Rana E. Manna
Last updated: 8 November, 2012

Palestinian reactions to Obama’s reelection

The various Palestinian political factions are reacting differently towards Tuesday’s re-election of US President Barack Obama. While some express delight over the defeat of Republican challenger Mitt Romney, others don’t seem to be as enthusiastic.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas congratulated Obama on Wednesday, expressing his hope to witness the US President carrying on in his effort to seek peace in the Middle East and thus act against Israeli violations towards the Palestinian people.   

“I believe the reelection of US President Obama has finally released him from the many political chains urged by Israel,” Dr. Yehya Rabaah, a senior officer of Abbas’ Fatah party said.

“I am in favor of Obama’s reelection given that we are on familiar terms with his approach towards the Palestinian cause,” he added.

While some express hope in a positive outcome of the reelection, others seem rather unsure.

“I don’t think anything will change throughout Obama’s second period. As long as the U.S policy continues to support Israel, he will make no progress towards the Palestinian cause, seeing as his administration is to support Israel against us Palestinians,” Khaled Al Batsh, a senior leader of the Islamic Jihad, said.

The majority of Palestinians were after the election of Obama four years ago, viewing him as a young educated president with a different background from his predecessors. However, that started to change, particularly after his administration stood solidly against the Palestinian statehood bid in the United Nation.

“Whether or not the president changes, the American policy towards Palestine will not change in view of the fact that it is functioning according to the Israeli interests,” Kayed Al Ghol, a senior leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PLFP), said.

Hamas called upon President Obama to reassess his course of action towards the Palestinian issue.

“The re-election of President Obama is his chance to set aside his subjective policies towards Israel and thus change his foreign policy towards the Palestinian cause,” Dr. Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas official, said.

“Only after Obama considers stabilizing the US foreign policy towards the Arab world, will any change in attitude by the Arab world be taken towards the United States.”

A spokesperson of the Hamas Gaza government, Taher Al-Nono, said that “it is about time Obama acknowledges the rights of the Palestinians and takes on a rather just policy.”

“Although the speeches delivered by Obama in both Egypt and Turkey did not meet his proposal, he has been given yet another chance to turn his promises into reality.”