Thursday 24 July 2008

Obama 'compelled' to back Israel, says Guardian

In an earlier post I noted the contradiction in Jonathan Steele's view that, while Barack Obama's approach to Iraq and Iran was evidence of his independent judgement, the Democratic candidate's attitude to the Israel-Palestine issue apparently revealed him to be nothing more than a passive tool of the pro-Israel lobby.

Maybe Steele was responsible for today's Guardian leader which suggests that, during his visit to Israel this week, Obama was 'compelled to call the country a miracle, to visit the Israeli Holocaust Memorial Yad Vashem and to link the memory of the 6 million Jews who died in Europe to Israeli victims of Palestinian violence today'. Note the sinister, conspiracy-theory overtones of that word 'compelled'.

Or perhaps we should see the hand of Seamus Milne behind the piece, given its attempt to diminish the responsibility of Hamas for recent attacks on Israeli civilians. Referring to Obama's visit to Sderot, which has borne the brunt of such attacks, the leader writer mentions the recent ceasefire 'which is why Mr. Obama was able to hold a press conference in Sderot without rushing for the bomb shelter.' How nice of them to stop shelling kindergartens in time for the visit. The word 'ceasefire', with its suggestion of shared responsibility, obscures the reality that the Hamas attacks were unprovoked and came after Israel's withdrawal from Gaza.

Norm skewers the 'oozing cynicism' of the leader column here.

Update: Saturday
Confirmation that the leader probably was written by Jonathan Steele comes in the latter's column in today's Guardian which uses very similar language to criticise Obama's Israel visit.

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