• June 3, 2009

Yes we can

Yes we can

Tomorrow, President Barack Obama will deliver his long anticipated speech to the Muslim world from Cairo, through which he is hoping to usher a new phase in the relationship between the US and Muslims based on mutual respect and understanding, after years of hostilities that threatened the world with a clash of civilization many saw inevitable.

The President’s words about the prospects of US-Muslim relations and his respect to Islam and its culture are so far encouraging, but only need to be followed by actions to restore the shattered US credibility in the region. Both the U.S. and the Muslim world have a responsibility to repair their damaged relationship. The following few talking points can provide President Obama with an example of what many in the Muslim world will be expecting the U.S. to do in that regards,

1-Be an honest mediator in the Middle East peace process and end the blind support to Israel, especially when it violates international law. We realize that the US has a “special” relationship with Israel, for various reasons, however, as the President recently stated “part of being a good friend is to be honest” and it’s time for the U.S. to be honest with Israel. There is nothing that can fuel anti-Americanism across the Muslim world more than an American veto to prevent the modest condemnation of Israel in the UN even when it commits acts of terror against Palestinian civilian population.

2-Help to create a viable Palestinian state with full entitlements of sovereignty as an important first step towards ending the conflict in the Middle East. The Muslim world is willing to accept the two-state solution, but only as part of comprehensive settlement that addresses the status of Jerusalem and millions of refugees.

3-Respect the people’s right to choose their own form of government, which is a right guaranteed by the UN Charter- regardless of whether these governments agree with US policies or not- don’t punish the people for their democratic choices, and don’t impose governments on the people or meddle in their domestic affairs only to protect US interests. A free democratic Middle-East in which the people can have representative government is essential for its stability and the US interests in the region.