„One retreat after another“: Stephen M. Walt über Obamas Nahost-Politik

Stephen M. Walt, einer der beiden Autoren des (umstrittenen, huh! huh!) Standardwerks Die Israel-Lobby, fällt in seinem jüngsten Blogeintrag ein nicht eben schmeichelhaftes Urteil über Barack Obamas bisherige Außenpolitik. In Israel-Palästina ist der Zug in Richtung Licht am Ende des Tunnels offenbar völlig zum Stehen gekommen, was nach Walt mit dem Einfluss der Israel-Lobby in den USA zu tun hat. Als Beleg zitiert er den früheren US-Botschafter in Tel Aviv, Martin Indyk, dem man Vieles vorwerfen könnte, aber nicht wirklich Israelfeindschaft oder Schlimmeres:

Obama took office promising „two-states for two peoples“ in his first term, and he appeared to be serious about it until the Cairo speech in June 2009. It’s been one retreat after another ever since, and as former U.S. Ambassador Martin Indyk acknowledged in a recent Ha’aretz interview, it was mostly due to pressure from the Israel lobby. In his words (not mine):

„American Jews traditionally are pretty supportive of the Democratic Party. They voted overwhelmingly for Bara[c]k Obama, they tend to vote for Democratic candidates and they provide a good deal of funding for political campaigns. So the Jewish factor is always a critical factor for Democratic candidates. I don’t think it’s telling any secrets that there are a lot of people who have been upset with President Obama. And I think that the White House came to the understanding that they have a real problem there and they are going out of their way trying to show they are friendly to Israel and committed to peace.“

The focus now seems to be solely on getting some sort of direct talks started, but even if George Mitchell conjures up a rabbit from his hat, those talks aren’t going to lead anywhere.   Settlements will continue to expand, the U.S. won’t do anything to stop them, and more and more people will come to realize that „two states“ is becoming impossible. As I’ve said repeatedly, this situation is bad for the United States, bad for Israel and of course bad for the Palestinians. But it is also bad for Obama, because it means there’s yet another major issue where he will not be able to point to any progress.

Noch einmal: Bevor hier irgenjemandem das Springmesser in der Hosentasche aufschnappt – Mir persönlich behagt der Begriff Israel-Lobby auch nicht sonderlich, weil er förmlich einzuladen scheint zu diversen antijüdischen Verschwörungstheorien. Andererseits ist Lobbying ein wesentlicher Bestandteil im Bemühen jedes Staates, in der Welt seine Interessen vernünftig zu vertreten bzw. diese Interessen in einem positiven Licht stehen zu lassen. AIPAC, in den USA die wichtigste Organisation dieser Art bezeichnet sich selbst ebenfalls als Lobby, und zwar auf der hochwichtig daherkommenden, offiziellen Vereinswebsite. Ist bisher irgendeine Schlagzeile aufgetaucht darüber, dass dies zum Problem erhoben worden sei? Eben.

Zu Obama fällt mir auch nichts Neues mehr ein: Der Juni 2009 – that’s ancient history. Die Frage ist nur: Haben wir uns alle verarschen lassen? Will Obama nicht – oder kann er tatsächlich nicht anders?

2 Gedanken zu “„One retreat after another“: Stephen M. Walt über Obamas Nahost-Politik

  1. No need to be so defensive about your choice of words. The „Israel Lobby“ describes AIPAC’s function perfectly. To my ear, as an American Jew, it sounds less like a Verschwörungstheorie (conspiracy theory) than a precise mission statement. Organizations like AIPAC are definitely there to do the bidding of a foreign nation and they seem to be quite successful. In fact, it is no exaggeration to say that AIPAC’s positions are sometimes even to the right of the Likud — forget the majority of American Jews who support two states and want more to be done to make it a reality.

    The alternate term „Jewish Lobby“ would veer somewhat into Mel Gibson territory — if it were not for the fact that so many of these „Israel defense“ organizations regularly send speakers to synagogues and recruit from a primarily Jewish base — which makes things a bit murky and must certainly confuse the anti-Semites. But there is no question that AIPAC also derives a certain amount of support from a Christian Zionist base, CUFI for example.

    In short, the „Israel Lobby“ is an unholy alliance of Israeli interests, right-wing American Jews, Christian Zionists, neoconservatives, and more than a few people who simply hate Arabs.

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    1. Well, even though I am not saying that you are wrong, I still would like to grant myself the luxury of doubt, given the fact that talking about this lobby is tender prey for demagogues, bigots, and real antisemites. It’s not only a matter of fact, even truth if you will, but also one of language, i.e. the representation of fact, reality, and truth.
      Am I being oversensitive here? David?

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