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Al Jazeera: US ‘Increasingly Irrelevant’ to the Arabs

Young Palestinian activists referred to Obama's speeches as 'insipid' and 'sycophant.'
President Barack Obama waves to the audience at the Jerusalem Convention Center in Jerusalem, March 21, 2013.

President Barack Obama waves to the audience at the Jerusalem Convention Center in Jerusalem, March 21, 2013.
Photo Credit: Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

“U.S. policy in the Arab world has long been widely unpopular, to put it mildly,” on Sunday Sarah Mousa wrote in Al Jazeera. Although President Obama’s 2009 speech in Cairo were met with great enthusiasm, she continues, “the Arab uprisings transformed many peoples’ views on the role played by the US in their region. While Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did offer verbal support to most of the protest movements, hypocritical selective support, initial American hesitation in backing the uprisings and past policies bolstering dictatorships were not forgotten.”

Mousa, a graduate from Princeton University and a 2010-2011 Fulbright Scholar in Egypt, states: “More crucially, it became clear to many that the outcome of the uprisings was up to them, and not to U.S. policymakers. In the case of Egypt, U.S. statements only called for Hosni Mubarak to step down when it became entirely clear that it was inevitable. While the gesture may have been appreciated by parts of the Egyptian opposition, it was not viewed as a significant turning point.”

Obama’s visit to Israel and the PA were received coolly by Palestinians, writes Mousa. “Young activists referred to the speeches as ‘insipid’ and ‘sycophant.’ The part of Obama’s Jerusalem speech that many Palestinians paid most attention to was an interruption by Palestinian audience member Rabeea Eid: ‘Did you really come here for peace or to give Israel more weapons to kill and destroy the Palestinian people? Did you happen to see the apartheid wall on your way here? There are Palestinians sitting in this hall. This state should be for all of its citizens, not a Jewish state only.'”

We’ve all seen the clip where, as the noisy Eid was being dragged out of the hall, Obama referred to the interruption as a good display of “lively debate.”

Recordings of the incident quickly spread throughout the Palestinian Internet. Obama’s failure to effectively address Palestinian rage on the student’s points, just as Eid was being dragged away and handcuffed, made him a mockery in Palestinian eyes, argues Mousa.

“The U.S. is increasingly irrelevant to movements throughout the region,” she concludes. “In his March visit to Cairo, Secretary of State John Kerry extended invitations to meet with members of opposition parties. Many turned him down. Distour party member Gamila Ismail explained her rejection of the invitation in a scathing letter to Kerry, in which she criticized self-interested U.S. policy that has supported repressive regimes in Egypt for decades.”

Ismail also wrote Kerry: “This is a revolution that will teach the world, as Obama, your president, has said. And we want to teach the world and be a model for it. And we will become different than what you see. Your embassy reports see that we do not deserve anything except this [limited] amount of democracy. And that this [limited] amount is ‘enough’.”

Interestingly, as America is achieving a steady decline in reliance on Middle Eastern oil, American foreign policy no longer views the region with the urgency it did only a decade ago – and the Arab intelligence gets it.

How I wish Benjamin Netanyahu would get it, too.

About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.


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9 Responses to “Al Jazeera: US ‘Increasingly Irrelevant’ to the Arabs”

  1. Arie's Pragmatic Politics says:

    As the Arab states run out of oil, as shale oil starts production in the US and Canada, and as Israel becomes one of the major global suppliers o natural gas, the arabs will be increasingly irrelevant to the US (other Jew haters and kapos that run the Democratic Party) and will be left to fend alone with their genocidal religion and plenty of sand to have with their meals.

  2. Matt McLaughlin says:

    Obama says a Palestinian nation is good for business but refused to have the USA be a nation that sponsored the Palestinian Authority's observer status be promoted at the United Nations from "entity" to "non-member state" November 2012.

  3. Arie's Pragmatic Politics says:

    obama is a fraud. His goal is the end of Israel. "recognizing" a Pali state now would stand in the way of his greater cause: a Palestinian state with the Jews either exterminated or evicted from their homeland

  4. “U.S. policy in the Arab world has long been widely unpopular, to put it mildly,” on Sunday Sarah Mousa wrote in Al Jazeera. Although President Obama’s 2009 speech in Cairo were met with great enthusiasm, she continues, “the Arab uprisings transformed many peoples’ views on the role played by the US in their region. While Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did offer verbal support to most of the protest movements, hypocritical selective support, initial American hesitation in backing the uprisings and past policies bolstering dictatorships were not forgotten.”.

    Mousa, a graduate from Princeton University and a 2010-2011 Fulbright Scholar in Egypt, states: “More crucially, it became clear to many that the outcome of the uprisings was up to them, and not to U.S. policymakers. In the case of Egypt, U.S. statements only called for Hosni Mubarak to step down when it became entirely clear that it was inevitable. While the gesture may have been appreciated by parts of the Egyptian opposition, it was not viewed as a significant turning point.”.

    Obama’s visit to Israel and the PA were received coolly by Palestinians, writes Mousa. “Young activists referred to the speeches as ‘insipid’ and ‘sycophant.’ The part of Obama’s Jerusalem speech that many Palestinians paid most attention to was an interruption by Palestinian audience member Rabeea Eid: ‘Did you really come here for peace or to give Israel more weapons to kill and destroy the Palestinian people? Did you happen to see the apartheid wall on your way here? There are Palestinians sitting in this hall. This state should be for all of its citizens, not a Jewish state only.’”.

    We’ve all seen the clip where, as the noisy Eid was being dragged out of the hall, Obama referred to the interruption as a good display of “lively debate.”.

    Recordings of the incident quickly spread throughout the Palestinian Internet. Obama’s failure to effectively address Palestinian rage on the student’s points, just as Eid was being dragged away and handcuffed, made him a mockery in Palestinian eyes, argues Mousa.

    “The U.S. is increasingly irrelevant to movements throughout the region,” she concludes. “In his March visit to Cairo, Secretary of State John Kerry extended invitations to meet with members of opposition parties. Many turned him down. Distour party member Gamila Ismail explained her rejection of the invitation in a scathing letter to Kerry, in which she criticized self-interested U.S. policy that has supported repressive regimes in Egypt for decades.”.

    Ismail also wrote Kerry: “This is a revolution that will teach the world, as Obama, your president, has said. And we want to teach the world and be a model for it. And we will become different than what you see. Your embassy reports see that we do not deserve anything except this [limited] amount of democracy. And that this [limited] amount is ‘enough’.”.

    Interestingly, as America is achieving a steady decline in reliance on Middle Eastern oil, American foreign policy no longer views the region with the urgency it did only a decade ago – and the Arab intelligence gets it.

  5. Arie's Pragmatic Politics says:

    al Jazeera, spokles media for al Qaeda, 21st century nazism, and openly exalted by the ubber left carpet baggers like Gore. Speaks for itself.

  6. Yechiel Baum says:

    Hence Al Jazerra bought former vice president Al Gorewho lost the election and his station for the purpose of buying U.S. politicians so how can they fabricate that U.S. is losing its influence in the Middle East if it was not for the U.S. dollar, they would be eating each other and drinking sand.

  7. Matt McLaughlin says:

    you knew all that going into Palestine. like moving near an airport then complaining about the noise. if Israel at the very least wants to be democratic and jewish it'll need to compromise. but youre right, i dont give it great chances.

  8. Matt McLaughlin says:

    nazism? look whoz talkin. Bood&soil eastern Med.

  9. Arie's Pragmatic Politics says:

    Matt McLaughlin Don't give what a "great chance?" Israel is doing quite well. Going into "Palestine?" Jews have been there for many millennium. And we will continue to be there.Israel IS democratic and IS Jewish. The two are far from exclusive. IN FACT, there are more freedoms for all religions in Israel then in any Euro state or the US. And given the current attacks on Christians and Jews in the US, as a matter of government policy, that is becoming more evident every day. Israel has gone beyond compromising – it has unolaterally surrendered land and rights in the hopes of peace. All the muslims know is force. And now, they can have it. Compromise is a two way street.

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