Ramallah street 248.88.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
For many of the US citizens living in Turmusayya, a small village north of Ramallah, it doesn't really matter who wins the US presidential elections because - in their view - at the end of the day the new president will have to do what the Jews want.
Yet despite the indifference, almost all the US citizens here on Tuesday expressed support for Senator Barack Obama.
Turmusayya, home to some 5,500 villagers, has long been referred to by many Palestinians as "Little America" because of the large number of US citizens living there. At least 60 percent of the villagers are citizens of the US and other countries around the world.
After the signing of the Oslo Accords, many villagers who had been living in the US for decades returned home with high hopes. They were looking forward to investing in the PA territories and helping to build their future state.
However, many of them returned to the US as soon as they realized that things were going in the wrong direction under the corruption-riddled Palestinian Authority.
Many of the American citizens interviewed here continue to regard the US as an enemy, even though they were born and raised there.
Their anti-US sentiments are based on the argument that the US has always been "blindly biased" in Israel's favor in the conflict with the Arabs.
The general belief here, and among many Palestinians, is that any candidate would be better than President George W. Bush. They see Senator John McCain as a "second Bush," and as such, many Palestinians and Arabs despise him.
"If you want to harm America, vote for McCain," said Ali Abdullah, who lived in Chicago for nearly 30 years. "McCain will bring America down; he will bring America to its knees."
Mike Awad, who was also born and raised in Chicago, where his family still runs a pizza restaurant, said he and many Palestinians supported Obama, "because Bush has done nothing for the Arabs."
He added: "The Democrats are the best. Look what [former US president] Bill Clinton did for Jordan and the Israelis and Palestinians. The Republicans can't do anything good."
Mayor Muhammad Ibrahim said he was under the impression that the majority of the US citizens here had voted for Obama. "I don't know of one person who voted for the Republicans," he said as he made his way to evening prayers at the mosque in the center of the village. "We hope something good would come out of these elections."
Those who said they hadn't voted explained that they saw no real difference between Obama and MCcain.
"It's irrelevant who's going to win because the US policy is decided by the Jewish lobby in America," said Amin Ibrahim, a former resident of San Diego, California. "The Jews control America and this is a well-known fact."
His views appeared to reflect the attitude of many villagers. "Yes, I agree that there is no difference between the Democrats and the Republicans," said Fawzi Abdullah, owner of a supermarket in Chicago.
"When the new US president moves into the White House in January, he will discover that the foreign policy has already been set for the next four or eight years.
"The Zionist lobby always sets the foreign policy of the US. The new president will have to do what the Zionist movement wants or else they will get rid of him."