Hands off the man, the flim flam man.
His mind is up his sleeve and his talk is make believe.
Oh lord, the man's a fraud, he's flim flam man.
At a town hall meeting in Tampa, Florida on 28 January, Bushama was asked by a South Florida University student, Laila Abdelaziz, why, in view of his claim (in his just delivered State of the Union address) that America stood for human rights, Israel and Egypt's human rights violations against the occupied Palestinian people were not only not condemned but rewarded with billions of American tax dollars.
Bushama's wriggling, squirming non-response* was tantamount to pissing on his audience while telling them it was raining:
"[T] he Middle East is obviously an issue that has plagued the region for centuries, " he began. Bush, famous for his manglings of the English language, could hardly have improved on this one. Presumably, what he meant to say was that the Middle East conflict (or Arab-Israeli conflict) has plagued the region for centuries, which would at least have made some sense. Bushama's statement, however, is patently false and peddles a fundamental misrepresentation of the history of the conflict, which had its origin in imperial Britain's loopiest ever 1917 promise to "view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people..." How many times does one have to say it? The Middle East conflict is not a clash of religions stretching back to time immemorial, but a contemporary colonial struggle between, on the one hand, a virulent European settler movement, Zionism, bent on gaining exclusive control over Palestine, and, on the other, Palestine's indigenous Arab inhabitants, who simply, correctly and understandably refuse to go quietly. If Bushama doesn't understand that, he has no right to hold the highest office in the land.
He then went on to re-affirm stock standard US dogma: "Israel is one of our strongest allies... It is a vibrant democracy. It shares links with us in all sorts of ways. It is critical for us and I will never waver from ensuring Israel's security and helping them secure themselves in what is a very hostile region. So I make no apologies for that." He is, of course, wrong on all counts. Israel is not a democracy just-like-us, it is a racist ethnocracy and apartheid state. Furthermore, not only is Israel not critical for the US, it's a positive hindrance to advancing American interests in the Middle East. Nor, as top dog in the Middle East, does it have a security problem. In fact, when top dog regularly turns mad dog, it's the rest of the Middle East that has the security problem. Finally, as for refusing to make an apology for coddling and feeding the brute, Bushama should be literally down on his knees begging for forgiveness.
So much for the flim, now for the flam: "What is also true is that the plight of the Palestinians is something that we have to pay attention to..." Oh, really? And why is that? "... because it is not good for our security and it is not good for Israel's security..." USraeli security being the only thing that matters here. And then, as though speaking of unemployed Americans, Bushama lamely concluded his sentence with "... if you've got millions of individuals who feel hopeless, who don't have an opportunity to get an education or get a job or what have you."
"Now the history of there is long and I don't have time to go through the grievances of both sides in the issue." The history of there - there! - is long. Yeah, as you've already said, it's centuries-old. And as for going through the grievances of both sides, all the evidence suggests that Bushama would be lucky to find time to read a single book on the subject, even one vetted by minders Rahm Emanuel & Co: "Barack Obama is a self-confessed sports junkie. Politico reported this week that the President's TV viewing habits led him regularly to basketball and gridiron, rarely the 24-hour news channels. 'Sports, sports and more sports', a senior adviser and friend, Valerie Jarret, says of his preference." (Stay with me now, America, Simon Mann, Sydney Morning Herald, 30/1/10)
"What I have said and what we did from the beginning when I came into office is to say we are seeking a two-state solution in which Israel and the Palestinians can live side by side in peace and security." And while Bushama and Hillary and George were expelling hot air, Israel has been expelling ever more Palestinians from their homes and lands.
However, despite the growing numbers of Palestinians now reduced to living in tents in Gaza and East Jerusalem, it is they who must take the first step says Bushama: "As a first step, the Palestinians have to unequivocally renounce violence and recognize Israel." That Palestinian violence is to Israeli violence as a gnat to an elephant; that Israeli violence is the primary violence in this struggle; and that to recognize Israel as a borderless Jewish state sprawled suffocatingly over practically every square inch of what was once Palestine, is, of course, neither here nor there. As a first step, the evicted, tented Palestinians must somehow extricate their necks from under the boots of their Israeli overlords and kiss them.
And the Israeli lords of the land?: "And Israel has to acknowledge legitimate gievances and interests of the Palestinians." Sure. No problem. A few checkpoints removed here, some settler scum in mock combat with the army there. A freeze on the expansion of settler scum playpens - strictly temporary mind you, and not inclusive of natural expansion. Why not? We can do charades with the best of them.
Further flim: "We know what a solution could look like in the region, but here's the problem that we're confronting right now, is that both in Israel and within the Palestinian Territories, the politics are difficult; they're divided. The Israel government came in based on the support of a lot of folks who don't want to make a lot of concessions. I think Prime Minister Netanyahu is actually making some effort to try to move a little bit further than his coalition wants him to go." Followed by further flam: "On the other hand, President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, who I think genuinely wants peace, has to deal with Hamas, an organization that has not recognized Israel and has not disavowed violence." Poor old Bibi, he's beholden to folks who don't want to make a lot of (any?) concessions, so unlike every other politician on the planet, he's got to stick to his pre-election script, right? And poor old Abbas, he's got Hamas to deal with, and they're not too fussed about climbing aboard his collaborationist band waggon.
"And so we are working to try to strengthen the ability of both parties to sit down across the table and to begin serious negotiations." By...?
Well, Leila Abdulaziz, that's enough flimming and flamming on that subject for now, but before I move on, here's what I think of you and your bloody question: "And I think that it's important when talking about this issue to make sure we don't just knee-jerk, use language that is inflammatory or in some fashion discourages the possibility of negotiation. We've got to recognize that both the Palestinian people and Israelis have legitimate aspirations and they can be best served if the United States is helping them understand each other, as opposed to demonizing each other."
[* whitehouse.gov Feel free to read my 3/12/08 post A Very Progressive American Politician.]