Adbusters

Hey Barack!

What part of 'illegal' don't you understand?

As the spat between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Obama administration continues over Israeli plans to build 1,600 new homes in occupied East Jerusalem, we need to take a step back and look at the big picture.

Forget for a moment the construction of new Israeli settlements and remember that almost 500,000 Israelis live in more than 100 settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

It is illegal to build settlements on conquered territory and the continued existence of these communities is a slap in the face. Despite this glaring reality, the notion that the US should urge Israel to remove existing settlements hasn’t even entered the equation.

The prospects for peace have grown so distant and the discourse so convoluted that we are now at a point where Israel agreeing to stop for a moment its continuing theft of Palestinian land is somehow viewed as a concession that requires Palestinian reciprocity.

One would think that a Harvard-trained lawyer who seeks to restore America’s reputation abroad and act as an honest broker for peace in the Middle East would be troubled by Israel’s continued flouting of international law.

But even if Obama doesn’t want to concern himself with this inconvenient detail he might want to listen to the man he relies on to run his wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and all other American operations underway in the Middle East.

US General David Petraeus warned that the continuing occupation of Palestinian land aids Al Qaeda, calling the conflict one of the “root causes of instability” in the Middle East.

If there is any hope of realizing peace through a two-state solution it will require immediate and meaningful efforts to pull back the web of settlements, checkpoints and Israeli-only roads fracturing the occupied territories before it is too late.

In a recent speech to the powerful Israel lobby group AIPAC, Benjamin Netanyahu declared defiantly, “Jerusalem is not a settlement. It’s our capital.”

"Everyone knows that these neighborhoods will be part of Israel in any peace settlement,” he said.

The Palestinians don’t know that, the international community doesn’t know that, and the Americans aren’t supposed to know that either.

But in an address to the same pro-Israel lobbyists Hillary Clinton promised that America’s support for Israel is “rock solid, unwavering, enduring and forever.”

Considering that Israel’s ultranationalist settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem are politically powerful and armed to the teeth, it is questionable whether they could actually be removed. But as long as the US bickers with Israel about future settlements instead of demanding the removal of existing ones, no progress will be made toward a two-state solution. The situation will only spiral down faster toward intractable apartheid.


-Blake Sifton

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78 comments on the article “Hey Barack!”

Displaying 41 - 50 of 78

Page 5 of 8

scrappy

This is an essential voice in this vital dialogue about ending the disgraceful/inhuman behavior of Israel's government:

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article24597.htm

It's vital to remember that many of the strongest voices in the Free Palestine movement are Israeli. They are people disgusted with their own people or at least, with how their own people have been fooled.

They are to be honored as highly as those German who were able to break through the spell Hitler had woven to see the evil that lurked beneath. They were executed for their views if they hadn't managed to get out.

Free, Free Palestine!

scrappy

This is an essential voice in this vital dialogue about ending the disgraceful/inhuman behavior of Israel's government:

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article24597.htm

It's vital to remember that many of the strongest voices in the Free Palestine movement are Israeli. They are people disgusted with their own people or at least, with how their own people have been fooled.

They are to be honored as highly as those German who were able to break through the spell Hitler had woven to see the evil that lurked beneath. They were executed for their views if they hadn't managed to get out.

Free, Free Palestine!

Anonymous

On the radio today an expert (where do they all come from? this one was a university professor) made the point that the USA certainly have the _means_ to force Israel into complying with international law, e.g. ending the illegal occupation, which could open up for a viable solution to the conflict. A major reason as to why no American president has ever done anything to that extent is simply that the Israeli nation is seen as a spearhead of Christian values by the Christian right in the USA, a strong force in American politics. (Not the AIPAC as many think: the expert pointed out that they only account for about 2% of the votes.)

What it all boils down to is that if Obama wants to get re-elected, he simply cannot be too tough on Israel.

Anonymous

On the radio today an expert (where do they all come from? this one was a university professor) made the point that the USA certainly have the _means_ to force Israel into complying with international law, e.g. ending the illegal occupation, which could open up for a viable solution to the conflict. A major reason as to why no American president has ever done anything to that extent is simply that the Israeli nation is seen as a spearhead of Christian values by the Christian right in the USA, a strong force in American politics. (Not the AIPAC as many think: the expert pointed out that they only account for about 2% of the votes.)

What it all boils down to is that if Obama wants to get re-elected, he simply cannot be too tough on Israel.

the missing e

And you simply believe that? I mean the Christian right? supports the jews? And the people in Israel practically elect the US President? And the US can end the illegal occupation? Is it really illegal? Who does this land belong to: Palestine or maybe Jordan? Can Jordan give the land to Palestine even so they themself have occupied it?

Glad the radio experts with there extensive speech-time of 3 minutes could solve all that.

thanks for believing.

the missing e

And you simply believe that? I mean the Christian right? supports the jews? And the people in Israel practically elect the US President? And the US can end the illegal occupation? Is it really illegal? Who does this land belong to: Palestine or maybe Jordan? Can Jordan give the land to Palestine even so they themself have occupied it?

Glad the radio experts with there extensive speech-time of 3 minutes could solve all that.

thanks for believing.

David Thompson

I agree with one of the previous posts that asks why is this article in Adbusters at all( a very interesting question and one that may have a very controversial answer)?But since we are on the topic one thing that I never see mentioned is that if Israel is being asked to "give back land won in war-the so-called occupied territories" then what do you call most of the Southwest United States?Perhaps people should Google how California(and Texas and Arizona and New Mexico) became part of US territory and maybe it also should be given back to it's "rightful owner"?

David Thompson

I agree with one of the previous posts that asks why is this article in Adbusters at all( a very interesting question and one that may have a very controversial answer)?But since we are on the topic one thing that I never see mentioned is that if Israel is being asked to "give back land won in war-the so-called occupied territories" then what do you call most of the Southwest United States?Perhaps people should Google how California(and Texas and Arizona and New Mexico) became part of US territory and maybe it also should be given back to it's "rightful owner"?

ken vallario

this is a good point...we need to begin questioning the whole notion of 'ownership' and focus on coexistence. this will require the surrender of dogmas that are used to justify differences...

ken vallario

this is a good point...we need to begin questioning the whole notion of 'ownership' and focus on coexistence. this will require the surrender of dogmas that are used to justify differences...

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