What President Obama did not say

Barack Obama with AIPAC President Lee Rosenberg (Associated Press)

What was remarkable about President Obama’s Middle East speeches last week was what he didn’t say. While promising US government aid to the region, he made no call to oil-rich Arab states to play their part in integrating Palestinian refugees, as Israel has done with Jewish refugees. Sol Sanders writes in the Washington Times:

Mr. Obama’s new proposals were just about as vapid. And there was a glaring omission: His recommendations — debt relief, encouragement of private investment, expansion of trade — trumpeted no call for Arab petro-sheikhs to put their vast dollar holdings where their mouths are.

In Mr. Netanyahu’s somewhat condescending if accurate review before Congress of Mideast history since 1947, one base left untouched was the obvious parallel between the region’s Arab and Jewish refugees. Some 800,000 Arabs originally fled or were expelled from a small part of the British Mandate for Palestine when six Arab states tried to smash a U.N.-proposed but self-proclaimed Jewish state. Almost the same number of Jews, curiously enough, who had lived, many for centuries, in Muslim countries, simultaneously fled for their lives. The wealthier ones (particularly in French-colonial North Africa) immigrated to Europe. But the vast majority, with little more than the clothes on their backs, was absorbed by the nascent Israeli state funded by the Jewish diaspora Zionists and generous American taxpayers.

Nothing like that happened for those seeking refuge in the vast, oil-rich Arab world. Israel’s Arab neighbors mostly refused to accept the new arrivals, even many with tribal and family affiliations. Worse, the Arab regimes — with enthusiastic help from often incompetent, prejudiced United Nations do-gooders — chose to create “open political sores” — surrounding Israel with semi-permanent, fetid refugee camps. And despite occasional highly publicized “aid” checks, Arab regimes have not made any effort since to address the problem.

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  • Thanks for your answer, but I do not agree.We are now living in a democracy, huh?!and the Muharabat (Egyptian secret police) will not come barging at my door!

  • I think the author means that Israel proclaimed its own independence – which Ben Gurion did on 14 May. The UN proposed, but did not create a Jewish state.

  • I do not understand your sentence of "a Jewish self-proclamed state."
    Please enlarge on that.
    I will not listen to any word against Israel.
    sultana Latifa


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