On June 5, when several hundred Israelis marched from Tel Aviv’s Yitzhak Rabin Square to the Israeli Defense Ministry to protest the anniversary of the Six Day War, I was able to meet some of the country’s most vociferous cheerleaders of Barack Obama. In complete contrast to the characters who appeared in my video report, “Feeling the Hate in Jerusalem,” those I interviewed at the demonstration (organized by the Israeli left-wing party Hadash) were invigorated by Obama’s speech in Cairo, and excited by the prospect of an American president who would pressure Israel into making meaningful concessions towards peace. As one demonstrator remarked to me, “[Obama] must save us from ourselves.”
Whether the two-state solution Obama proposes is possible is another story. Israelis view Obama’s policies towards Israel with extreme negativity, and consider him biased towards the Palestinians, though they simultaneously believe Benjamin “Yahoo” Netanyahu should bend to Washington’s will.
“You see how few we are,” said a demonstrator holding a sign reading “Obama, Yes-U-Can.” “This is about all the Israelis who really oppose the Occupation — it’s very small. Most of the Israelis don’t care about the Occupation and what goes on in the Occupied Territories and about the suffering of the Palestinians. I think it must come from the — the pressure must come from the outside… From here, there’s not enough.”
This video report is the sequel to my hotly debated, heavily trafficked “Feeling the Hate.” Many bloggers who focus on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict urged me to make a video that showed the “other side” of Israel, the culturally progressive element that believes in peace and international cooperation. Well, here they are. There are very, very few of them, they are marginalized, even persecuted, and in desperate need of American support. I will send this video to all the bloggers who linked to my last one and continue to obsess over it (Jeffrey Goldberg is apparently so short on new ideas he has posted a collection of incoherent comments from 50 Cent’s link to the video). Will they post it? Unlike Obama, I’m not hopeful.