to bolster Sen. John McCain’s campaign, Amiri ultimately blames Obama for reinforcing Islamophobia.
His staff prohibited two women wearing the hijab, or Islamic head scarf,fromsitting behind him in full view of the cameras at a Detroit rally. He described the mischaracterization of him as a Muslim as a “smear.” He also forsook campaigning with Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), America’s first Muslim congressmen (and certainly not because he is African-American).
Amiri saves most of his venom for several of Obama’s choices since the election, especially Obama’s first decision to employ “Israeli Rahm Emanuel as chief of staff.”
The vulgar and boorish Rahm is son of Benjamin Emanuel, former arms smuggler to Irgun, a pre-Israel terrorist group which carried out numerous attacks on Palestinian civilians in addition to the 1946 bombing of Jerusalem’s King David Hotel. . .
Amiri catalogs Emanuel’s loyalties to Israel including conflicting reports of Emanuels’ dual American-Israeli citizenship, and claims that his track record on Israel is “well to the right of George Bush.”
Others chosen by Obama for his administration may also have dual loyalties according to Amiri. He names Dennis Ross, Eric Holder, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, and Joe Lieberman.
Claiming that Arabs and Muslims have finally come out from under the “Obama spell,” Amiri writes that Obama’s selection of Biden, “Rhambo,” and Hillary have confirmed their worst fears about the president-elect, and that Middle East policy “will remain decidedly unbalanced.”
Pakistan Daily refers to Rahm Emanuel as a “Rabid Zionist Crackpot Partisan, “ and warns Arab Americans that they are now facing the cold reality of American politics because Obama will continue America’s Israel-first mentality.
National Post calls Rahm Emanuel a “Polarizing Pit Bull”, who has been influenced by his father’s ideas into a “precise kind of Jewish nationalism.” Even his own father states that Rahm will be pro-Is real.
Benjamin Emanuel is said to have replied, when asked about his son's appointment, "Obviously he will influence the president to be pro-Israel. Why wouldn't he be? What is he, an Arab? He's not going to clean the floors of the White House."
According to the BBC news, Rahm Emanuel has apologized to the US-Arab community for remarks made by his father.
The UK’s TimesOnline calls the appointment of Rahm Emanuel “Obama’s West Bank Trap.”
TimesOnline suggests that Emanuel “doesn’t hold much truck” with the Palestinians because Emanuel believes that Israelis have as much right to be in the occupied territories as the Palestinians. Some believe that the Oslo peace process failed because the ownership of the territories was “assumed to be negotiable.”
The real danger of the hype surrounding Obama’s election and the promise of a fresh start is that this inconvenient truth will be buried again, and we have a reprise of Oslo.