As John Mearsheimer said recently, although the internet exposed the reality of Occupation in Palestinian Territories to many more Americans, this knowledge does not translate into political power. And I believe him.
But I woke up in an optimistic mood and then came accross this piece at the Huffington Post by Stephen Zunes, saying, “imagine if, during the 1980s, Barbara Boxer had taken positions on Central America comparable to her current positions in the Middle East.” And I want to believe that his piece is a harbinger of change:
American politicians are beginning to be openly challenged as to their position on Israel, and what’s more, how does it reflect on American values.
The senator has strongly defended Israeli attacks on civilian population centers in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and Lebanon and has categorically rejected calls for linking the billions of dollars in U.S. aid to human rights considerations. The senator has attacked reputable human rights organizations and leading international jurists for daring to document war crimes committed by Israeli forces (in addition to those committed by militant Islamists.) The senator has openly challenged the International Court of Justice on the universality of the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, co-sponsoring a Senate resolution attacking the World Court’s landmark 2004 decision. The senator has led the effort in the Senate to undermine President Obama’s efforts to halt the expansion of Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territories, insisting that Obama refrain from openly challenging Israel’s right-wing government to suspend its illegal colonization drive. The senator has attacked supporters of nuclear nonproliferation for calling on Israel to join virtually every other country in the world in signing the NPT. The senator has endorsed Israel’s illegal annexation of greater East Jerusalem and expansion of settlements in violation of a series of UN Security Council resolutions, as well as Israel’s construction of a separation barrier deep inside the occupied West Bank to facilitate their annexation into Israel and virtually eliminate the possibility of the establishment of a viable Palestinian state. The senator defended Israel’s illegal attack in international waters of a humanitarian aid flotilla, even after a United Nations investigation revealed that five people on board, including a 19-year old U.S. citizen, were murdered execution-style. Indeed, this senator has consistently sided with Israel’s right wing government against those in both the United States and Israel working for peace and human rights.
How far have we have come from 2006 when the very mention of Israel was “here comes the grenade” moment that public had to be prepared for. (For all those who swallowed Scott Ritter’s character assassination here is Craig Murray’s take on the “bog standard smear technique“)