Oh for F*ck's sake, give the man a little space!

A small group of placard-waving pro-Palestinian demonstrators gathered near U.S. President-elect Barack Obama's vacation retreat in Hawaii on Tuesday to protest against the Israeli airstrikes in Gaza.

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While I place myself squarely in both the "is he President yet?" and--despite my rock-solid Israeli cred--the "Free Palestine Now!" crowds, I offer a resounding, unequivocal "phooey!" to the miscreants who chose the President-Elect's vacation spot as their locale to protest Israel's air strikes. For the love of G-d, Buddah or anyone else you deem holy, focus your energies on the current Israeli/American policymakers, and give the man and his family a little much-needed space!

Locally, in Philly, protesters are gathering at the Israeli consulate to protest my motherland's disproportionate airstrikes. And, despite Hamas rockets landing in my grandfather's hometown today, I fully sympathize with their wholly appropriate and well-timed displays of outrage.

But, to those tools who mistook Obama's last vacation in the next four years for the President's ranch in Crawford, I have a breaking newsflash:

There is only one president at a time!

Let Obama take his vacation. And try to respect the constitutional fact that the President-Elect can NOT drive foreign policy. When Obama takes office, I fully expect him to do an about face from the traditional pandering to my homeland's chauvinist interests. And, if he doesn't, let's all hop in my Taurus, drive to Chicago, and pepper him with vacation-spoiling earfuls. Until then, though, please follow the lead of our compatriot's in Philly, and air your grievances to people who can actually affect Israeli policy!

Tags: Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Israeli, Palestine, SYFPH (all tags)



And, if he doesn't, let's all hop in my Taurus...


What, no Hybrid!  

I am heading to your house WITH MY protest sign right now...

Carbon Neutral or start walking!

No peace for you, big guy!

by WashStateBlue 2008-12-30 02:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Oh for F*ck's sake

Doesn't bug me.  This is part of the job, and there's nothing wrong with petitioning the guy who's going to be responsible for making these momentous decisions in a matter of weeks.  Not that I think Obama is going to revise his foreign policy views based on any of these signs, but people have a right to wave them, and I'm not going to get all "leave Barack alooooooone."  It's not like they're picketing a funeral or something.

by Steve M 2008-12-30 02:33PM | 0 recs
I don't begrudge their protests, per se,

but I hope they have some energy left over to write their congressperson, picket their local Israeli consulate and write their paper.

by Bob Sackamento 2008-12-30 02:44PM | 0 recs
Re: I don't begrudge their protests, per se,

Well, I don't think their protest will be particularly effective, but that's not really for me to say.  Let me put it this way, if you really think that waving a sign may impact American foreign policy, at this point I'd probably have better luck waving it at Barack Obama than George W. Bush.  It's not like Bush is doing anything right now other than thinking about which golf course to hit.

By the way, do you suppose they have an Israeli consulate in Hawaii?!

by Steve M 2008-12-30 03:02PM | 0 recs
Good point.

And, yes, they'd probably have to fly to California to catch an Israeli consulate's ear. Plenty of sunshine there too, though.

by Bob Sackamento 2008-12-30 03:20PM | 0 recs
Isn't this democracy in action?? They picketing

Obama's retreat...us yelling at them for doing so in the blogosphere ...I happen to think this is all fine in a healthy democracy..

by louisprandtl 2008-12-30 02:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Oh for F*ck's sake,

How quickly they forget!!! After 8 years of pure hell, hate, and right wing foreign policy - you'd think the Jimmy-Carter-I-Love-Palestine groups would give Obama a break for God's sake.....

by nikkid 2008-12-30 03:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Oh for F*ck's sake

It's their right to protest within a safe distance of the president-elect.

And, frankly, I don't think Obama would mind them doing it.

by Bush Bites 2008-12-30 03:31PM | 0 recs
But all that vigor...

could be channeled into something a little more productive. Obama can't do anything right now. But maybe their congressperson can. If all else fails, a nearby Israeli consulate could use an earful of that free speech.

by Bob Sackamento 2008-12-30 03:33PM | 0 recs
Re: But all that vigor...

You got a point, though I assume they're doing it for media attention as much as for Obama's attention.

by Bush Bites 2008-12-30 03:45PM | 0 recs
Re: But all that vigor...

Protest has to start somewhere. Nothing wrong with some proactive free expression.It's not like they are forcing him to do something. So no harm done.  That is part of a democracy. Do not let the politicians get too comfortable just to keep them honest.

by Pravin 2008-12-30 03:51PM | 0 recs
Re: But all that vigor...

like making bandages, or collecting tins of food?  And how shall they move these useful items across the border?  

by anna shane 2009-01-01 12:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Oh for F*ck's sake, give the man a little spac

I got no problem with it. It comes with the job.

by JimR 2008-12-30 03:46PM | 0 recs
True, and media attention they got. n/t

by Bob Sackamento 2008-12-30 03:47PM | 0 recs
Meant that as a reply to Bush Bites n/t

by Bob Sackamento 2008-12-30 03:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Oh for F*ck's sake,

Let's shove them into Gitmo. such pesky people who dare bother a beautifal day of golf.

by MumbaiBurns 2008-12-30 03:59PM | 0 recs

A Hawaiian language word meaning "Spell check is your friend...."

by WashStateBlue 2008-12-30 04:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Oh for F*ck's sake,

and about as useful as your posts too...

by JDF 2008-12-30 06:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Oh for F*ck's sake,

I have no issue with people protesting in this manner at all.  It's far better than the "free speech zones" we all know and love.  And it certainly isn't going to do Obama any harm. These folks are exercising their rights.  I just don't see the problem.

by Denny Crane 2008-12-30 06:47PM | 0 recs
I wonder

how much something like this moves the dial. It frankly seems sort of masturbatory. Eight people??

I suppose it depends on the effort involved. I do hope they didn't actually fly to Hawaii for this.

by Neef 2008-12-30 06:53PM | 0 recs
Well, that might actually make sense.

Get in some snorkeling, windsurfing, 15 minutes of protest at the Obama's...

And for once, I am more than a little disappointed that Obama's staying neutral over this extremely one-sided massacre taking place. Yes, I understand the "one president at a time" thing, but he isn't expected to legislate in this case - a brief statement would suffice to put the aggressors on notice.

by Sumo Vita 2008-12-30 08:16PM | 0 recs
I certainly hope he is talking to Hillary about

what steps they are going to take immediately when in power.

I do think he HAS to stay essentially non-controversial in any statement he makes, EVEN WHEN he takes power.

You have to work the back channels BEFORE he takes the bully pulpit, that's just the reality of it.

But, I agree, I hope with all my heart we will soon be abandoning the blank check Neocon Dick Cheney policy towards Israel.

We have done neither side any good, no matter how strongly you support Israel IMHO by that approach.

by WashStateBlue 2008-12-31 07:11AM | 0 recs
Re: I wonder

Who knows if it moves the dial at all, but I seriously doubt that's their point.  I can't imagine they expect to move American foreign policy just because they showed up.  But 8 people or 8 thousand, they clearly have strong feelings, and wanted to be heard. But I'll bet Obama is aware of them, which was probably the goal.

by Denny Crane 2008-12-30 09:16PM | 0 recs
I love the title

and your point is well taken, too.  But, I really love the title!!


by the national gadfly 2008-12-30 09:36PM | 0 recs
if he wanted space

president elect obama should have remained in the senate, or have gone to a deserted island

it is a 24-7 news cycle fueled by internet and cable hysteria, the president elect forfeited any of this space stuff, it comes with the job, sorry

would we prefer these protestors not assemble legally, perhaps we would opt for them taking the suicide bomber path to smithereens?

its representative government, and if lack of space seems oppressive now, just wait, it gets worse, or better, depending on your point of view

freedom of speech applies to all and all should be able to peaceably assemple....end of story in us america

by blackflag 2008-12-31 03:08AM | 0 recs
Re: if he wanted space

They are well within their rights, it is true... and yes, it comes with the job to some extent.

That being said, there is a time and a place for it...and I agree with the diarist that this isn't it. It would be far more productive, and thus far more responsible to protest the people who a.) are actually involved at this moment and b.) can do something about it.

If Obama gets into office and THAN ignores what is going there will obviously be a reason to get in his face about it... but this is, as someone else said, masturbatory and isn't doing anybody any good.

by JDF 2009-01-01 12:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Oh for F*ck's sake,

I think it's a funny diary, and I doubt the diarist needs to be told that petitioning the government is an inalienable right.

btw, I've always been mystified by people who don't understand that protests in numbers less than 10 make you look bad, not good.

by Jess81 2008-12-31 07:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Oh for F*ck's sake,

what makes protesters look bad is if they're protesting justice, even one person protesting injustice looks great.

by anna shane 2009-01-01 12:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Oh for F*ck's sake,

Umm.... No.

One person protesting anything looks like a screwball. Less than 10 people protesting something looks like they couldn't get their act together.

Any amount of people protesting in the wrong place at the wrong time look annoying and foolish.

Protesting justice doesn't make you look bad; it makes you look like scum at worst or a complete idiot at best.

by JDF 2009-01-01 01:00PM | 0 recs
Protesting is not a game

or popularity contest.  People protest because they believe strongly in an issue.  Perhaps it's a generational issue, but I always respect people who go out and protest, especially when they don't have huge numbers behind them.  For ten or twenty people to show up every day in the face of seeming indifference from the rest of society is a statement of conviction.  I applaud that.  Your and others' views that there's an appropriate (or sanctioned) time and place for protest and that small groups or single individuals protesting are fools is too calculated for me.  It makes me uncomfortable, although I cannot at this moment articulate more fully how.

by orestes 2009-01-02 10:04AM | 0 recs
no space

none for any of them, if we elected them they must listen to us.  That's the job! And, he's up to it, he's not a baby, he knows that there is a crisis going on now that can result in a bigger one, and that he's supposed to try to calm the waters with his vision of empathy.  Feel sorry for kids getting killed not for politicians who are ducking the hard speeches.  

by anna shane 2009-01-01 12:17PM | 0 recs
Re: no space

I don't think Obama has ever, in his life, ducked a hard speech. Nor is he doing so now. Right now he is on vacation, and preparing himself to undertake the hardest job in the world at a time when it needs to be done better than it ever has.

I agree that he is up for it and I agree that they need to listen to us... that being said this is the wrong place and the wrong time.

(I also think these people ought to realize that we just elected someone who is far more likely to actually listen to us than the people we have dealt with for the last 8 years and should probably respect that a little bit.)

by JDF 2009-01-01 01:02PM | 0 recs
Re: no space

it looks like he's ducking right now.  

by anna shane 2009-01-04 01:01PM | 0 recs


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