Obama or not it is business as usual in Israel.
After a presidential campaign that lasted 2 years, costs billion of dollars, interested very few people and that the corporate media turned into a tight race (in terms of the popular vote), finally, we have a winner: Barack Hussein Obama II!
Obama should be proud. He defeated one of the worst ever candidate (republicans and democrats combined) to postulate for the job of “Puppet master of the world” in a campaign that turned out to be one of the most degrading for the whole political class. An incredibly divise campaign, full of slogans, one liners, bigotry, plain racism and sometimes total lunacy. A campaign empty of any content and actual programme for the future. The only thing Obama did well, during this campaign, is not to use his favorite slogan again: “Yes we can!”. A very sensible decision as, after 4 years (2008-2012) of actual and factual “No I won’t!(change a thing)”, most US citizens would have somehow felt a bit insulted having to listen to this throughout the whole campaign one more time. No, Barack, people are not that stupid.
In Israel (sometimes called the “51st State”) meanwhile, business continues as usual.
For all the talk about how much Netanyahu wanted Romney to win, the fact is that the re-election of Obama does not and will not change the slightest on the ground. Netanyahu, called Obama (“his sworn enemy” if you watch too much TV), congratulated him and lauded his re-election. Because that is what you have been taught to do, as a professional politician. Be a phoney at all times. Smile, shake hands, have a laugh with, go on holidays even, with people you don’t care for the slightest, people you don’t agree on anything with, people you actually despise. Or maybe I’m wrong. All professional politicians come from the same mould. They are all made with the same ingredients, using the same recipe. They are therefore all alike. The secret deal they all make with each other is to sometimes, at least publicly, act like they do not agree on things. It is important to entertain the illusion, for the masses, that they have a choice and that politicians are different. There are good ones, bad ones, average ones. It’s like cars. We have a choice. But really, at the end of the day, we don’t. Politicians are like programmed robots craving for the same fuel. Obama and Netanyahu are not different.
So what did Netanyahu do before, after and during Obama’s re-election?
First, he merged his party, Likud, with Yisrael Beiteinu, the party of the actual Foreign Minister, Avidgor Lieberman ahead of the next Israeli general election in January 2013. While it would be wrong for anyone to focus on Lieberman, because he is only saying publicly what most Israeli politicians are keeping for more private conversations, it is still important to understand what this coalition means for the Palestinians. Lieberman has called for the sacking of Abbas and dissolving the Palestinian Authority (Israel, as Abbas’s employer and the PA’s creator, could do this without notice, after all, we are going through a recession right now), which is bad enough when you consider than Obama and the rest of the Western World do believe that Mahmoud Abbas is the right man to lead Palestine towards a new round of “peace negotiations” with Israel. Lieberman has also called for some Palestinian Political prisoners to be drawn in the dead sea, has called for a population transfer of Israeli Arab citizens (aka 48 Palestinians) for bombing all the PA institutions in Ramallah (which already happened prior to him, while Ariel Sharon was in power) and for Hamas to be fought the way the USA fought Japan during the second world war (remember Hiroshima? Nagasaki?) . The list is endless. If the Lieberman/Netanyahu coalition is victorious in January, the Palestinians’s situation will turn from really bad to incredibly worse.
But maybe the radical European Union will decide that such a racist, ultra nationalist, islamophobic government has to be dealt with is not welcomed. Who knows, they did this in 2000 when Jorg Haider “Freedom Party” was about to join the Austrian government, and as the EU has never been about double standard, we have hope.
The next thing Netanyahu and his government did, actually on US election day, is to announce the construction of 1,285 new housing units, in occupied East Jerusalem and across the green line in the illegal mega colony of Ariel. Ironically, Israel also announced that it might expand settlement activity as a sanction if the PA seeks a UN upgrade at the General Assembly. Israel does have such a great sense of humour.
But if “settlements are a threat to peace” as Obama has often said, what type of a response the newly re-elected president of the world is going to give his Israeli nemesis?
Is he going to stop sending $3 billion dollars yearly cheques to Israel? Is he going to call for sanctions against the rogue state? Or maybe, something he is really good at, a good old regime change? For freedom, peace and democracy.
No he won’t. Because Obama or not. Business in Israel’s continues as usual.