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Monday, January 7, 2008

Obama and Peace in the Middle East. Or Palestinians are the Niggers of the Middle East.

posted by on January 7 at 13:32 PM

I’m trying to warm up to Obama. (Just don’t like him. Like Hillary. Like her wonkery. Like her fisticuffs.)

But I do see the significance of the movement away from Clinton’s Baby-Boomer politics that he represents, and that’s pretty cool.

So, I’m trying to get excited about Obama. And there is one thing that inspires me. Ever since a viable black candidate hit the stage, I’ve been thinking: This is a guy that can broker a deal between Israel and the Palestinians.

It’s kind of “Nixon-in-China” in reverse. “Nixon-in-China,” of course, refers to the fact that you needed a Republican to make peace with China because if a Democrat did it, Americans wouldn’t have gone along with it. Democrats are already seen as Commie symps, so, you know, a Jimmy Carter deal with China would have been problematic for Americans who view Democrats as wimpy on foreign policy.

However, it’s not the Americans that need to be assured. It’s the Palestinians. And the Palestinians are going to feel much better about a black president than a white one. I don’t have any proof of this, but there’s been a long history of African-American support for the Palestinian cause and “Third World” liberation movements, and Palestinians know that.


Honestly, whenever I see Condi Rice (or before that, Colin Powell) meeting with the Palestinians, I get the the sense that they’ve got some cred; that the Palestinians have an identity politics connect with African Americans.

Of course, the buck stopped with Bush, and so, Rice and Powell can’t/couldn’t deliver.

With Obama as President of the United States, there will be a giant shift in how Americans are viewed by the Palestinians. This is a good thing.

RSS icon Comments


You haven't been punched in the face enough.

Posted by Mr. Poe | January 7, 2008 1:30 PM

What Poe said.

Posted by Providence | January 7, 2008 1:35 PM

I actually agree with Mr. Poe. Before now, I didn't even realize this was possible.

Posted by wow | January 7, 2008 1:35 PM

I am not sure what to think of this argument. On the one hand, I think it's possibly the most idiotic position I've ever heard. On the other hand...oh, who am I kidding? I just think it's idiotic.

Posted by ahava | January 7, 2008 1:40 PM

I'm with Poe.

Posted by irritated | January 7, 2008 1:42 PM

Josh, you took a position that I actually agree with (Obama will be harder for Arab leaders to typecast as a tool of Israel) and tried as hard as possible to make it look ridiculous. Well done!

Posted by thehim | January 7, 2008 1:44 PM

So won't the Israelis mistrust a black President for exactly the same reasons?

Posted by elenchos | January 7, 2008 1:45 PM

jeesus, you've really cranked it up a notch from "John Lennon was nothing..." , didnt think that was possible, congratulations

Posted by kwab | January 7, 2008 1:46 PM

Your ever-expanding douchebaggery is the only thing impressive about you, Feet.

Posted by Matthew | January 7, 2008 1:55 PM

Charles, is that you? OK, funny joke. Now give us Josh back.

Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty | January 7, 2008 2:02 PM

This whole post completely misses the point that the rest of the world doesn't give a damn about the race of the person who represents the US; it's our psycho, right-wing foreign policies that they despise.

Posted by Original Andrew | January 7, 2008 2:03 PM

You can't use that word! Yes, the N word. It's not cool, hip, or edgy. Fucking racist shit!

Posted by s | January 7, 2008 2:04 PM

So Obama would be "China-in-Nixon." Congrats on posting the stupidest thing I have read all year. Did Clinton put you up to writing this? Can't think of a Swiftier maneuver to upend Obama's momentum than to hold him up as the savior of Palestine. Dope.

Posted by No dope | January 7, 2008 2:06 PM

Josh you got some good post and writings and all, but with that headline comeon now.
Thanks exsposing the slog into the Google files and links that the Neo Nazis, skin Heads and KKK will no doubt research and we find our comments boards turned into a full scale race riot. Wonder what time the Grand Dragon posts a comment saying "I think those Palestinians are Sand N@#$%!s! too Josh. Your my kind of guy. By the way where is the Stranger headquarters?"

Posted by I now see the light | January 7, 2008 2:17 PM

Agreed with 12. Seriously, WTF?
I bet you could come up with something a tad less rascist? I hope this isn't comment trolling either.

Posted by Original Monique | January 7, 2008 2:22 PM

OMFG, I actually agree with Mr Poe too.

That said, the whole Palestinian-Israel thing is going to disappear off the cultural consciousness map this century.

We're just over the whole Middle East thing, and once our troops are home, nobody's gonna care one whit about either "side".

Posted by Will in Seattle | January 7, 2008 2:38 PM

This only makes sense if Obama has special mystic powers that will allow Palestinians and Israelis to own the same pile of dirt without noticing each other. Until he can pull that off, I don't think his personal shading is going to do much.

Posted by Fritz | January 7, 2008 2:50 PM

I don't agree with Mr. Poe.

Posted by Mr. Poe | January 7, 2008 3:21 PM

Josh, you haven't explained why a black president would make millions of people stop hating Jews. And @17, too.

Posted by torrentprime | January 7, 2008 3:30 PM

Wow, Josh. You need to spend a little bit more time in Israel before you start spouting off bullshit like this. The situation is so bad right now that it'll take a generation of incremental initiatives before any real talks can take place, and that's just between Fatah and Hamas. Israelis feel like they've offered so much and gotten so little in return that even my peacenik friends have stopped voting Meretz. Palestinians have had so much of their dignity stripped away that there can't be must interest in making concessions.

I guarantee there'll be another war within the next three or four years, and it's just going to make matters worse, and I have a feeling that the person who will finally negotiate an end to the conflict is in kindergarten right now.

Will Obama help? Yeah, I think so. I think that he'll be able to do something useful, probably along the lines of unstrangling the Palestinian economy to a decent degree. But expect missiles to keep flying for a generation.

Posted by Gitai | January 7, 2008 3:48 PM

Dude. No N word. Ever. Not cool. Ever.

Posted by MichaelPgh | January 7, 2008 4:03 PM

@21 has it down. Listen. Learn. Realize it's not self-referential if you're not in the group.

Posted by Will in Seattle | January 7, 2008 5:02 PM

No homages to Yoko Ono! Nobody remembers her quote, or what she was trying to say, or the times it was said in. Context is ev... er, was everything. Now, it's not. So, no N-word it is.

As for Nixon and China, I didn't think it was the public viewing the Dems as wimpy, so much as Dems were not allowed to normalize relations with China (or de-escalate in Vietnam), because if they did, who would make them pay, pay, pay for it on the U.S. domestic political scene? Why, RMN & friends.

I usually can cite several other examples where the biggest butthole on a subject can hold veto power for years or decades, then pat himself on the back for his diplomacy the day he decides to allow progress on a subject that could have been moved on years earlier, but I'm tired right now.

But just wait and see if we're still occupying four or five super-bases in Iraq at the end Hillary's first term.

Then, in 2012, some Republican will take office and pull us out and there will be self-congratulatory back-pats all around re. "statesmanship."

Posted by CP | January 7, 2008 6:18 PM

Forever linking your name with this headline; brill move. Have fun at the Yuma Bugle.

Posted by Stavros Nachos | January 7, 2008 6:51 PM

Wow. You just lost any and all credibility in my mind. I could care less what case you were trying to make below that title. Really fuckin' lame.

Posted by rb | January 7, 2008 7:13 PM

Awesome! Awesome! Awesome! Josh, you are totally smart. I agree with you. I get it. I even (almost) get your decision to use the N-word.

I also think that your use of the N-word might be in response to the Stranger's smart move to delete racist comments. Perhaps Josh's use will show people the difference between racy commentary and racist hate speech.

Posted by Papayas | January 7, 2008 7:18 PM

did issur die?

Posted by ellarosa | January 7, 2008 7:28 PM

BTW -- has anyone explained why it would be better for Palestinians to feel much better about us than for Israelis to feel much better about us? Palestinians presumably feel better about the French than they do about Americans, but that has not seemed to help the French any.

Posted by Fritz | January 7, 2008 10:10 PM

Josh, I've thought before that a lot of people give you a bunch of shit you didn't deserve in the comments on things you post to the slog, but this time you deserve it all.


I agree with both Mr. Poe and Will in Seattle. I don't know if such a thing is forgiveable.

Posted by Donolectic | January 7, 2008 11:41 PM

Yes, no N word. Especially when the first sentence has the name of a black name and the only picture in your post is that of a black woman. Josh, you can do better than that. Shame on you for ignoring or being totally unaware of how much that word hurts. Get your head out of you ass.

Posted by Moonflower | January 7, 2008 11:53 PM

Wow. Josh Feit and the Stranger flinging around random N-bombs? This actually changes my view of the Stranger staff and leadership (yes all of it) considerably.

Explains a couple other Stranger stances though, now that I think about it... Wow.

Posted by stunned | January 7, 2008 11:58 PM

I'm not very happy the Stranger decided to call Palestinians the N word but I remember a conversation I had with a Palestinian at work once about the situation there. Basically he described the hierarchy in Israel as this:
1. Israeli Jews
2. Non Israeli Jews (Ethiopians) and non muslim Israelis (Christians for example) and foreigners
3. Non Palestinian muslims
4. Animals
5. Palestinians.

Basically he said this, if you kick an animal, they'll stop you. If you kick a Palestinian, they'll join in. I'm black. So basically, it's like getting beat in public in some white supremacist's town. Beat a dog in public there, they'll stop you. Beat a black or Latino, they'll join in to help out.

I remember this one time that I was hanging out with this Jewish boy back in 2000. He opened up a web browser and there was the news about the Palestinian getting bombed by Israel. I said something like "I feel sorry for them getting bombed like that". After I left, I got labeled antisemitic just for saying I had some sympathy for the Palestinians.

Since then, I hold my tongue in front of Jews whenever someone brings up the mid-east conflicts. At the moment, people aren't very happy with Israel bombing the hell out of Lebanon over the kidnapping of one guy. Israeli could've used diplomacy for a few months first before bombing Lebanon. I mean hell they fucking took 15 years to rebuild their infrastructure and Israel took one week to destroy it. that's fucked up.

Posted by apres_moi | January 8, 2008 12:29 AM

If I remember correctly, this is in reference to Yoko Ono's song, "Woman is the Nigger of the World". Which I think, and I don't know, if it means anything today, especially in regard to Palestinians.

Posted by Dude | January 8, 2008 5:55 AM

I think my comment got deleted, because I used the "N" word in quotes. I remember the Yoko Ono song.

Posted by fuck | January 8, 2008 6:02 AM

I think Josh was Issur and Ecce.

Posted by fuckdude | January 8, 2008 6:06 AM

Dude. Not cool. Why you gotta drop the N-bomb? Even to make a point, that's still not okay.

Posted by Greg | January 8, 2008 8:05 AM

josh, is it possible to yank this post and issue an abject apology in its place? seems in order...

Posted by ellarosa | January 8, 2008 9:38 AM

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