25/07/2008

Obama: perspective of an ambiguous policy in the Middle East

These last few days the European press has been watching the Democrat candidate to the White House’s tour in the Middle East. His successive visits to Iraq, Afghanistan, Jordan, Israel and Palestine have caused much ink flow.

Actually, the positioning of Barak Obama on the international scene raises many questions. Sounded to be the candidate of the opening by some, he gives to others a conservative image. His speech a few weeks ago before the AIPAC – the largest pro-Israeli lobby in United States – has already showed a bias for Israel. The tour of the senator from Illinois in the Middle East has only confirm this trend.

But many questions remain unanswered. The sudden pro-Israeli fervor may indeed seem fake in the eyes of some, regarding the Barak Obama’s fight since the beginning of his campaign against an image that his detractors are trying to paste on him: that of a supporter of the Islamist cause, at least the status of Muslim peoples. With a Kenyan and Muslim father, Obama has unusual roots for an American politician. The efforts of candidate for the White House to erase this label will be taken with caution, some seeing it as a mere election manoeuvre.

Obama, candidate of change and Obama, unconditional support to Israel: the two proposals seem difficult to reconcile. Arab people and decision-makers expect from Washington an additional investment as a mediator in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Can Barak Obama assume this role now he had declared such a support to Israel? The senator from Illinois has already declared he could not succeed alone.

 

Nathalie Janne d’Othée