Paul Berman, ein „linker Falke“, der das Kunststück versucht hat, die Irak-Invasion zu verteidigen und Bush zu kritisieren, über Obama und Israel (in einem auch sonst lesenswerten Interview aus dem März über den Gaza-Krieg und die Folgen):
What does the election of Barack Obama mean for America? Do you think that American support for Israel will continue under his Administration?
I’m enthused by Obama. And, in my enthusiasm, I find myself thinking: this election has been the most inspiring event in American history. The American Revolution was inspiring, and the Civil War and Lincoln likewise, and Franklin Roosevelt and the victory over fascism, and all that – inspiring events because they signaled big forward steps for democracy. But there has always been something wrong with America, and the claim to be democratic has always contained an extra clause. And so, each of those big successes in the American past has been accompanied by a small, unobtrusive asterisk, which leads your eye to the bottom of the page, where you find the extra clause, which says: „Democracy is fine and good for most people, and yet, for various unfortunate reasons, one part of the American population is hereby excluded.“ The asterisk has meant that America is living a lie. Even at America’s grandest moments. But no longer! Not on this one point, anyway. The election just now is the first large event in American history that can be recorded without an asterisk.
The old-fashioned antisemitic right-wing is completely on the outs, for now. As for the anti-Zionist left in America: The Nation magazine, the Answer movement, the professors who want to boycott Israel (now, that’s an interesting phenomenon!) – these kinds of tendencies are pretty marginal, in America. The views of The Nation magazine on the Middle East are represented in the degree of about five percent in the Obama administration. We have every reason to believe that President Obama will be totally sympathetic to Israel’s principle policy, namely, the policy of continuing to exist. I don’t know everything that Obama will do – but he won’t adopt his measures on the basis of an unstated antipathy to Israel.
Now, if the new administration were capable of taking a wider view of the problem in the Middle East than the Israelis themselves are sometimes capable of taking – would that be bad? It’s good that Obama has expressed a compassion for the Israelis who have lately suffered – but also for the Palestinians.
There is every reason to weep for Gaza, even if we can understand why the government of Israel is not awash right now in those particular tears. And there is every reason for the United States to do whatever can be done to help the Palestinians to a better life, liberated from these pathological ideologies whose adherents keep condemning their fellow Palestinians to ever lower rungs of suffering and sorrow. I don’t know how much the United States can do to help the Palestinians throw off Hamas and a number of other groups, but, however much it is, I hope that Obama does it. To be pro-Israel is good – but the United States should show herself to be pro-Palestinian, too, in the simple belief that, in the long run, a pro-Israel position has to be pro-Palestinian, too, and vice versa.