Jamal Dajani: Obama And The Wall

Jamal Dajani, Huffington Post, 25 July 2008

There are similarities between Senator Barack Obama’s visits to Jordan and Germany: Mr. Obama has chosen historic backgrounds for his outdoor appearances.

In Germany, Mr. Obama spoke to an adoring crowd just a few feet away from where the Berlin Wall once stood. In Jordan, the Senator held his first public event near the Temple of Hercules, part of the Citadel complex on a hill overlooking Amman, the capital. The audience however, consisted of an army of reporters, most of whom had travelled with the Senator from the U.S. with few local ones amongst them. A small gathering of onlookers was kept at bay by the Jordanian security forces. Obama-mania was not present!

According to a recent survey from the Pew Research Center, only 22 percent of Jordanians who are following the U.S. presidential election have confidence in the Senator from Illinois. Many Arabs believe that U.S. foreign policy will not change for the better with a new president, according to the same report. The reason, in my opinion, is because most Arabs do not see the U.S. as an honest broker in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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