UAE ambassador confirms: Palestine is the core issue

During a stage interview with Yousel al Otaiba, the UAE ambassador to the United States, Jeffrey Goldberg made it clear that even when acting as a representative of The Atlantic and helping facilitate a forum in Aspen, Colorado, he still sees himself first and foremost as an Israeli.

When the ambassador pointed out that Iran’s nuclear program presents a greater risk to the UAE than it does to the US — the US being separated from Iran by two oceans — Goldberg requested clarification. Was he being addressed as an American or as a “representative of the Jewish people”? In Goldberg’s mind, to be Jewish means to have ones heart in Israel irrespective of where one might reside on the planet.

As Goldberg’s blog posts after the interview also made clear, when it comes to Iran, the topic that interests him above all else right now is pumping up support for a military strike against Iran. When the UAE ambassador pointed out that Palestine is the core issue in the region, Goldberg simply glossed over the fact.

This is the key section of the interview — the part Goldberg ignored, as did his friend Eli Lake at the Washington Times, when pumping out this week’s rendition of Israel’s Arabs-united-against-Iran narrative. Here the ambassador makes it clear that the only significant leverage Obama has on the issue of Iran is to push hard for the creation of a Palestinian state.

YOUSEF AL OTAIBA: I think President Obama has inherited two very difficult campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq. He has inherited the worst financial crisis since 1929. He is now dealing with what seems to be an unfixable oil spill, not just environmentally, but economically, from an energy standpoint. So President Obama has his hands full.

Do I think he recognize the threat from Iran? Yes, I do. Do I think he has very limited options and not necessarily a lot of ability to fix it? Yes. I think President Obama is just constrained with the lack of resources and tools at his disposal. And if he’s heard anything from the Arab leaders that he talks to, most of them, and I’m fairly sure that King Abdullah when he was here mentioned the same thing.

For him to really make progress on the Iran issue and to deal with extremism and to deal with terrorism in the region, to deal with radicalized home-grown terrorism in the U.S., you need to address the peace process. That is the one core issue everyone tends to blame, and that’s what the people hang all their problems on.

Well, the Palestinians are, you know, they are — they don’t have a country, they are abused, they are oppressed, and the U.S. always sides with Israel. So the sooner U.S. appears to be objective and impartial and create a Palestinian state, we take that argument away from everyone, and that is in everyone’s best interest.

JEFFREY GOLDBERG: Why would that stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapon?

OTAIBA: It won’t stop. It will get you all the Arab countries more aligned on containing Iran because now they use Palestine as an excuse, and the Palestine issue is a deep political problem. And I’m not saying it’s only the U.S.’ fault, I’m saying it is as much Israel and Palestine’s fault for not making any progress on it themselves. But lack of their kind of commitment, the U.S. needs to step in and say, you need to do this. And you need to do this for your sake, for our sake, and for the region’s sake. [Emphasis mine.]

So, contrary to the claims being made by Jeffrey Goldberg and others in the Israel lobby, the principal call coming from the Arab world is not for the US to strike Iran but rather that it apply its influence on Israel and hasten the creation of a Palestinian state.

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8 thoughts on “UAE ambassador confirms: Palestine is the core issue

  1. delia ruhe

    I’m increasingly getting the feeling that Goldberg has delusions of himself as an actor in this whole drama — spinning on the fantasy that he can somehow move history along with a few well-placed misinterpretations . . . . (And, for all I know, it isn’t a fantasy, given that it’s not Obama who’s sitting at the Middle East chessboard but rather, AIPAC and the rest of the American chequebook Zionists.)

    Larry Derfner has an interesting piece in the Jerusalem Post today that pretty much says it all:

  2. Norman

    Who’s pushing to strike Iran? Either Israel has the A-bomb, will use it as a last resort, or it doesn’t have the A-bomb, wants the U.S. to use it to bomb Iran. I hate to think that the World had to wait & see, which of the two bear fruit. If Israel succeeds in getting the U.S. to use its A-bombs, then Obama will become the biggest fool the World has ever seen. Also, the U.S. will be blamed for irradiating the Middle East. I suppose that’s one way of solving the problems there, but what a price to pay.

  3. omop

    Americans are self delusional if they continue to stick to the notion that American Jews consider themselves more loyal to the USA than to Israel.

    According to long held beliefs Jews are apart from any and all societies they have lived in and or live in at the present. several prominent Rabbis adhere to the concept that “the soul of a Jew is above and different than the soul of all non-jews”. The difference is one that the “non-jewish” soul is equal to the soul of “cattle”.

    A belief that almost equates the premise of Nazism’s belief in the characteristics of a priviliged and superior race. Its still a trusim that no one learns anything from the past.

  4. Christopher Hoare

    No free nation can allow another to dictate it’s policies. It’s the essence of being free.

    I hate to suggest anything that smells of McCarthyism (hell — Ann Coulter defends him) but perhaps the Democrats need a pit-bull to bring forward a requirement for a loyalty oath. Whoever cannot swear on the Torah that they are loyal to the US and to no other state has to keep their mouth and their pocketbook closed.

  5. scott

    Call me a Hasbarist, but I’ve been saying this for some time; it’s Zionists who keep saying Arabs are loosing sleep over Iran. They keep saying, no, not so much.

  6. DICKERSON3870

    RE: “…it’s Zionists who keep saying Arabs are loosing sleep over Iran. They keep saying, no, not so much.” – scott
    FROM M.J. ROSENBERG, 07/07/10: “…If we are to believe Goldberg, these unnamed Arabs tell neocons something entirely different than they tell anyone else. The diplomats I talk to say that an attack would result in such a strong negative reaction among Arabs that the moderate regimes would fall.”
    SOURCE –

  7. Paul Lookman

    Israel lives on US support worth $3 billion annually in military and economic aid, apart from the invaluable political support. Short of enemies to warrant such support, Israel creates enemies in order to survive. A dangerous game, for which a large part of US public opinion will fall, and a majority of Congress, judging by the attitude of senators and representatives in the case of the flotilla attack. 87 out of 100 senators and 307 out of 435 representatives signed a letter to the president declaring “We fully support Israel’s right to self-defense”, arguing that “the Israeli commandos … were brutally attacked with iron rods, knives, and broken glass. They were forced to respond to that attack and we regret the loss of life that resulted.” Just imagine how the letter also commended Obama for the “action you took to prevent the adoption of an unfair United Nations Security Council resolution, which would have represented a rush to judgment by the international community”.

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