….for him to say something about the outbreak of violence in the Middle East.

Some say Israelis acted now because of the ticking clock on the friendly Bush administration.

And, upon his inauguration on Jan. 20, will President
Obama undercut Israel’s counterterror offensive before its goals have
been reached?

However, Arabs were counting on the opposite. After all…

Obama has said it is one of his priorities to restore America’s image among Muslims.

But now his silence is very loud.

“People recall his campaign slogan of change and hoped
that it would apply to the Palestinian situation,” said Jordanian
analyst Labib Kamhawi, speaking from Amman, Jordan. “So they look at
his silence as a negative sign. They think he is condoning what
happened in Gaza because he’s not expressing any opinion.”

“If he does not want to talk politics yet, at least he could address
the humanitarian suffering taking place,” Kamhawi added. “He did not
even send one signal to the people of this region that he is not happy
with what is happening.”

It is not only the Arab world that has noticed the president-elect’s
silence: At a gathering of celebrities to condemn Israel’s assault in
London on Friday, speakers called on Obama to speak out.

Such calls underscore the challenge confronting a president-elect
who has promised to deliver change and who may now face unrealistically
high expectations as to how far that change will go.

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....