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To restore faith

Nov 21,2012 - Last updated at Nov 21,2012

I have always been a proud Jordanian but at times, due to growing up in perpetual conflict in the Middle East, I found it difficult to be a proud American.

However, four years ago that changed. When Barak Obama became president of the United States, a man who had been raised internationally and knew nations and cultures outside of his own, I had real hope for my other “side” and the country my mother was born in.

Obama’s election in 2008 signified a time of great change in America, a change from the gung-ho cowboy attitude most of us were disgusted with during the Bush era, those dark years before 2008, when blind support for Israel was a cornerstone of US foreign politics.

I had hope in Obama’s vision of hope. I naively expected Barak Hussein Obama to stand in the face of blatant injustice. I thought that, finally, someone would put a leash on the war-hungry beast that was the Israeli occupation of Palestine, including Gaza.

To my disappointment, that never happened, but for some reason, I did not loose hope. Instead, I tried to justify Obama’s unwillingness to stop this injustice.

He needed to be re-elected in 2012, I would say.

Whenever someone would criticise his policies in the Middle East, I would respond passionately, “wait till he is re-elected in 2012”.

His party expected another four years and that would be impossible to achieve without him needing to court the Jewish and Israeli lobby.

I was so sure that once he assumed office for another term, the real shift in American Middle East policy would occur. We even saw the signs in the cold relationship between Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu brewing this past year.

I can say now, with a heart heavy with disappointment, that I was so wrong. Whatever Netanyahu says and does, causes nothing but death and destruction. Gaza is being flattened and my president is doing nothing.

I know Obama has a strong sense of right and wrong and what is happening before the world’s very eyes can’t be described as anything but wrong.

I expect the US president to stop this injustice before all the hope he spoke of is washed with the blood of Palestinian innocence. I want him to restore my faith in him and make me proud of both my countries once again.

Jad Asfour,

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