Archive for July 10th, 2011
|By Noam Chomsky||July 7, 2011|
In May, in a closed meeting of many of Israel’s business leaders, Idan Ofer, a holding-company magnate, warned, “We are quickly turning into South Africa. The economic blow of sanctions will be felt by every family in Israel.”
The business leaders’ particular concern was the U.N. General Assembly session this September, where the Palestinian Authority is planning to call for recognition of a Palestinian state.
Dan Gillerman, Israel’s former ambassador to the United Nations, warned participants that “the morning after the anticipated announcement of recognition of a Palestinian state, a painful and dramatic process of Southafricanization will begin”–meaning that Israel would become a pariah state, subject to international sanctions.
In this and subsequent meetings, the oligarchs urged the government to initiate efforts modeled on the Saudi (Arab League) proposals and the unofficial Geneva Accord of 2003, in which high-level Palestinian and Israeli negotiators detailed a two-state settlement that was welcomed by most of the world, dismissed by Israel and ignored by Washington.
In March, Israel’s Defense Minister Ehud Barak warned of the prospective U.N. action as a “tsunami.” The fear is that the world will condemn Israel not only for violating international law but also for carrying out its criminal acts in an occupied state recognized by the U.N.
The U.S. and Israel are waging intensive diplomatic campaigns to head off the tsunami. If they fail, recognition of a Palestinian state is likely.
More than 100 states already recognize Palestine. The United Kingdom, France and other European nations have upgraded the Palestine General Delegation to “diplomatic missions and embassies–a status normally reserved only for states,” Victor Kattan observes in the American Journal of International Law.
Palestine has also been admitted to U.N. organizations apart from UNESCO and the World Health Organization, which have avoided the issue for fear of U.S. defunding–no idle threat.
In June the U.S. Senate passed a resolution threatening to suspend aid for the Palestine Authority if it persists with its U.N. initiative. Susan Rice, U.S. ambassador to the U.N., warned that there was “no greater threat” to U.S. funding of the U.N. “than the prospect of Palestinian statehood being endorsed by member states,” The (London) Daily Telegraph reports. Israel’s new U.N. Ambassador, Ron Prosor, informed the Israeli press that U.N. recognition “would lead to violence and war.”
The U.N. would presumably recognize Palestine in the internationally accepted borders, including the Golan Heights, West Bank and Gaza. The heights were annexed by Israel in December 1981, in violation of U.N. Security Council orders.
In the West Bank, the settlements and acts to support them are clearly in violation of international law, as affirmed by the World Court and the Security Council.
In February 2006, the U.S. and Israel imposed a siege in Gaza after the “wrong side”–Hamas–won elections in Palestine, recognized as free and fair. The siege became much harsher in June 2007 after the failure of a U.S.-backed military coup to overthrow the elected government.
In June 2010, the siege of Gaza was condemned by the International Committee of the Red Cross–which rarely issues such reports–as “collective punishment imposed in clear violation” of international humanitarian law. The BBC reported that the ICRC “paints a bleak picture of conditions in Gaza: hospitals short of equipment, power cuts lasting hours each day, drinking water unfit for consumption,” and the population of course imprisoned.
The criminal siege extends the U.S.-Israeli policy since 1991 of separating Gaza from the West Bank, thus ensuring that any eventual Palestinian state would be effectively contained within hostile powers–Israel and the Jordanian dictatorship. The Oslo Accords, signed by Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization in 1993, proscribe separating Gaza from the West Bank.
A more immediate threat facing U.S.-Israeli rejectionism is the Freedom Flotilla that seeks to challenge the blockade of Gaza by bringing letters and humanitarian aid. In May 2010, the last such attempt led to an attack by Israeli commandoes in international waters–a major crime in itself–in which nine passengers were killed, actions bitterly condemned outside the U.S.
In Israel, most people convinced themselves that the commandoes were the innocent victims, attacked by passengers, another sign of the self-destructive irrationality sweeping the society.
Today the U.S. and Israel are vigorously seeking to block the flotilla. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton virtually authorized violence, stating that “Israelis have the right to defend themselves” if flotillas “try to provoke action by entering into Israeli waters”–that is, the territorial waters of Gaza, as if Gaza belonged to Israel.
Greece agreed to prevent the boats from leaving (that is, those boats not already sabotaged)–though, unlike Clinton, Greece referred rightly to “the maritime area of Gaza.”
In January 2009, Greece had distinguished itself by refusing to permit U.S. arms to be shipped to Israel from Greek ports during the vicious U.S.-Israeli assault in Gaza. No longer an independent country in its current financial duress, Greece evidently cannot risk such unusual integrity.
Asked whether the flotilla is a “provocation,” Chris Gunness, the spokesperson for the U.N. Relief and Works Agency, the major aid agency for Gaza, described the situation as desperate: “If there were no humanitarian crisis, if there weren’t a crisis in almost every aspect of life in Gaza there would be no need for the flotilla â(euro) .125 95 percent of all water in Gaza is undrinkable, 40 percent of all disease is water-borne … 45.2 percent of the labor force is unemployed, 80 percent aid dependency, a tripling of the abject poor since the start of the blockade. Let’s get rid of this blockade and there would be no need for a flotilla.”
Diplomatic initiatives such as the Palestinian state strategy, and nonviolent actions generally, threaten those who hold a virtual monopoly on violence. The U.S. and Israel are trying to sustain indefensible positions: the occupation and its subversion of the overwhelming, long-standing consensus on a diplomatic settlement.
Ashqar: Israel detained more than 3000 Palestinian children in 5 years
Israel to attack Iran by September?:
US collusion in the Gaza blockade is an affront to human rights
My daughter’s death shows the cruelty of an America that won’t protect its own and is complicit in harming Palestinian civilians
Will Israel Kill Americans Again (scroll down to links at bottom of following URL)?:
General (Ret) James David (who is mentioned on the cover of the third edition of former Republican Congressman Paul Findley’s ‘They Dare to Speak Out’ book about the power/influence of the pro-Israel lobby on the US political system and media) sent through the following as well:
Our politicians on both sides are discussing ways to cut spending, including social security, medicare, defense, veterans, etc. and each side seems to get blasted for their suggestions. In order to compromise and agree on keeping our government from defaulting, both sides will make compromises and sacrifices but there is one area that neither has the nerve or authority to suggest cutting. Wouldn’t it be refreshing if just one person had the nerve to ask why? I think the oath that these politicians took to AIPAC shortly after their election forbids them to ever question the aid we give to Israel. Ron Paul is one exception. Our founding fathers would never approve of such a massive giveaway of national wealth or tolerate the heavy handed influence of the Israeli lobby.
Official says $30b promised over next decade will not be harmed by world financial crisis.
The $30 billion in aid promised to Israel over the next decade will not be harmed by the world financial crisis, the official told Israel Radio. He spoke on condition of anonymity.
The Obama Administration however expects the next government of Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu to continue peace negotiations with the Palestinians, he said.
The increased military aid was promised to outgoing prime minister Ehud Olmert by then-under secretary of state for political affairs Nicholas Burns in August 2007.
Israel Radio also quoted the official as saying that if Hamas joins a Palestinian unity cabinet but does not accept the conditions of the Quartet of Middle East peace sponsors – the U.S., European Union, United Nations and Russia – the Obama Administration would have no dealings with that government.
The radical Islamist movement ruling Gaza is holding talks in Cairo with the secular Fatah party of moderate President Mahmoud Abbas and other factions on forming a unity government.
The talks in Cairo are a bid to reconcile between the rivaling factions, which have been locked in a bitter power struggle since Hamas beat Fatah in January 2006 elections and culminated in the Islamist group violently seizing sole control of Gaza in June 2007.
After the Hamas elections victory, the Quartet said it would boycott Hamas, unless it recognized Israel’s right to exist, endorsed past interim peace deals calling for a two-state solution to the conflict, and renounced violence.
we need to cut all foreign aid to every country
And we wonder why we have a terror problem!
What Motivated the 9/11 Hijackers? See testimony most didn’t!
See Los Angeles Times article near beginning of following URL:
Even General Petraeus conveyed to Congress that US support for Israel against the Palestinians is a threat to US troops in theater:
General Petraeus Leaked Emails about Israel:
Israel and 9/11:
Ray McGovern mentioned what Gen Petraeus conveyed as well near end of following article:
Will Israel Kill Americans Again?: