Yousef Al Kuwailet
Arab News (Opinion)
August 3, 2012 - 12:00am

American Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney seems more to be a cowboy than a person who can be considered to be in a responsible position as president of a great nation. He speaks in street slang, not the formal language of a diplomat. His remarks that questioned London's preparation for the Olympics sparked fury even among those with a cool temper (“A few things that were disconcerting” about London’s Olympics preparations). Both British officials and the media reacted strongly against Romney’s remarks. With such behavior, he is presenting a major advantage to President Barack Obama to win the next elections.

On a recent visit to occupied Palestine, he said, while referring to the economic differences between Palestinians and Israelis, “You notice such a dramatically stark difference in economic vitality… culture makes all the difference."

He also said Jerusalem has always been the capital of Israel. Romney’s comments attained racial dimension and even the White House sought clarifications from him, because the official American position on Jerusalem has been established, and is one that all former presidents have followed, and there have not been any changes to it. The strangest thing is that all presidential candidates, whether they are Republicans or Democrats, have gone to the extreme in seeking the loyalty of Israel. We do not see this attitude toward other allies such as Canada, Germany and Britain. Even though Israel (geographically) represents only a small area to the US, its economic significance is 1,000 times greater than that, hence the saying “Tel Aviv controls Washington.”

Are American leaders so weak that they are becoming subjected by Israel? A simple incident that happened months ago speaks about this. When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Washington he addressed the US Congress. Members of the Congress applauded his speech with a standing ovation which, compared to speeches made by President Obama and others, exceeded the level of applause by 10 times. The pulse of America begins with Congress, which is the decisive authority behind any of the country’s political, military or economic decisions. This shows that Israel, in word and deed, is an influential element that may not be encompassing all American decisions on international policies, but is crucial in the policies of our region.

Romney is a provocative politician. If he wins the election, he might change his words and positions, because one who speaks in accordance with his personal responsibility would not be accountable for his words or statements. At the same time, this would be an issue involving emotions and an act that stirs controversy in major world capitals like what happened in the case of London Olympics or that of Jerusalem. But such positions are like a test tube, especially in our Arab region, where the hostility to America is doubled due to its policy of backing Israel.

The painful thing is that more than 30 million Arabs, or one billion Muslims, do not have the capability to influence American domestic decisions. This is the case even though Muslim minorities are also there, and their number is almost equal to that of Jews, but the difference is that Jews know well the American nature and the psychology of the US citizen. Even in relations with influential forces, Jews have become a force feared by all. At the same time, we have been subjected to deliberate humiliation. All Arabs and Muslims are being chased in the name of terror.

The American society is, by and large, humane in nature. It is often influenced by complicated positions. But it disregards political matters. Their main concern is domestic issues such as jobs, taxes and living a comfortable life. At the same time, it is a society that can be easily influenced if we are to realize the situation, especially policies of their country that are not in balance with international issues. But we — Arabs and Muslims — are totally unaware of our capability to influence this society. As long as we remain divided and look at each other with doubt and suspicion, the situation will prevail. Generally, Israel is an enemy, possessing several weapons. Most important among them is that it has an alliance with a superpower. It is the most powerful strategic alliance, with a partnership in everything.


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