President Obama, Say Something!

Let Israel know, for heaven's sake, that you are not a puppet


President Obama, Say Something!
by Setareh Sabety

Today is inauguration day. It is the day all of us who supported Obama have been awaiting. It is the day welcomed by all those, the world over, who have had enough of George Bush and his band of neoconservatives. But for many of us, especially Americans of Middle Eastern descent the mood for celebration has been dampened by the just-ended-for-now, in-time-for-the-inauguration, massacre of Palestinians in Gaza.

You see some of us just can’t switch off the anger and remorse we feel towards the murder of 1312 Palestinians, including 417 children, 108 women and the injury of another 5430 people in Gaza. We, unlike T.V. remote controls do not have buttons with which we can change our moods. Hopping from ‘outrage and mourning’ to ‘elation and optimism’ is a difficult task even for the short-attention-span citizens of Planet-CNN that we have become.

Some of us cannot shake off the images of bleeding children, crying mothers and beaten down dads. Some of us cannot forget the senseless and audacious carnage Israel just committed in front of the whole world. Some of us cannot forgive those who remained silent while Israel flaunted her utter contempt for international laws and the opinions of good and upright citizens of the world. Some of us are still in shock. Some of us don’t care who is pro-choice or which reactionary preacher is going to preach at this most historic of occasions we are waiting to hear some outrage coming from that Hill and our president-to-be who promised us change. Whose word we took as real, who promise we believed despite all the jadedness we felt towards politicians. We want to hear that preacher, that super star singer, that beloved new president say something about the massacre of women, children and civilians in Gaza. We want to celebrate but the tears have not yet dried on our faces. We want to love you Obama and celebrate your election but our eyes are still wet from the genocide we witnessed a moment ago.

Forget about the life of a fetus we want to hear some outrage about the blatant taking of innocent, fully-out-of-the-womb, lives by America’s closest ally. We want to hear something, anything, about the massacre we all witnessed at the hands of Israel, the self-righteous and proud abuser of human rights which our tax money supports and nurtures.

We want to hear one of these celebrities, gathered in Washington D.C, most of them champions of humanitarian causes, say something about the genocide committed by Israel. On Martin Luther King Day not one word was uttered in any of the ceremonies about Gaza. Are we to just forget the massacre of those innocents in Gaza who never had a chance to show us ‘the content of their character?’ Are these politicians, activists, personalities and entertainers afraid to dampen the show with some hard core reality? Are they afraid to acknowledge that while in the U.S a black president is about to take office in Israel, thanks to American tax-payers’ money, we see the full blooming of apartheid? Are we supposed to be happy for this eerie, coldly calculated temporary cease-fire?

Mr. Obama much is expected from you. The times are difficult. The economy is in shambles. You have a formidable job to perform. But don’t let the ‘enormity of the task’ make you forget the humanitarian essence of you mission. You have given us hope like no other politician ever has to bring about change. Many of us took that to mean a change for a better America. An America that is more humane an America that some remember before Vietnam and during WWII. An America depicted in the writings of the founding fathers. An America that champions those striving for freedom and helps those who aspire to self-determination. Not the one of the past eight years that bombs without reason and tortures to no end. You promised us a return to an America that is free of paranoia and can lead the world, as her most inspirational citizen, towards the triumph of the universal ideals of justice, peace and freedom. Terms that were empty clichés before you restored them by injecting in them badly needed hope and eloquence.

Israel has tested you. Like your vice-president predicted, early in your career as president you are being tested. Not by Al-Qaeda nor by Iran but by America’s favorite and ‘special’ ally! Let them know, for heaven's sake, that you are not a puppet. That you will not rubber stamp every murderous move they make. You don’t have to disown Israel just practice tough love. If you are tough on Israel, if you stand up to her, you will not only save lives but you will bring about long-term and lasting change in the region. You will reverse the cycle of violence, you will bring hope were it is most urgently needed. You will take away the extremists’ raison d’être, their justifying argument. If you stand up to Israel you will turn this great nation that had the courage to elect you president, into the popular freedom promoting nation it once was. We who voted for you did so because we believed that you had that special something that could help you rise above the politicking and rhetoric and make a difference. Please, please do not let us down. Rise above Israel when she commits blatant murder. Mr. President SAY something in the face of this injustice! We so want to celebrate!

There have been very few people in history who have been uniquely situated at a historic cross-road with the mandate to make a real difference, you are one of them, do not waste this precious mandate. Please Mr. Obama, our new president of hope and change, rise up to the occasion and use the mandate we have given you to stop the blood-letting of innocents!


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Thank you Setareh jaan for

by Anonymous33 (not verified) on

Thank you Setareh jaan for "saying something". I hope Obama is intelligent enough to truly work towards peace for all.


Obama's envoy for Iran

by Anonymous 123 (not verified) on

Obama appointed Dennis Ross as special Iran envoy. Ross is a co-founder of AIPAC.


Thank you Setareh jan,

by safa (not verified) on

Thank you Setareh jan, thanks for who you are. I truly appreciate all your writings. I never forget the article you wrote a few years ago, :

"Today, I am a palestinian!"

It was then when I felt I also was a Palestinian. The very same I feel today!


Mission Impossible

by Arthur Ashburn (not verified) on

Great article with a noble goal. However, President Obama cannot and will not do what Ms Sabety is asking for good, sensible reasons:

- There is no such thing as a Jewish Lobby. The role of Zionism in the U.S. is way beyond the role of a traditional lobby. In fact, referring to it as a "lobby" would fundamentally understate its real power and it would indeed be an insult to Zionism. Zionism is the invisible core and the kernel of the system. All the rest of us in our system (including Obama) lobby IT. Another words, our president will first have to ask for ITS permission in order to ask Israel to stop killing children. We all know what the odds of such permission being granted would be.

As one of hundreds of such examples, take the very recent case of Ms Condoleeza Rice. Our just-left-office secratary of state could not even vote for a UN security council ceasefire resolution drafted by her own self and agreed upon by all major powers involved, inclusing the U.S., two Fridays ago because Mr Olmert essentially ordered Mr Bush to stop Ms Rice. (Google it and see the report in Jerusalem Post).

The scholarly book: "The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy" by two Jewish scholars, John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago and Stephen Walt of Harvard, triggered a firestorm of controversy when it attempted to shed some dim light on the subject.

- Obama was promoted, supported, and brought to power by Zionists. If this is hard for you to digest, just take a look at the list of Zionists in key positions in his campaign and in the current list of his key advisors and policy guides.

From David Axelrod (chief campaign strategist) to Penny Pritzker (campaign finance chief - the billionaire owner of the Hyatt Hotels) to Dennis Ross (chief foreign policy advisor - fromer special envoy to the middle east in Clinton years) to Bob Rubin (Citigroup Chairman of Executive Committee -one of his chief economic advisors) all the way to even two of his last three speech writers are all Zionists. What could one expect from such an oustanding team?

Asking Obama to stop Israel's barbarism is like sending him on a mission impossible knowing it will end in his poilitical suicide. He is a good man. But, he is too smart to allow his goodness send him on such a futile mission.


president obama,say something

by reza karimi (not verified) on

Your article is so strong and well thought. Please mail it to Michelle Obama, hopefully at the dinnertime, when the jackals are not around him, she will read it to him. Now the question is if he can do anything about the genocide in Gaza! Remember Cynthia Mckinney mentioned the word of Palestine in the House and she lost the election to another African American who received 5 million dollars in campaign contributions from the AIPAC. I would suggest friends should read "They Dare to Speak-Out" by congressman Paul Findlay. What is the biggest puzzle for me is why the people who were victims of the biggest crime in history, (Holocaust), are letting their grandchildren do such an act of genocide today. Those phosphorous bombs and the new bomb, which contains microscopic glass? According to the doctors in Gaza (undetectable) in X-Rays, are made where?! I have lots of hope from some of the intellectual Jews who are fighting for human rights and exposing their crimes, people such as Norman Finklestein, devoting his life to fairness. I have seen many Jews demonstrating in NYC against the Israeli action. They are the hope within themselves. If the Palestinians are dreaming of a home, then, sadly, it is only a dream. The settlers are building homes on the Palestinian land and even the Israelis cannot remove them, then there is the WALL. Remember Prime Minister Rabin.???


Dear Setareh,

by Jaleho on

Nice article, and I do believe that AIPAC's power is overrated by Zionists primarily. They have to justify continuation of getting a charity from the US in the tune of tens of $BILLIONS, by overstating the power and effectiveness of Israel as a pawn. 

But, many in America already know that Israel has over-lived its useful life past the disintegration of the Soviet Union. That reality is reflected in publication of books written by Carter, Walt and Mearsheimer, as well as the American public making them the very best of the best sellers!! That is amplified also by repeated failure of Israel to prove itself, like its inability to beat Hezbollah in Lebanon, or even the tiny Hamas- prisoned inside a closed camp with bombs pouring on them- yet not yielding to an army who once beat the combined Arab armies in 6 days!

Times are changing, and more pressure brought to America's political establishment to act in America's interest, not Israel's, to translate that changing time to America's foreign policy, is going to hasten that change. I congratulate you on your relentless efforts on that front.

Let's not forget that the entire Israeli experiment is only 60 years old, an aberration lasting as long as a blink, historically speaking. It would take another historical blink for that abberation to correct itself. South Africa did that, so did all the other cases in colonialism and apartheid. History always does that.

BTW, I also agree with Niloufar Parsi that sometimes not shooting your mouth off is good enough- like Bush calling Sharon, the butcher of Palestinians, a man of peace!

Obama calling America as a nation of "Christians and Muslims- (pause) -Jews and Hindus ans atheists," was already an improvement over "our Judeo-Christian values," and "Islamofascist" vernacular, much to Mehdi Mazloom's chagrin :-)


Very good article

by Mani Shahrokni (not verified) on


This is a very well-written article! This is a historical chance for an American president to change the policy of his country towards this conflict, and more generally towards the Muslim world.

This bias has to end once and for all.


Setareh Sabety

dear anon jr? wow what a name?

by Setareh Sabety on

People, who make these kinds of sweeping generalizations: "Israel is the only country in the mideast that values human life",
I refrain from engaging in an argument. Plus U.S has stood up to IRI (sanctions/asset freeze no diplomatic ties) and the rest where have you been?
It is unbelievable how some compatriots are totally incapable of separating issues from one another! You can be tough on Iran and Israel at the same time! Why is that so difficult to grasp. Plus my essay has nothing to do with how things are the realpolitick of it all but rather how I would like my president to act vis Israel.
Some people's prejudice seeps through their comments so blatantly!
Please stop being so childish and sophomoric. Read with your head.
thank you


The saga continues

by Anonymous123456 (not verified) on


Ms. Sabeti

by JR (not verified) on

Ms. Sabeti,

This guys said it best. Stop living in theory and see the reality.

War is devastating. Innocent people get killed. I have lived in Israel, Iran and 5 other Arab countries. Israel is the only country in the mideast that values human life. In order to protect innocent lives, we must tell Obama to first stand up against criminals IRI, Hamas, and Hezbollah. Then, to stand up against Israel.

You think Obama is a puppet of Israel just because he kept quite? All of the western world and many of the Arab leaders, even Mahmoud Abbas Kept it quite. Based of your analogy then, they must be a puppet of Israel too. Have you ever thought out of the box. Maybe they know something that you don't know.

IRI, Hamas, Hezbollah, Chavez, YOU, and a few other starving nations are speaking up. Go figure.... Obama will side with winning thoughts not loosing thoughts...

Setareh Sabety

dear m

by Setareh Sabety on

I agree and share your sentiments. for me obama being elected and replacing george w. is enough! it is indeed a good thing. I was just sharing my dream. I wish him the best and our kids the most.


Enshaa : 20

by Aziz (not verified) on

This reminds me of the grade school: We had to write essays but we did not have anything to say.
As adults this site proves what happens when we grow up. We get the urge to write but we still have nothing (worthwhile) to say.


I sure hope he does

by Monda on

I am as frustrated by his silence since the Israeli genocide of Palestinians started as I am by the ceasefire for his inauguration. I still need to be hopeful though that he acts as intelligently as he speaks. Good read, thank you Setareh.


Dear Ms. Sabety, It must be

by M. (not verified) on

Dear Ms. Sabety,

It must be past 3 am your time! I'm just as excited, cannot be bothered to sleep. I've been looking for the name of the last person who spoke at the Inauguration: let yellow be mellow :) As devout an atheist as I am (and whilst wondering whatever the heck happened to the separation of Church and State), I cannot help share his enthusiam. I now know he is Dr. Joseph Lowry (the very one who, with hope, offended Bush at Mrs. King's funeral, if only stuff didn't slide off of Bush as if he's coated with a thick layer of Vaseline) and this is what Lowry said: "...when black will not be asked to get in back, when brown can stick around, when yellow will be mellow, when the red man can get ahead, man;..." We HAVE come so far. To your eyes and mine, those of us who held America and its principles in such high regards when we were far far away and before we moved here, it is so very little. I had a boyfriend once who told me I am more American than he is. America is so young, so very young, there is no comparison with the history we've put behind us. I sincerely believe we must take that into perspective; as you are a historian, I fervently hope you will agree with me.

Personally, I believe in Dr. Lowry's principles so whole-heartedly. I was brought up like that. It will be my loss probably not to see that happen in my lifetime; but today, when my 11 year-old was watching the inauguration with the rest of his school-mates, I was profoundly touched. If not in my generation, then the next. Imagine how BIG he can dream. My dreams for all those causes may have been shattered; geez, the way things are, I don't even know whether I'll have my 401k working for me in a decade, let alone whether my gay friends can happily live as they should. I do know this: my kid's life will be better here in America because he's been given a chance to dream bigger (and certainly more realistically than I) at the age of 11.

Aretha Franklin must be over 80 years old now and what a voice she still has. Most were complaining about how she murdered her "My Country 'Tis of Thee" on American TV and websites. How stupid can they be to talk about a legend as if she's dust mite? You see, you and I must look at things in a different manner.

Still, hope is what I have, for Palestinians too as well as all those other ones I listed and the ones I did not. My hope is for Obama to put an end to the Israeli atrocity once and for all, especially when talks of War Crimes is hot in the United Nations now. We'll see how much Obama can change everyone else's view point. Remember, you are a historian. How long did it take other such atrocities to become a page in history books? For as long as I can remember, and I am certainly not a historian, just an avid reader, nations have committed such atrocities in the name of god and religion. Think Crusaders. I need not say more.

Most of all, I guess I like to convey to you that no matter what comes, you must think first and foremost how far Americans have come. Rosa Parks is not exactly that old when put in perspective. It was only a couple of years before we were born when she refused to give up her bus seat. This nation has come a long way from that in 50 years.

Obama cannot fix all; he certainly has planted the seeds in many a young mind. That is all I can hope for tonight. Whatever he achieves during his term will be a positive in my offspring's life. Perhaps for me this is enough of a gift.



well then

by Anonymous fish (not verified) on

since niloufar doesn't need him, i guess he can concentrate on some other rather important issues, like getting america back on her feet.

Setareh Sabety

I love Obama too

by Setareh Sabety on

dear m,
I wrote the essay many hours before the inauguration. I agree with you that we should give him a chance. I share your optimism most of the time. but I still felt the way I did when I wrote it. I am simply begging this President whom I fully and wholeheartedly supported to act differently in regards to Israel. I am hopeful that he will. but scared as well of the improbability of it. There is absolutely no precedent for it. I love Obama that is why I am pleading with him to do the right thing. I really have no intention of making him fall. I so badly want him to realize his and our dream of a fairer america and a more just world.
thank you for reading me and making such an civil and kind comment.


abarmard jan

by NiloufarParsi (not verified) on

agree with you. would add that the best thing about obama so far is that he is not bush. am so happy today that we are finally rid of this menace. there is even talk of war crimes. as for obama, it does not look that great so far. but we will see. sometimes silence in the face of AIPAC is a good sign. at least he did not blurt out their horrid agenda this time around.

btw, the boycott israel campaign is growing really fast globally. we may not need him.


For once, I disagree with your expectations :(

by M. (not verified) on

Dear Ms. Sabety,

I have, most always, agreed with your points of view. For the most part, nobody has ever been able to take the words right out of my mouth and put them to pen as eloquently as you do. This time, however, I must disagree. I do not know whether you wrote your article before or after Mr. Obama delivered his Inauguration speech. I'll ask you to find the text tomorrow and analyse it further. No one has slapped Bush harder right in front of him than Obama. You must have captured the gist of his meaning when he spoke about the cost of freedom and liberty, that one should not have to sacrifice one for the other.

Throughout these days of "transition" he has followed the proper protocol, there is only one President. Unfortunately, that one was Bush. Personally, I think that if it took eight years of becoming the America we are now, it's certainly not going to be overnight the America we should all hope to become pretty soon. I have an immense optimism now, for all, for us, for Palestinians, for the Jewish youth who went to bat for them, for the elderly right here in America, for Darfur, for Iran, for Global Warming, for Congo, for the forests of Amazon, for synthetic turf to disappear, for a cure for breast cancer, for poverty to be vanished, for a whole lot of other things. Give him a chance before you condemn him. Give us all a chance. Tonight, while your article brought tears to my eyes and I agree with almost everything you said, everything, I ask you to have some patience. You deserve it, your children deserve it, mine does too, and everyone else most certainly does as well. Don't make him fall faster than he has a chance to rise.




Abarmard: Israel is not

by sickofa (not verified) on

Abarmard: Israel is not ready yet to be a democratic country. They are too religious. They don't care about human rights. You have to be patient with criminals and mass murderes; you can't be too harsh on them; they will eventually reform into decent human being and give up their lust for power and greed in a few generation!

Promote Israel's agenda and IDF whenever you can!

End of Sracasm!


Israel is the middle east's only democracy: We MUST support it!

by Firstly a Republican, Secondly an Iranian (not verified) on


Please take a little time to look at this 30 second clip. I am interested to know your opinions regarding it. I view it as a clear outline of the Iranian regime and how B. Hussein Obama will treat it differently than President Bush has.

Are these quotes representative of Sen. Barack Obama?
If they are, do you support these views?

Whatever you think of this video, it is a clear example of how Sen. McCain would have had an offensive foreign policy platform, similar to President Bush's, as opposed to Obama's defensive one.

In my opinion this is what B. Hussein Obama believes. I disagree with him, and I disagree strongly, but I will not insult him. Many people, including myself, view him as under-qualified to be president. Especially when taking his 'present' votes in the IL state senate into account. He is a respectable human being, especially because he admitted his mistakes on the O'Reilly Factor, but so did Senator McCain. Sen. Obama's social policies are very out-of-touch with the rest of us living in America who are pro-life and anti-gay marriage. Obama opposed something similar to the Born Alive Infants Act in the IL State Senate. Also, Obama opposed the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban that President Bush supported and proudly passed. Obama is for the radical redefining of marriage. I just hope Obama will not go through with his promise of ending President Bush's prodigious tax-cuts and fixing loopholes such as cell phone taxes and internet taxes, will be sure to keep our low inflation and HIGH GDP growth rate.

My final message:
Thank You President Bush

Vote Huckabee or Palin 2012

P.S. : In case you have time, these two clips are also excellent.


Here, what Obama say.............

by delldaar on

Hay palestinian..stop firing those IRI rockets.. instead of blowing up self and others...get a life and build a future based on creating peace and friendship, rather crying over spilled fought Israelis,you lost,get use to it,like we Iranian , lost seventeen states to Russia,,,you dont see us blowing up any busses..


I am a bit disappointed

by Abarmard on

That he sat quiet during these crimes that were committed by the Israeli regime. From this angle only, you can't expect much from him or anyone else in the US. The Israeli Lobby machine has them by their (you know what).


Hear hear Cap'n

by Anonymous fish (not verified) on

and sooner rather than later. nothing i'd like better than to see that... that... person in jail.


Mr. Obama, must prosecute Bush

by capt_ayhab on

capt_ayhab [-YT]


Say Something To Hamas

by SH (not verified) on

Dear Setareh:
It is so obvious that you only look at this from the Palestinian side. Your point regarding the Palestinians being killed in 100s is well taken, however it is interesting that you never mention Hamars and their actions against Israel as the result of all this unfortunate events. Why is it that you never ask yourself that why in the world Hamas choses to stock and lunch rockets at Israel from school yards, hospitals and other public places that would only put the Palestinian people in danger in case of any retaliation? The reason is simple "No Value For Human Life" The bottom line is that any loss of human life is a disaster, be it Muslim, Jewish or Christian but the fact remains that Israel has the right to defend herself. It would be interesting to see an article from you to the leaders (I don't know if you can even call them leaders, or may be you can because they have led thousands to their deaths) of Hamas to stop the massacres of their own citizens. Oh and lets not forget who is behind them. It is so interesting when the supreme leader of Iran ask his people to go register, to go and fight against Israel and if they die, they will go to heaven and seat besides the prophets and Imam Hussein. I wonder if that is the case, why did not him or his immediate family go? Please stop thinking so one-sided, have you forgotten how many Israiles have been blown up by Palestinian terorist.


A puppet anyways!!??

by Haj-Khanum on

He will be called a puppet no matter what he does or says.

Now you want him to be your puppet and not the Israelis.

In 22 days 3400 children were born in Gaza.

I feel so sorry for those children and their mothers. 

This policy of having children, as many as  possible to outnumber the enemy is very cruel. And nobody talks about it. Nobody cares or dares! It is forced on women by fanatics as it happened in Iran some 30 years ago.


Excellent and to the point!

by F.A. (not verified) on

Excellent and to the point!

Setareh Sabety

dear a, here is an article

by Setareh Sabety on

dear a,
here is an article on the anniversary of iranian revolution i wrote a while ago
if you look at my index and google my name you will see many articles that criticize the iri.
i see no reason why i can't care for palestine and love iran. hate israel and the mullahs too!
dear person who suggested I post this on I tried it and failed. if you can do it please go ahead. I would love it to circulate it if not reach the man's own ears! a long shot it seems to me. thanks for thinking of the essay as 'good enough' it is nice to hear compliments.
I do agree that iran and palestine are not priorities of any president. yet as an iranian-american I am hoping that this president will genuinely care and see things differently.
I know that you have to sell your soul to aipac to survive american politics.
I am just hoping and making a plea. as an American, of middle-eastern descent, I do not see anything wrong with asking the president to see things my way.
To those of you who continue to support Israel's actions I have no argument. we simply differ. Israel committed a genocide and the U.S watched. that is how I see it. I do not want to argue with supporters of this genocide. i am hoping that our newly elected president will have the courage to stand up to Israel. it may sound unrealistic yet it is the time to dream? and I have my own dream, the dream of a u.s president who stands up to Israel!
thank you all for reading me,


say what?

by Anonymouslie (not verified) on

Well, he ain't gonna missy. He can't hold the highest office, or any freaking office for that matter, if he stands up and says anything negative about Israel.
He would not only have to kiss his second term goodbye, he'd have to worry about getting impeached, ousted, or even his brown ass shot.

That's the reality and we have to live with it.


just so everyone knows,

by Anonymous fan (not verified) on

neither iran nor israel are going to be a major priority, nor SHOULD THEY BE.

let's get america back on track first, right? united states of AMERICA. sorry to disappoint but we've got a few problems here we'd like to address first.