A small group of placard-waving pro-Palestinian demonstrators gathered near U.S. President-elect Barack Obama’s vacation retreat in Hawaii to protest against the Israeli airstrikes in Gaza.
Obama has made no public comment on the strikes, which Israel launched on Saturday. Aides have repeatedly said he is monitoring the situation and continues to receive intelligence briefings but that there is only one U.S. president at a time.
But with outgoing Republican President George W. Bush already viewed as a lame-duck, many people, particularly in the Middle East, are looking past him to Obama, who is due to be sworn in on January 20, for leadership.
Obama did speak out after the attacks on the Indian city of Mumbai in November in which gunmen killed nearly 180 people, condemning them as acts of terrorism…
“He is talking about how many jobs he is going to create but he is refusing to speak about this,” said one of the protesters, Carolyn Hadfield, 66.
She was one of eight protesters standing with placards reading “No U.S. support for Israel” and “Gazans need food and medicine, not war” near Obama’s rented vacation home in Kailua, an upmarket suburb on the Hawaiian island of Oahu, where he is in the second week of a vacation with his family…
In Washington, several hundred pro-Palestinian protesters gathered outside the State Department, waving Palestinian flags and chanting slogans such as “free Palestine” while police looked on but took no action.
Of course, that last sentence is a baldfaced lie. Anyone who thinks you can avail yourself of your constitutional rights to protest the policies of the government of the United States without being photographed, recorded on video, having your phone tapped and your employment verified – is an ignorant and self-deluded fool.
Reuters knows it. Ross Colvin knows it. It’s a journalistic convention to keep your mouth shut about it.
“It’s not part of the story!” But – it is.