THE US democratic presidential candidate Barak Obama, during his visit to Palestine, refused to go back on his earlier statement, made at a Zionist rally in the US during his democratic nomination campaign, that Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Israel.
He thereby continued to deny the Palestinian claim that occupied East Jerusalem – where hundreds of thousands of Palestinians live, and their forebears have lived for over a thousand years – will be the capital of Palestine, making for a two state solution to the Palestinian struggle.
He said, during a press conference on Wednesday in Sderot, a town in the south of Israel, that he would never support plans in which Jerusalem was split and East Jerusalem was given over to be the capital of a Palestinian state.
This position places Obama to the right of the Bush regime which backed away from plans to re-site the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and accepted that Jerusalem remained part of occupied Palestine, mainly out of fear that re-siting the US embassy would create a breach between the US, and Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
There is not a single western or other embassy in Jerusalem, since the UN accepts that it is occupied territory and not part of Israel.
Obama is on his own, but is hand in hand with the most extreme Zionists with this position.
In fact, it was the refusal of Ehud Barak, when he was Prime Minister of Israel, to concede that East Jerusalem would be the capital of the Palestinian state, along with his refusal to accept that Palestinian refugees had the right to return to their homes, that was responsible for the break up of the peace negotiations between Israel and Yasser Arafat at Camp David, in the last days of the Clinton regime in 2000.
The end result of this failure to agree was that Yasser Arafat was ostracised and held under siege in Ramallah where he stayed until his death.
Obama has revealed himself to be, beneath all of the ‘time for a change’ rhetoric, a right-winger who is determined to impose a settlement on the Palestinian people that was unacceptable when they were led by Yasser Arafat.
The fact remains, that if President Abbas seeks to accept such a settlement as Obama is envisioning, he will be overthrown by the masses and Hamas will rule both in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
The Obama position on the Palestinian capital has proven to be a great shock to the Palestinian masses and even to the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah.
There is no reason to think that the reality of an Obama-led presidency will prove to be any different as far as the interests of the US workers and poor are concerned.
This devoted servant of US imperialism will be just as vigilant concerning the interests of the US bosses at home as he is abroad.
The mask of concern, over the health, jobs, homes and pensions of the US masses will be dropped when Obama is elected, and faced with the reality of the ever-deepening capitalist crisis, including a collapse of the dollar, is told by the bosses to use the confidence that the masses are showing in him and his promises for change, to screw them for all that they are worth, by introducing a number of crisis measures ‘to save the US economy and the US dollar’.
The masses will then reject him even quicker than the time it took to rally to his banner of change, since he will seek to bring in change for the worst as far as the working class and the poor are concerned.
Socialists in the US have got to be prepared for this development, which will lead to the working class and its trade unions breaking with both the Democratic and Republican parties and establishing a Labour Party to fight for the interests of the working class under conditions where socialist measures will be necessary.
The only way to prepare for this development is to establish a section of the International Committee of the Fourth International in the US that will play the leading role in the organisation of the American revolution to free the US and the Americas from capitalism and to advance to socialism.
This is the way forward.