Himalaya Watch

People, issues. Debates, perspectives. Details, nuances. A crisp view from the top.

Visit the new professional website of Jiwan Kshetry

Thursday, March 21, 2013

'Israel is not going anywhere, but what does the future hold?'; asks Obama

In his just concluded speech in Israel that was live telecast by BBC, Obama has made some interesting remarks.

The speech, though full of cliches about issues ranging from Israel's security concerns to Iran's nuclear program, was a stark reminder of oratory skills of Obama. With his characteristic gesture and choice of words, Obama was able to give an aura of a speech of lasting implications. What comes out of the real dealings with Netanyahu behind the curtains is, however, an altogether different matter.

The top cliche to be cheered enthusiastically by the audience was that 'all options are on table' with regards to dealing with a to-be-nuclear Iran. Another was the Israel's right to 'be free from rockets raining from Gaza'.

Obama meeting with Israeli President Shimon Peres, 2009 (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
Interestingly, the audience appeared nearly equally enthusiastic when Obama offered an olive branch to the beleaguered Palestinians. By no means Obama could term the Israel's behavior to the Palestinians 'apartheid' or sternly call for an end to the expansion of settlements in the Palestinian territory, but he sufficiently emphasized the importance of achieving peace for Israel; thanks to the fact that a talk of peace is always harmless and risk-free.

In a more nuanced statement, Obama followed the apparently clear 'Israel is going nowhere' statement with this: 'But what does the future hold?'

Well, despite the aura of invincibility of the US-Israel alliance in today's world, Israel is at crossroads, as Obama rightly pointed.

What does the future hold really? Obama's reassurance of the continued US support to 'Jewish people of Israel' sounds good and his statement that the 'world's most powerful country' was with Israel is true so far. But it is worthy remembering the predicaments of the executive head of US: just recall what Obama said to a roaring audience in Cairo few years back in his purportedly landmark speech. All that was good about Egypt and the region was then embodied by Mubarak but when the fall of Mubarak became imminent, US could be of no help.

While it looks utterly irrelevant to compare Netanyahu's Israel with Mubarak's Egypt at this point of time, the parallels in the long run are difficult to ignore.

Even many people in Israel sincerely believe that Israel  needs to pragmatically seek peace with neighbors by ending the reign of state terror against the Palestinians as opposed to the attempts to imprison the Palestinians and bully every other neighbor boasting the support of the Big Brother. The rulers of Israel, however, are yet to learn to grasp the difference between an unnatural arrangement sustained with force and a lasting one based on more natural order of things.

Despite all the rabble-rousing part of the speech, I think, Obama was trying to point to the Israeli leadership to this reality when he suggested the young people in the audience to pressurize their leaders to negotiate with the Palestinians.

With the developments in Israel after the latest elections (and formation of new government under Netanyahu again), things are going to remain as they are in nearly all issues that matter. Despite the enthusiastic cheering by the crowd to the Obama's speech, a fanciful rhetoric is the last thing that will ever change the attitude of the Israeli regime towards the Palestinians and other neighbors.

If peace in the Middle East were Obama's real objective, rather than giving a pious speech in Israel highlighting the need to achieve peace he would have applied the US's real leverage to push the Israeli regime for meaningful negotiation with the Palestinians.

Now that he did not do that, this is the real and only importance of Obama's speech: those seeking to develop speaking skills could just watch BBC and CNN. It is no secret that I am one among people who envy Obama's oratory skills.

No comments:

विजय कुमारको खुशी पढेपछि

जीवन, खुशी अहंकार

जीवनमा अफ्ठ्यारा घुम्तीहरुमा हिंडिरहँदा मैले कुनै क्षणमा पलायनलाई एउटा विकल्पको रुपमा कल्पना गरेको थिएँ, त्यसलाई यथार्थमा बदल्ने आँट गरिनँ, त्यो बेग्लै कुरा हो त्यसबेला लाग्थ्योः मेरा समग्र दुखहरुको कारण मेरो वरपरको वातावरण हो, यसबाट साहसपूर्वक बाहिरिएँ भने नयाँ दुख आउलान् तर तत्क्षणका दुरुह दुखहरु गायब भएर जानेछन् कति गलत थिएँ !

Read more from Dashain Issue

Debating partition of India: culpability and consequences

Read the whole story here

Why I write...

I do not know why I often tend to view people rather grimly: they usually are not as benevolent, well-intentioned and capable or strong as they appear to be. This assumption is founded on my own self-assessment, though I don’t have a clue as to whether it is justifiable to generalize an observation made in one individual. This being the fact, my views of writers as ‘capable’ people are not that encouraging: I tend to see them as people who intend to create really great and world-changing writings but most of the times end up producing parochial pieces. Also, given the fact that the society where we grow and learn is full of dishonesty, treachery, deceit and above else, mundanity, it is rather unrealistic to expect an entirely reinvigorating work of writing from every other person who scribbles words in paper.

On life's challenges

Somebody has said: “I was born intelligent but education ruined me”. I was born a mere child, as everyone is, and grew up as an ordinary teenager eventually landing up in youth and then adulthood. The extent to which formal education helped me to learn about the world may be debatable but it definitely did not ruin me. There were, however, things that nearly ruined me. There came moments when I contemplated some difficult choices. And there came and passed periods when I underwent through an apparently everlasting spell of agony. There came bends in life from which it was very tempting to move straight ahead instead of following the zigzag course.

Read more