Biggest Losers in Palestine Veto? The American People

Biggest Losers in Palestine Veto? The American People

http://original.antiwar.com/giraldi/2011/09/21/biggest-losers-in-palestine-veto-the-american-people/

Posted By Philip Giraldi On September 21, 2011 @ 11:00 pm In Uncategorized | 21 Comments

If the Palestinian application for United Nations full membership actually takes place Friday and the United States uses its Security Council veto to stop the process, it will be the final step in a predictable and preventable tragedy playing out. Some are arguing that Washington might actually abstain, thereby gaining considerable favorable sentiment from much of the world and also sending a signal to Israel that there are limits to the bilateral relationship. But it is far more likely that President Barack Obama, who has stated over and over that he will protect Israel in international forums, will not flinch when he calls on Susan Rice to cast the fatal vote. Any expectation that the president might hesitate either because it is the right thing to do or because it benefits the United States is fanciful, particularly with a presidential election looming in 2012.

Washington’s attempts to “mediate” the situation have really been limited to pressuring the Palestinians to back off. Sending National Security Council official Dennis Ross, “Israel’s lawyer,” to Ramallah to talk around the Palestinian leadership should, if anything, indicate to the Palestinians that Washington is, as it always has been, firmly in the Israeli corner. So let us assume that Palestine will feel compelled to seek full U.N. membership as the world’s 194th nation and that Washington will then veto the application. The first question then has to be whether the entire process had any meaning at all or it was just kabuki, a stylized show played out to an appreciative audience with a predictable ending. The short answer is that the Palestinians will certainly be on the losing end — as they have been for more than 60 years — but the real losers will be the United States and Israel.

The mainstream media has echoed Israeli and American arguments that Palestinian statehood is meaningless without a negotiated settlement of issues on the ground. But Israel has made it clear that it has no desire to negotiate anything while it continues to occupy the West Bank, so the Palestinian choice is to accept the status quo, in which it is powerless and voiceless, or attempt to line up the international community more solidly behind it and shift the playing field.

Israel has been working hard to stop the process, or, at worst, to mitigate its impact by having a number of important nations, mostly in Europe, either abstain on the vote or vote no. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a glad-hand tour of European capitals earlier this year with that express purpose, and he received positive signals from the Italians, the Dutch, the Poles, and the Germans, though it is by no means clear how they will vote. It was for Israel a top national priority, which it has conveyed clearly to its friends in the United States.

Washington, at the urging of Israel, also joined in the effort, starting with warnings late last year to Latin American nations that recognizing Palestine as a state would be “unacceptable.” More recently, the State Department and the White House have repeatedly expressed their desire that the Palestinians shelve their plans to seek a U.N. seat, and they have been assiduously working both in front of the TV cameras in New York and Washington and behind the scenes to convince the Palestinian leadership to cease and desist. The dialogue has been given some teeth by Congress, which is determined to cut all aid to Palestine if the U.N. action goes through. One congressmen, Joe Walsh of Illinois, is preparing a motion that will provide congressional support for an Israeli annexation of much of the West Bank if the Palestinians proceed. Walsh describes Palestinian statehood as “absolutely outrageous.”

So Israel sees the Palestinian plan as a major threat and the United States appears to be on board, but many would reasonably observe that Israel often cries wolf and greatly exaggerates what it perceives as threats against it. Is that true in this case, making it just another instance where Tel Aviv is adopting an extreme position in hopes that Washington will deliver the goods? It may not be. Israel sees danger precisely because the Palestinian bid will do a couple of things that call into question some significant aspects of the status quo. First of all, since it will certainly pass with a huge majority in the General Assembly if the Palestinians opt to go that route, it will provide overwhelming international confirmation of Palestinian rights with the U.S. and Israel standing on the wrong side on the issue. It will also severely undermine Israel’s moral position, such as it is, and emphasize the illegality of the Israeli occupation of parts of the West Bank. The process is already illegal in the eyes of the rest of the world, including the United States, but it will be even less tenable if a convincing majority of the world’s countries recognize Palestine as a state with defined borders and a national identity.

Second, recognition of statehood carries with it recognition that the state exists within defined space, in this case the 1967 borders. This has enormous significance because those borders include many areas being colonized by the Israelis, as well as East Jerusalem. It means that any Israeli settlement that is on the other side of that border is considered completely illegal and that Israel is therefore a rogue state that is occupying and settling lands belonging to a neighboring state 44 years after the cessation of hostilities. Even the New York Times in an article on Sept. 10 regarding the recent unrest in Egypt, noting that Islamic groups were not involved, conceded that criticism of Israel has a basis in the widespread popular perception that “Muslims, Arabs, and indeed many around the globe believe Israel is unjustly occupying Palestinian territories, and they are furious at Israel for it.” The rejection of Palestinian statehood and the debate surrounding it will only heighten that sentiment.

If the Palestinians are in the United Nations as a full member or even with limited rights, they will have access to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, where they can take legal steps against Israel and against individual Israelis. Even though Israel doesn’t recognize the legitimacy of the court, when it reaches the point where no senior Israeli government official, present or retired, can travel without concern over being arrested, it will have a major impact on how Israel sees itself and how the rest of the world sees Israel. The clear depiction of Israel as an occupying power in violation of the Geneva Conventions, to which most of the world’s nations are signatories, would also fuel the Israel divestment campaign, which is another major concern of the Israeli government, and also legitimately so, as it could have a serious impact on the Israeli economy.

The Palestinians would also have recourse to other United Nations bodies. They would, for example, be able to appeal to UNESCO to stop the Israeli demolition of Muslim and Arab historical sites and the renaming of villages and other landmarks, a considerable benefit.

So Israel is right in understanding that the U.N. entry could have a profound impact, but the United States would hardly escape collateral damage from its veto and could turn out to be the biggest loser. Policymakers in Washington like Joe Walsh forget Newton’s Third Law of Motion, though that assumes that they have ever heard of Newton. Newton said that every action produces an equal and opposite reaction. It is true in international relations just as it is true in physics, only in the real world it has come to be known as blowback.

What would be the possible blowback from an American veto? John Whitbeck has correctly described the veto by Washington as a “shotgun blast in both of its own feet.” The United States is already perceived negatively in every Arab nation except Kuwait. It is seen as on one hand supporting liberalization and democratization of some Arab governments while at the same time suppressing fundamental rights in places like Palestine. Worse still, if Washington cuts aid to the Palestinians because of their going to the U.N., it will be widely perceived as a de facto partner and enabler of the occupation of the West Bank.

The unfortunately well-deserved perception of blatant hypocrisy will alienate emerging “Arab spring” regimes even more from Washington and will almost certainly lead to anti-American violence, possibly extreme, in places like Egypt, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Turkey. American goods and services will, as a consequence, undoubtedly become less welcome in many parts of the world, while the U.S. veto will inevitably provide a recruiting bonanza for groups that use terror, including al-Qaeda.

And it could make every American traveler less safe when he or she goes abroad, while American soldiers stationed in foreign lands will inevitably become targets of militants, inspired by yet another example of Washington’s hypocrisy. Vice President Joe Biden and Gen. David Petraeus had it exactly right when they observed that Israeli policies were endangering Americans. That was before they came to their senses and recanted, but apparently the president of the United States was not listening anyway.

Acceptance of full Palestinian sovereignty and statehood by Israel and the United States would give Tel Aviv a genuine negotiating partner and go far toward restoring the reputation of the United States of America, while rejection of it will end the charade forever, eliminating any chance for any kind of viable peace process in the Middle East. And the damage extends beyond that. Saudi Arabia has already warned that the U.S. veto will do irreparable damage to its bilateral relationship with Washington and will also forever destroy America’s reputation in the Arab world. It would hasten the development of the clash of civilizations, “us and them” point of view, dividing much of the developing world from Washington. It would be the final and irrevocable step in a foreign policy that has brought nothing but disasters over the past 10 years.

Read more by Philip Giraldi


No One Messes With the Superpower

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/blog/2011/10/08/no-one-messes-with-the-superpower/

14 Responses to “Biggest Losers in Palestine Veto? The American People”

  • Patriot says:

    The disappearance of President Obama & Netanyahu’s security scam

    http://www.alanhart.net/the-disappearance-of-president-obama-netanyahu%e2%80%99s-security-scam-2/

    Hope turns to frustration among Palestinian crowd

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/09/23/eveningnews/main20110991.shtml

    http://rt.com/news/palestinian-bid-security-council-359/

    Washington is staunchly supporting Israel’s position, despite Obama’s call for a sovereign Palestinian state during his address to the UN General Assembly last year.

    According to author and historian William Blum, the reason for such devotion is Obama’s campaign funding.

    “He is pro-Israel because money he gets in the US for his election campaigns – he gets a fortune from the Jewish lobbies and Jewish individuals,” Blum told RT. “That is what motivates him and that is the only rational.”

    http://rt.com/news/us-israel-military-co-operation-351/

    According to author and historian William Blum, the increased co-operation between the Israeli and the US is all about Obama’s election campaign funding.

    “The US has been giving Israel arms for decades and decades. This is nothing new,” Blum said. “It is not based on logic. If you ask for a rational explanation, that is not what [Obama] does. He is pro-Israel because of the money he gets in the US for his election campaigns. He gets a fortune from the Jewish lobbies and Jewish individuals.”

    “That is what motivates him and that is the only rational,” Blum added. “He has not have to be logical about what he does, or consistent.”

    911 Motive and Media Betrayal:

    http://tinyurl.com/911motivemediabetrayal

    General Petraeus Leaked Emails about Israel (scroll down to comments):

    http://tinyurl.com/petraeusinnewstatesman

    Why They Attacked US on 911
    (scroll down to comments section as well):

    http://tinyurl.com/WhyTheyAttackedUSon911

  • Ron says:

    Seriously? The US has setup Sep17, Oct2011, and other gnats to draw attention from this issue, including Troy Davis! US propoganda machine is in full gear.

  • Eileen Kuch says:

    If only JFK were still alive today and President of the US. There would be NO such veto of Palestinian statehood at the UN with that courageous man in the White House. Unfortunately, he had paid the ultimate price for crossing Israel back in November, 1963. Obama’s cowardice in the face of Zionist threats will force any and all US travelers abroad to hide their passports and assume Canadian identities. JFK would NEVER allow such a veto; he would have supported Palestinian statehood. Too bad we don’t have such leadership today, when we need it most.

  • Jim David says:

    My letter published in today’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution

    http://www.ajc.com/opinion/readers-write-9-23-1186912.html

    Readers Write 9/23
    PALESTINIANS

    Statehood recognition important for region

    The Palestinian people deserve the same human rights and opportunities as any other population. Their suffering has endured for too long.

    For years, the Palestinians have waited, while building and maintaining international support for their aspirations, and continuing to live the daily consequences of Israeli occupation. Recognition of statehood at the United Nations will usher in and transform a new era of genuine and long-lasting peace negotiations, based for the first time on international law, human rights, and equality for all. The importance of this cannot be underestimated, and the well-being of the region and its people depends on this great historical decision.


    James J. David, Marietta

  • Patriot says:

    General (Ret) James (Jim) David who posted the above comment was excellent with his call on Phil Tourney’s ‘Your Voice Counts’ radio program (which can be heard via http://www.investigateussliberty.info/index.php?special=morris as James Morris was guest hosting) about the illegal Israel settlement building:

    Israel to build new houses in annexed East Jerusalem (can also see the illegal Israeli settlements in the ‘Miral’ film – http://tinyurl.com/miralfilm):

    http://america-hijacked.com/2011/08/12/israel-to-build-new-houses-in-annexed-east-jerusalem/

    Talking about the Israel Lobby with Brig. Gen. James David on the Liberty Hour as General David is mentioned on the cover of former Republican Paul Findley’s ‘They Dare to Speak Out’ book about the power/influence of the pro-Israel lobby (AIPAC and similar) on the US political system and media
    Talking about the Israel Lobby with Brig. Gen. James Davidon the Liberty Hour. The Lobby’s power blocked President Carter from speaking at the Democratic National Convention
    SEE VIDEO:

    http://neoconzionistthreat.blogspot.com/2008/09/talking-about-israel-lobby-with-brig.html

    Passionate Attachment to Israel (by General James David):

    http://www.mediamonitors.net/jamesjdavid17.html

    Scroll down to George Washington’s ‘Farewell Address’ (warning US to avoid passionate attachments and entangling alliances for foreign nations like we have with Israel which is taking US down as conveyed via http://tinyurl.com/motivation911 as well) to read via the link at bottom of http://astandforjustice.org

    Paul Findley says it all in the following article:

    The High Cost of Subservience to Israel:

    http://tinyurl.com/subserviencetoIsrael

  • We as a nation have a choice war or peace this nation under the hevey hand of Israel want”s war. Israel is not paying the price for American dead and wounded but Israel gets a pass WHY?
    I can tell you why ISRAEL got by with cold blooded MURDER of AMERICANS on the high seas and contniue that to this very second.
    Listen to Bi Bi rant today at the UN it was a Israel that says screw all of you ISRAEL is first and there is no second. This comes as a standing ovation on there knees of our elected officals gave him .Israel MURDERS AMERICANS and our elected clap for him what is wrong with this story? Go for it throw the B&&&&&& out and send them to ISRAEL to live. AMERICA comes first above all no other any country no one peroid not even ISRAEL!!!!!!

    Phillip F Tourney
    USSLIBERTY SURVIVOR
    Three Time Liberty Veterans President
    Author :WHAT I SAW THAT DAY”
    Host “YOUR VOICE COUNTS”
    Saturdays 7 pm EST republicbroadcasting.org

  • Patriot says:

    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas addressed the United Nations General Assembly

    http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/AbbasU

  • Patriot says:

    http://www.upi.com/Top_News/Analysis/de-Borchgrave/2011/09/26/Commentary-Creeping-annexation/UPI-81551317035919/

    Commentary: Creeping annexation

    By ARNAUD DE BORCHGRAVE
    UPI Editor at Large
    WASHINGTON, Sept. 26 (UPI) — In the perennial Palestinian-Israeli crisis, Barack Obama decided to enhance his 2012 re-election chances by giving his pro-Israel credentials a much-needed boost. By the same token Obama scuttled his chances of improving America ‘s image in the Arab world.

    The Palestinians are no nearer to achieving statehood and U.N. membership. And the land for the creation of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and East Jerusalem continues to shrink steadily as the ban on expanding Israeli settlements was lifted last spring.

    New Jewish settlements aren’t authorized but the existing 141 Israeli settlements that house 320,000 in the West Bank — and another 215,000 in East Jerusalem — increase by several hundred dwellings at a time.

    Last July 18, Israel issued bids to build 336 apartments in West Bank settlements. The Ministry of Construction and Housing spokesman said developers were being asked to compete to build 294 apartments in Beitar IlLit and 42 more in Karnei Shomron.

    Area C is Israel’s designation for 60 percent of the West Bank with a Palestinian population of about 150,000 (out of 2.4 million) and where almost all Israeli settlements are located, including the road network that links them, and which Palestinians aren’t allowed to travel.

    Residents of Khallet Zakariya, located in Area C south of Bethlehem , complained last month to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs that Israeli authorities are demolishing their homes and settlers destroying their livelihoods in an effort to force the community to relocate.

    Mohamed Khalil, 55, said Israeli settlers “ruined” a little more than an acre of his crop of grapes and plums and “spray painted” in black on the wall of his home a death warning to get out.

    Khalil also told an OCHA rep that officials from the Civil Administration, the Israeli governing body that operates in the West Bank, came to see him with an offer to relocate his community of some 350 people to an area west of Bethlehem called Nahlin. He said he declined to abandon the land that his father cultivated.

    Ido Hevroni, a resident of Alon Shvut (population: 3,000), south of Khallet Zakariya, says there is “peace between his community and Palestinian families” and that he is against “any illegal structure, Palestinian or Israeli.”

    With Jewish settlement Bat Ayin located directly west and settlement Rosh Zurim directly to the north, residents of Khallet Zakariya complain there is a strategy to force them out to allow settlement expansion.

    These vignettes of daily life in the West Bank demonstrate that the U.S. pledge of a “viable and contiguous” Palestinian state isn’t about to materialize.

    The post-U.N. outlook now is for a third “intifada” or Palestinian insurrection, not suicide bombings as in the past, but demonstrations by Palestinian youth up and down the length of the Wall of Separation — a 420-mile-long electrified and fortified electronic barrier that snakes in and out of the West Bank and cost more than $2 billion to build. The 1967 border with Israel is 120 miles long.

    Palestinians tested this new form of intifada last May — and got worldwide television news coverage. Israeli soldiers breaking up these demonstrations produced the kind of scenes that inflamed Arab streets.

    It was under Israeli pressure that Facebook deleted a Web site that called for a third Palestinian intifada after it had quickly clocked 300,000 supporters.

    It is this original 1967 border that Obama suggested become the basis for negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, with minor adjustments and compensation for any loss of land — and which Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu categorically rejected.

    About 50 percent of the West Bank population is affected by the Wall through loss of land or isolation through de facto annexed areas. It also sits astride the West Bank ‘s water aquifer.

    By rejecting the Palestinian demand to be recognized by the United Nations as a full-fledged member state, Obama lost what little goodwill he had recovered from his support for the NATO operation to dethrone Libya ‘s Moammar Gadhafi and from the way he tipped the balance against long-time U.S. ally Hosni Mubarak in Egypt .

    By autumn, the Arab Spring was already shimmering like a desert mirage. Gadhafi was turning into an Arab Scarlet Pimpernel, the hero of the Reign of Terror that followed the start of the French Revolution.

    The new military garrison chief for Tripoli is a man who was tortured in Thailand under the CIA’s rendition program. Abdelkarim Elhaj said with a sarcastic smile he isn’t holding it against Obama but he would like to see those involved brought to justice.

    And in Egypt , the sight of Mubarak on a gurney being wheeled into a military court where America ‘s close friend for 30 years is accused of corruption, as the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist extremists prep their election campaigns, confident they’ll win 50 percent of the vote next November, Obama must be asking himself where he went wrong.

    Netanyahu is convinced he has the correct game plan vis-a-vis the Palestinians. He says some are ignoring that Fatah, the moderate Palestinians, and Hamas, whose stated aim is the destruction of Israel , reconciled in May 2011.

    The deal included an agreement to form a unity government and to have elections within a year. Israel made clear it would reject any deal that included Hamas.

    For Hamas and other hard-liners, their idea of a permanent frontier is simple — the Mediterranean Sea . Hence, Netanyahu’s steadfast refusal to budge — and to go on expanding Jewish settlements.

  • Jim David says:

    The United States says it’s disappointed by today’s news of Israel’s announcement approving the construction of 1,100 housing units in East Jerusalem on Palestinian land. A U.S. spokesperson stated that this latest construction announcement by the Israelis is counterproductive to America’s efforts to resume direct negotiations between the parties.
    I don’t blame the Israelis for this latest announcement. We expect these kind of actions from the Israelis because they know they can get away with anything as long as the U.S. stays by their side. So, it’s not the Israelis we should blame. It’s the United States and their bought politicians who are to blame. As long as the U.S. promises to veto any U.N. resolutions critical to Israel there will never be peace in the Middle East. There needs to be an American spring revolt against this stranglehold that the Israelis have on our leaders and how their lobby and other Jewish groups have corrupted our government How much more blood and money can Americans afford for this Zionist State?

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/u-s-condemns-israeli-plan-for-new-construction-beyond-green-line-1.387055

    U.S. condemns Israeli plan for new construction beyond Green Line – Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News

    Published 18:37 27.09.11
    Latest update 18:37 27.09.11
    U.S. condemns Israeli plan for new construction beyond Green Line
    EU, Palestinians also denounce Israel’s plan for 1,100 new homes in Jerusalem’s contested Gilo neighborhood.
    By Natasha Mozgovaya, Nir Hasson and The Associated Press Tags: Jerusalem Palestinians

    The U.S. condemned Tuesday Israel’s plan to build 1,100 new housing units in Jerusalem’s contested Gilo neighborhood, which lies beyond the Green Line.

    “We are deeply disappointed by this morning’s announcement by the government of Israel approving the construction of 1,100 housing units in East Jerusalem,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.

    Construction in Jerusalem’s Gilo neighborhood.

    Photo by: Daniel Bar-On

    “We consider this counterproductive to our efforts to resume direct negotiations between the parties,” Nuland said. “And we have long urged both parties to avoid actions which could undermine trust, including in Jerusalem, and will continue to work with the parties to try to resume direct negotiations.”

    The European Union’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton also expressed disappointment with Israel’s new plan to build homes in Gilo, saying they “should be reversed” since it undermines peace negotiations with the Palestinians.

    Ashton told the EU parliament that she heard “with deep regret” that Israeli plans to build homes beyond the Green Line were continuing.

    Speaking in Strasbourg, France, Ashton said the expansion of settlements “threatens the viability of an agreed two-state solution” between the two sides, as backed by the EU, the United States, Russia and the United Nations.

    The Palestinians also condemned Israel’s construction plans in Gilo.

    “The Israeli Prime Minister claims to have no preconditions, but with this decision is putting concrete preconditions on the ground,” the Palestinian Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.

    “[Netanyahu] says there should be no unilateral steps, but there could be nothing more unilateral than a huge new round of settlement building on Palestinian land. The Israeli Prime Minister told the UN that he had come to tell the truth, but it is this decision which tells the truth.”

    In New York on Monday, a divided UN Security Council met behind closed doors for its first discussion of last week’s Palestinian application for full UN membership as a state.

    The move seems certain to fail due to Israeli and U.S. opposition, despite substantial support by other governments.

    A spokesperson for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said it was up to the Security Council to put a stop to Israel’s settlement policy “which is destroying the two-state solution and putting more obstacles in front of any effort to bring about a resumption of negotiations”.

Leave a Reply