Never have their words sounded so hollow...
- 12/05/2012 by Barbara Nemri Aziz

I’m speaking about American leaders. When Susan Rice, US representative at the United Nations, responded to the November 29th UN Assembly vote on Palestine, she was followed by equally fatuous remarks by Hillary Clinton, US Secretary State. Listening to them, I had to ask: do these exalted representatives of America not comprehend their marginalization and illogic? They are out of touch with reality. Even Israel effectively dismissed Rice’s shameless defense of Israel by initiating more settlement construction and collective punishments to the occupied Palestinians.
OK; the Palestinian leadership has still a long road to walk. Based on its own pathetic negotiating skills and the endless rejectionist maneuvers by Israel, it is difficult to see what real gains on the ground the UN vote will offer Palestinians, especially since Rice warned this very futility (surely by contemplating an American regime of punishment and embargo). But the American objections to the UN vote last week were nothing if not dishonorable.
Ambassador Rice brazenly declares “Progress … cannot be made by pressing  a green voting button here in this hall”. What arrogance! And what disregard for history. Was Israel not recognized by a vote here in this hall? And this counsel from a nation that attacks and embargos sovereign states and imposes itself into others’ elections to see that they ‘push a voting button’. What best symbolizes democracy but the ballot? What most inspires us more than to witness responsible, hopeful women and men taking their place to cast their ballot?
The American rationale to oppose the overwhelming statement by world representatives regarding Palestine is like that of a delusional dictator.
I note that it’s only Americans refer to their president as ‘leader of the free world’.  Yes, the US can lead by bullying; its president can charm; its military forces and diplomats can threaten and bully and bomb. But it cannot lead by legal and moral example.