U.S. President Barack Obama’s tough stance towards Israel since he has taken office has apparently struck a chord with none other than Hamas.
A poster recently produced by the terrorist group and which is being sold in the Gaza Strip, depicts Obama wearing a kaffiyeh, the traditional Muslim head covering. The text under the photo reads in English: “Abu Hussain! Palestine loves you!!!” (Abu Hussain is the name for Obama which is commonly used by Hamas)
The text in the poster appeared last week on the front pages of several leading Arab daily publications. A report on the poster also appeared in The New York Post and was translated into Hebrew by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. The report in The Post attributes Hamas’ admiration towards Obama as a result of his tendency to drop “hints that he means to be tough with Israel” which include “occasional statements about Jewish settlements.” The report also cautions that although Obama’s applying pressure on Israel may look good to Hamas, it may also reduce the chances of reaching an agreement on the creation of a Palestinian state.
Last week, it seemed as though Obama was indeed making efforts to reach out to the Muslim community. In a speech he gave last Wednesday during his official visit to Indonesia, Obama emphasized that the U.S. is not at war with Islam but acknowledged that it is hard to eradicate “years of mistrust” as he called it. He added that relations between the U.S. and Muslim communities “have frayed over many years” and said that he has “made it a priority to begin to repair these relations.”
Indonesia’s religious leaders were skeptical about Obama’s true intentions, saying that he has not yet matched rhetoric with concrete action.