Rambunctious reporters question US State Dept’s double standard on Syrian/Palestinian aspirations

Israel/Palestine
on 78 Comments

Below is a long excerpt from yesterday’s press briefing at the State Department. Victoria Nuland of State takes on a bunch of rowdy questions on Palestinian aspirations and why the U.S. has opposed Palestine’s bid to join UNESCO. 

The exchange is noteworthy for Nuland’s laughable claim that the U.S. is “absolutely” opposed to Israeli settlement expansion, despite its continual collapse on the issue; for the reporters’ lack of interest in the unending Quartet negotiation drama — they seem to sense another sham in the making–; and for a reporter’s statement that the U.S. will do nothing that “gets Israel upset” (Nuland: “I didn’t say that.”).

The cat is out of the bag; will American public opinion begin to reflect the reporters’ awareness? 

The interchange begins with the matter of the Security Council resolution calling for an end to the Syrian crackdown, which was vetoed by Russia and China. Several other nations, including India, abstained. 

http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2011/10/175062.htm

QUESTION: Ambassador Rice said last night that the people of Syria now see clearly who – which countries support their yearning for liberty and human rights and who do not and which – who supports it and who doesn’t. Is that – that is your view, yes?

MS. NULAND: I can’t improve on what Ambassador Rice said.

QUESTION: Okay. So if that is what it means for a veto – can I just slightly shift it a little bit – why is it that when you vetoed in February the UN Security Council Resolution that would condemn Israel for settlement building that you call illegitimate yourself, why is that not the U.S. taking a stance against the Palestinians? Why is that not –

MS. NULAND: That question was so convoluted and involves –

QUESTION: Why does that not mean that you do not support – you’re accusing two countries of using their veto to – the vote was 14-1 back in February where you guys vetoed. Why shouldn’t the Palestinians see that as a rejection of their cause by the United States, or their yearning for liberty and human rights, just as the Syrians are yearning?

MS. NULAND: The Palestinians should have no doubt about where the United States stands on settlements or on construction in Jerusalem. We’ve made that absolutely clear.

QUESTION: Well –

MS. NULAND: We thought the vehicle of the United – of the Security Council was the wrong one in that case.

QUESTION: Well, why – okay, so why was it the right one in this case if it didn’t include any sanctions?

MS. NULAND: You have a bloody massacre of peaceful civilians that’s been going on for months and months and months. And the UN Security Council’s responsibility is to maintain peace and maintain security, and it has not done so in this case.

QUESTION: Isn’t it also the UN Security Council’s responsibility to enforce its own earlier decisions or decisions of the UN?

MS. NULAND: Matt, I don’t know where you’re going on this but I think I’ve spoken to your point.

QUESTION: On the Palestinian issue, a year ago, President Barack Obama promised from the UN the soon-coming state of Palestine. As a matter of fact, he mentioned September of this year as to be the time to announce it. Wasn’t that – can we consider that to be a good and strong incentive to the Palestinian, to Mahmoud Abbas and company, to go ahead and fight for what they are doing or for what they did?

MS. NULAND: Mohamed, when the President made that proposal, it was based on a whole lot of assumptions and a whole lot of other elements that were supposed to come into play with regard to the negotiations, which did not come about for a whole bunch of reasons. So we’re trying again. We’re trying again with the May speech; we’re trying again with the Quartet proposal. Again, the Quartet has said that with good will and with a commitment to negotiations and with a commitment to the timetable we’ve laid forward we do believe that this could be solved within a year from when the Quartet statement was issued. Now we have to see if the parties will come to the table.

QUESTION: So if I can – so just to go back to my – where I was before –

QUESTION: Can you – can we – I want to get one thing clear here. I mean, the Quartet statement said by the end of 2012.

MS. NULAND: That’s right. You’re right. Thank you.

QUESTION: Okay. So we don’t have people (inaudible) –

MS. NULAND: Thank you. You were right. I can’t improve on what the Quartet said.

QUESTION: The Russians and the Chinese said that – have said that they want to see a peaceful resolution, that they don’t agree with the violence that’s being – that’s going on in Syria right now. And I’m just – you don’t take them at their word?

MS. NULAND: We believe that the United Nations Security Council should have sent that message strongly and clearly.

QUESTION: Right. Okay. Well, then –

MS. NULAND: And that that was one thing that Russia and China could have done with us yesterday.

QUESTION: Then I get – then you’ll see – maybe you’ll see where I was going with the – or the reference to the Palestinians. In that case, it was 14 countries, and you were the only one that didn’t see that the UN Security Council was the way to do it.

MS. NULAND: Matt –

QUESTION: Now let me – just let me – today there was a vote in UNESCO general – in the executive board of UNESCO, where you, along with Latvia, Romania, and the Germans, were the only ones to oppose or vote against a resolution – vote against recommending a resolution that would admit Palestine as a state. Forty countries voted in favor and 14 abstained. What’s the problem here?

MS. NULAND: The problem here is that a move in UNESCO is not going to create a Palestinian state that is secure, that is living next to Israel in security, in self determination, and in mutual recognition. The only way to get there is through negotiations between the parties.

So yes, we strongly opposed today’s vote in the UNESCO executive committee. This is not the end of the road on UNESCO. There still has to be about a month from now a vote of the full membership, and we will use the time between now and then to make our case to the countries that will be making that decision that this is not the way to go, not to mention the fact that we do have Security Council process that is ongoing, that the U.S. is participating in, so it’s incoherent to be making decisions about constituent agencies of the UN before the UN Security Council has even had a chance to deliberate.

So first and foremost, the root to a secure, stable Palestinian state is through negotiations. Secondly, it is just strange to be moving in UNESCO or any other constituent agency before the UN Security Council process has run its course.

QUESTION: Well, 40 countries seem to not think it’s that strange, right?

MS. NULAND: Well, that is their –

QUESTION: And you’re going to lose when it goes to the full vote anyway, because it’s obvious that your weeks and months of lobbying against was only able to convince Latvia, Romania, and Germany, and then you didn’t even get – you had 14 abstentions that could have been no votes, I think, but they might have been yes votes, so they might have persuaded some of them. But I’m wondering – your response to my question is that this is not the way to create a Palestinian state, that you’re not going to –

MS. NULAND: Correct.

QUESTION: But that – no one’s arguing that it is the way to create a Palestinian state. No one’s arguing that – I mean, with all due respect to UNESCO, it’s UNESCO. It’s not the Security Council. It is not an organization that had – that does things that have huge geopolitical security – it doesn’t have – it doesn’t do anything that is going to affect the security balance, Israel’s security or anyone else’s security for that matter. I mean, just looking at the list, are you prepared to vote against the Palestinians at every single constituent agency? I mean, what is wrong with the Palestinians having a seat on the International Institute of Aging or the World Telecommunications Union –

MS. NULAND: Matt, we –

QUESTION: — or the World Meteorological Organization? I don’t understand how this hurts the effort to bring the two sides back to negotiations, other than the fact that the Israelis seem to think it’s a threat and they don’t like it.

MS. NULAND: First of all, to say we firmly support the work of UNESCO. There shouldn’t be any question about that. They do very important things, promoting tolerance, respect for all, Holocaust remembrance, education, coordinating tsunami warning, all that kind of stuff. It is – the second point I made was that it is incoherent to be making one-off decisions in constituent agencies of the UN when there is a UN Security Council deliberation ongoing, the larger governing board of the United Nations system.

But the major point is that if you care about the fate of Palestinians, if you want them to get a state, this is a diversion. The energy ought to be going into – and every country ought to be pushing – for these parties to get back to the negotiating table.

QUESTION: Can I follow up on this? I mean, I don’t – I also do not understand why – I mean, this is a diversion only if you sort of let it be a diversion. I don’t see why inherently their joining or potentially joining UNESCO necessarily vitiates or erodes your effort to get the parties back into talks. I mean, we have talks of – can you explain to me how or why it vitiates that effort?

MS. NULAND: You’re using words that I didn’t use. We’re simply saying –

QUESTION: That’s my prerogative. (Laughter.)

MS. NULAND: We’re simply saying that this is not the way to establish a Palestinian state. Once we’ve had a negotiated solution, once we have two states living in peace, mutually agreed borders, then the Palestinian state will be in all of these organizations. That is the right sequence, in our view.

QUESTION: Are you concerned –

MS. NULAND: Please. Steve in the back. Hold on, Said. Steve.

QUESTION: On the UNESCO thing –

MS. NULAND: Steve.

QUESTION: Does the UNESCO vote today trigger an automatic cut in U.S. contributions to UNESCO?

MS. NULAND: Well, we are currently looking at existing U.S. legislation on this point to determine how and whether it might apply to various U.S. entities. So I’m not in a position to answer the question, but it is something that we are looking at.

QUESTION: Are you concerned that the UNESCO effort by the Palestinians is an underhanded effort to sort of go about the Palestinian statehood through the backdoor? Is that what it is?

MS. NULAND: We’re just concerned it’s not going to lead to the result that we all want, which is a Palestinian state living next to Israel in peace and security.

QUESTION: On one other thing, how much harder does this make your case on the Hill, where UNESCO is not the most highly regarded UN constituent agency in terms of maintaining funding for the Palestinians?

MS. NULAND: I think that remains to be seen, but we have made the point here that we believe that Palestinian funding should go forward. I would also make the point with regard to the question that Steve asked, the U.S. currently pays 22 percent of UNESCO’s dues.

QUESTION: Victoria, after a time of freeze settlement misunderstanding, let’s call it, between Netanyahu and Mr. Barack Obama, can we – can you be more optimistic and tell us that now the U.S. – you have more cause to pressure Netanyahu to come back to the table and resolve the issue of the settlements?

MS. NULAND: Mohamed, we are talking to both parties. We just had Secretary of Defense Panetta speaking to both Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Abbas. The week before, the President met with both of them, the Secretary of State met with both of them, David Hale is continuing his activities. So we are working very hard on this issue and making the case to both sides that getting back to the table without preconditions is in their interest.

QUESTION: So wouldn’t your vote upset the Palestinian party? I mean, when you say working, your vote in various organizations would upset the Palestinian party, and that won’t help Fatah among the Palestinian unity and (inaudible) the opposition; let’s call it Hamas, clearly.

MS. NULAND: That’s a question you should put to them, how they feel about it. But they certainly shouldn’t have been surprised, because we’ve been absolutely clear.

Jill, did you have something? Yeah.

QUESTION: It’s not this same issue.

MS. NULAND: Still on this? Anything else on this?

QUESTION: Just one last on this very topic while we’re at it.

MS. NULAND: Yeah.

QUESTION: The Israeli press is saying that Mr. Netanyahu, if he accepts the Quartet thing, is planning to submit a number of reservations, including his objection to the timetable that was suggested. Are you aware of that?

MS. NULAND: I can’t speak to that. I think you’re three steps ahead of where we are, Said.

QUESTION: I need to go back to this again. You say that it is incoherent. Who is being incoherent? The Palestinians by pushing this while it’s still going on at the Security Council? Is that what you’re saying?

MS. NULAND: I’m simply saying that as a procedural matter, you have the Security Council looking into this issue. So to have a separate track in the constituent entities doesn’t make a lot of sense.

QUESTION: Okay. Well if – you guys have – correct me if I’m wrong; I thought you guys said you were going to veto it in the Security Council. So no matter how long the Security Council takes to look at it, whether it’s in the Security Council or not, it ain’t going anywhere. You guys are going to kill it, correct?

MS. NULAND: Was there a question there, Matt?

QUESTION: Yes. Is that right? You’re going to veto it in the Security Council. Why should the Palestinians wait when you’ve already said you’re going to veto it in the Security Council? Why is it incoherent for them to go to someplace else to try and get the – something minor that they would like, that they think is important to them.

MS. NULAND: Again, our view has not changed. This is not going to create a state for them.

QUESTION: But Toria, they don’t even say it’s going to create a state for them.

MS. NULAND: It is going to make things harder.

QUESTION: Why?

MS. NULAND: It creates tensions that add to the environment and makes it harder –

QUESTION: In other words, it gets Israel upset.

MS. NULAND: I didn’t say that. I simply said that it further exacerbates the environment of tension. We’re trying to create an environment of trust. We’re trying to create constituencies for peace.

QUESTION: And you think that Palestinian membership in UNESCO creates tensions? Palestinian membership in the Office for Outer Space Affairs creates tensions?

MS. NULAND: Matt, I think I’ve said what I can on this subject.

QUESTION: Well, the problem with what you’ve said on the subject is it doesn’t make any sense, and most of the world, almost all of it, disagrees with you. A, they don’t believe it’s incoherent because they’re voting for it, and B, I don’t think you can get away from the fact that you have said you were going to veto it at the Security Council. So saying the Palestinians should wait for the Security Council to act when they know – because you’ve told them and the rest of the world – that you’re going to kill it, doesn’t make any sense.

MS. NULAND: Doesn’t change the fact that we oppose this at UNESCO.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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78 Responses

  1. mikeo
    October 6, 2011, 5:13 am

    Good on Matt. I only know him through his questions at these briefings. But I like his style!

  2. mikeo
    October 6, 2011, 5:14 am

    He has the “dog with a bone” technique down good.

  3. justicewillprevail
    October 6, 2011, 5:17 am

    Great how some simple straightforward questions exposes the contradictions and dishonesty in the US position. Time to get this out in the open. As soon as anybody rational queries it, it falls apart like a house of cards. Because what she is trying to avoid saying is that, however irrational and vindictive it is, the US is simply following the prescribed Israeli agenda, and is incapable of either acting itself or as any sort of independent broker. The squirming of people who are in the pocket of petty, apartheid-loving dictators is laughable, as well as deeply revealing.

  4. eGuard
    October 6, 2011, 5:34 am

    Haha. So UNESCO’s tasks include: Holocaust remembrance, … coordinating tsunami warning.

    • Chaos4700
      October 6, 2011, 9:08 am

      Yeah I caught that too. Can the State Department make it any more clear just whose interests and whose interests alone they have in mind?

      These Obama Administration officials sound just like their Bush Administration counterparts (which maybe isn’t surprising, in many cases they are one and the same). I’d like to play this part of this press conference side by side with the recent al-Jazeera interview with Donald Rumsfeld. Moreso compare, less contrast.

  5. Whizdom
    October 6, 2011, 5:56 am

    “Well, the problem with what you’ve said on the subject is it doesn’t make any sense, and most of the world, almost all of it, disagrees with you.”

    ouch

  6. Daniel Rich
    October 6, 2011, 6:11 am

    Isn’t this the same as aking a child to continue to talk to an abusive pedophile, because only the two of them ‘can work it out’?

    • pabelmont
      October 6, 2011, 10:39 am

      Precisely — but refusing to say, refusing to admit, that the abusive pedophile IS IN FACT abusive and IS IN FACT a pedophile (what a dreadful name for a child ABUSER, should be pedophobe).

    • James
      October 6, 2011, 1:15 pm

      exactly, but some folks might not like israel being portrayed as a pedophile, lol..

      • Jeff D
        October 7, 2011, 10:54 am

        “Some people” don’t like Israel being portrayed as anything less than the epitome of moral perfection AND the permanent underdog.

        They may well be a large subset of those who approve of the West Bank colonists (“settlers”) violence against the IDF in recent weeks, let alone against the Palestinians.

        It’s about time that US policy is set by Americans, for American benefit — not to have the flea wag the dog.

  7. Dan Crowther
    October 6, 2011, 7:25 am

    Wow – that was great. Good for “Matt.”

    QUESTION: And you think that Palestinian membership in UNESCO creates tensions? Palestinian membership in the Office for Outer Space Affairs creates tensions?

    I like this guy.

  8. seafoid
    October 6, 2011, 7:49 am

    The problem has never been our political logic
    but the way we enact it
    We can imagine a perfect society
    but can’t maintain a decent relationship
    The failure found in the luxuries
    not in the hardships

    Hypocrisy is the Greatest Luxury
    Raise the Double Standard

    link to youtube.com

  9. Hostage
    October 6, 2011, 7:58 am

    US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday that the UN cultural agency UNESCO should “think again” on plans to vote on Palestinian membership, noting that such a move could cause the United States to cut funds for the organization.

    This is perfectly ridiculous. The ESCWA forms part of the United Nations Secretariat. For years the Secretariat has published the rules of the ESCWA which say:

    ESCWA comprises 13 States, viz., Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the Syrian Arab Republic, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

    link to escwa.un.org

    The Secretary-General of the United Nations, acting as depositary, has accepted instruments from Palestine for treaties that were opened for accession and ratification by contracting ESCWA States, e.g.
    link to treaties.un.org
    link to treaties.un.org
    link to treaties.un.org
    link to treaties.un.org

    So, logically the US should have cut-off funding for the UN Secretariat and Secretary General and long time ago. That would include the funding for the UN headquarters staff; the Personal Representative of the Secretary General/Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (aka the Quartet); The Palmer Commission; & etc.

    • pabelmont
      October 6, 2011, 10:42 am

      Yes, and all those parking tickets! The USA should undoubtedly cut off all funds to all UN agencies (we’re dirt poor, after all, to say nothing of disapproving) and the UN should move itself to Geneva. (Wonder who’d buy the building in NYC.)

  10. Bill in Maryland
    October 6, 2011, 8:08 am

    Gotta love it: “Palestinian membership in the Office for Outer Space Affairs creates tensions?”

    • NorthOfFortyNine
      October 7, 2011, 4:19 am

      >> Gotta love it: “Palestinian membership in the Office for Outer Space Affairs creates tensions?”

      Yeah, that was brilliant. -N49.

      • Shmuel
        October 7, 2011, 4:27 am

        Yeah, that was brilliant. -N49.

        Well, according to the UNOOSA website, “Space Matters” (far more inspiring than the World Health Organisation’s slogan: “WHO Cares”).

        Besides, I believe that UNOOSA director Mazlan Othman is a Muslim. Mooslamic ray guns anyone?

  11. pabelmont
    October 6, 2011, 8:14 am

    Three questions (only).

    ONE: Do the USA press KNOW and ASK QUESTIONS OF STATE DEPARTMENT about the bloody suppression of peaceful Palestinian (and joint Palestinian-Israeli) demonstrations against the occupation, the settlements, the wall? (As they do about Syria’s bloody etc.).

    TWO: does this discussion get out into the USA’s newspapers or is it (effectively) hidden in the DoS briefing (even if technically “public” because on-line)?

    THREE: On a different subject, do REUTERS, AP, AFP, etc., tell the story of the bloody events in the OPTs, and it is the MSM that ignore the news, or do the wire-services themselves ALSO ignore these stories?

  12. HarryLaw
    October 6, 2011, 8:27 am

    It would be nice to hear the indispensable nations hypocrite in chief Susan Rice as she storms out of the UN be subjected to mocking laughter and a few cries of “and don’t come back” I hope that day is not long in coming.

  13. Eva Smagacz
    October 6, 2011, 8:46 am

    Wow! If he carries on like this, he will get Helen Thomas treatment, and will stop being invited to ask questions at the briefings.

    • James
      October 6, 2011, 1:20 pm

      i am sure that is in the works already… how to line it up so he is caught in some context where he is framed for pravda (usa media) to report back to the american public how he is anti-semite or something stupid like that…

    • Pamela Olson
      October 6, 2011, 2:42 pm

      The fact that he’s doing it anyway is a good sign — a sign, perhaps, that the government is as fed up with Israel as everyone else (and resentful of being hamstrung by the lobby), so they’re finally allowing these lines of questioning…

  14. seafoid
    October 6, 2011, 9:09 am

    These understandings reached by the US and Israel, the tail that wags the dog, happen behind closed doors and are supposed never to be questioned.
    Israeli policy and, by extension, US policy in the ME is autistic. Press conferences assume everything is normal. It is very hard to explain kneejerk support for autistic Israeli behaviour in an “everything is normal” framework .

  15. Nevada Ned
    October 6, 2011, 9:12 am

    I don’t know who the reporter is, and what newspaper he works for. But it’s a sign of change that a reporter asks these skeptical questions. And apparently the reporter’s newspaper allows him to ask these questions.

    Does this exchange between the reporter and the press secretary get reported in the newspaper?

    E.g., “PALESTINIAN POLICY: AN INCOHERENT POLICY DEFENSE”

    In ANY newspaper?

    • Hostage
      October 6, 2011, 9:59 am

      I don’t know who the reporter is, and what newspaper he works for.

      I believe that is Matt Lee of the Associated Press. His tough questioning of State Department public affairs people has been covered here in the past and elsewhere, e.g. link to blogs.jta.org

      • Proton Soup
        October 6, 2011, 3:29 pm

        so who owns/controls AP? i know what the unwashed masses of the internet says, but AP claims to be a not-for-profit co-operative owned by the news agencies that use its stories. wikipedia has a banner up saying the wiki page is written like advertising, which seems strange on its face for something that is a not-for-profit.

        link to en.wikipedia.org

  16. Hostage
    October 6, 2011, 9:15 am

    OT but interesting. The White House Office of Management and Budget on Wednesday announced the final details of an Obama administration reform effort to keep registered lobbyists out of positions in federal government.

    The OMB’s final guidance, which will go into effect Nov. 4, instructs executive departments not to appoint federally registered lobbyists to advisory committees and other boards.
    link to law360.com

    AIPAC is a federally registered lobbying group.

    • Rusty Pipes
      October 6, 2011, 3:28 pm

      Hostage, did you see Medea Benjamin’s article last week about her meeting with the Office of Congressional Ethics about investigating congresscritters’ AIEF-sponsored trips to Israel, the overlap of AIEF and AIPAC and AIPAC’s lobbying activities? Benjamin was told that the OCE only defined a handful of AIPAC staff as lobbyists (in an organization that employs over 100 people). Do you see OMB’s revised guidance as making any difference here?

      • Hostage
        October 6, 2011, 10:09 pm

        Do you see OMB’s revised guidance as making any difference here?

        Surely. It will mean that there will be fewer job opportunities for those who choose to be registered AIPAC lobbyists.

      • Jeff D
        October 7, 2011, 11:01 am

        Only if other agencies choose to follow the OMB guidelines, or if OMB manages to get some legal muscle that’s more loyal to America than to Israel. I think I’ve a better chance of winning the next sixteen lotteries — without buying any tickets.

      • Hostage
        October 7, 2011, 12:41 pm

        Only if other agencies choose to follow the OMB guidelines, or if OMB manages to get some legal muscle

        Federal agencies can’t really choose to opt-out of following White House Office of Management and Budget guidelines. It sets policy for the Executive branch of government.

      • Jeff D
        October 8, 2011, 12:51 pm

        I know that’s how the law says it works, and (in most Administrations) how it really does work. I think one of the major lessons that the Bush regime taught the world (again, with $DEITY knows how many precedents) was that any nation, large or small, that doesn’t even bother to follow its ownlaws is insanely dangerous to others, as well as to its own people.

        That I don’t trust this Administration to follow the letter and spirit of the law in all respects scares the hell out of me.

  17. POA
    October 6, 2011, 10:58 am

    The head of this snake, (“The State Department”), is Hillary Clinton.

    She is OWNED by Israel

    • Hostage
      October 6, 2011, 11:34 am

      The head of this snake, (“The State Department”), is Hillary Clinton.

      She is OWNED by Israel

      Although there is a lot of talk about an “Executive branch” of government, it’s just one person according to the Constitution: The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. Oddly enough, President Obama made UN Ambassador Rice a member of his Cabinet. So, I’m not too sure that Secretary Clinton is really in her chain-of-command (not that it probably would make any difference).

    • Philip Munger
      October 6, 2011, 11:37 am

      You’re implying things would be different at the State Department briefings if HRC were not SoS?

      • POA
        October 7, 2011, 10:21 am

        “You’re implying things would be different at the State Department briefings if HRC were not SoS?”

        Yes, it it my belief that Hillary Clinton was the driving force behind undermining Obama’s original stance on the settlements. Her rhetoric was dismissive of Obama’s original hardline, and employed semantics that took the bite out of Obama’s position. Personally, I think she knifed him in the back during her private talks with Netanyahu.

      • seanmcbride
        October 7, 2011, 10:49 am

        POA,

        I think the Israel lobby was maneuvering to undermine and box in Obama on Mideast policy since the spring of 2008, once it realized that Obama had a good chance of beating Hillary Clinton in the race for the nomination. The Israeli government and the Israel lobby, using a wide array of assets and tools in the Republican Party, the Democratic Party, the US Congress, the Defense Department, the State Department, the mainstream media, etc. have essentially cut off Obama at the knees. In every confrontation with the most right-wing regime in Israeli history, the “liberal” Democrat Obama has been forced to back down and retreat with his tail between his legs. Benjamin Netanyahu exerts much more power over the US government than does Barack Obama.

      • Jeff D
        October 7, 2011, 11:03 am

        Just imagine how much more loyal to Israeli extremists “our” government would be if HRC was President. Lots of people already think Obama’s the most pro-Israel President since Truman.

      • Hostage
        October 7, 2011, 11:51 am

        Yes, it it my belief that Hillary Clinton was the driving force behind undermining Obama’s original stance on the settlements. Her rhetoric was dismissive of Obama’s original hardline, and employed semantics that took the bite out of Obama’s position.

        On the contrary, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took the lead in dismissing Israeli claims based upon a letter from former President Bush that they said should allow Israel to keep the settlement blocks; deny the Palestinian refugees the right of return; and ignore Road Map obligations prohibiting natural growth in existing settlements. In short, Presidents are bound by the norms of international law and Bush couldn’t waive rights on behalf of Palestinians or confer rights on Israelis.

  18. HarryLaw
    October 6, 2011, 11:06 am

    Maybe the US state Dept share this recent OECD report that Palestinians do not exist see here: link to jnews.org.uk

    or below:-
    The OECD has lost 4 million Palestinians
    By Shir Hever for JNews Blog
    Friday, 26 August, 2011 – 18:39
    London, UK

    Shir Hever
    In May 2010, Israel was accepted into the OECD, the organization of developed democracies, and an exclusive club for the world’s richest 34 countries. It did so following heavy pressure by the U.S, to overlook Israel’s occupation of both Palestinian and Syrian territory.

    Although OECD membership doesn’t bring direct material benefites, Israeli governments went to great lengths to gain entry, because membership of the organisation lends an air of legitimacy to Israel.

    But the OECD had a serious problem with defining Israel, a country without defined borders, which occupies and illegally annexes large tracts of lands. European Union policy prevents EU members of the OECD from recognizing Israel in the occupation borders.

    The solution agreed upon was that Israel would produce statistical data that refers only to the population within its internationally-recognized green-line borders, within a year of its acceptance.

    Unsurprisingly, Israel never produced this document. But the OECD needed these statistics, otherwise the compromise agreement on which it had accepted Israel as a member in the first place, would have been revealed as a sham and the OECD would have lost face. So its own statisticians recently produced a report, Study on the Geographic Coverage of Israeli Data (PDF), which attempts to resolve the issue on Israel’s behalf.

    The report only uses data from Israeli sources (mainly the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics, or ICBS). No attempt was made to challenge its validity or to compare it with data from the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, and it seems that the OECD statisticians received very little, if any, cooperation from the ICBS.

    The writers of the report, keenly aware of the treacherous legal and political ground they were treading, included a disclaimer that the OECD uses Israeli data “without prejudice” to the status of the occupied territories, as if a scientific discussion in the statistics of Israel/Palestine could take place without making any political, legal or moral comment. The report explains that, regardless of the legal aspects of the occupation, they are merely referring to the “economic territory” of Israel, which includes the occupied Syrian Golan Heights, East Jerusalem and the Israeli colonies in the West Bank, which are effectively part of the Israeli-controlled economy.

    Can this argument be acceptable? In truth, this report produces a better picture of Israeli economic realities by incorporating activity in territories beyond the green line. But it fails to include them all: four million Palestinians are missing from the account which ends up not simply as is a de facto acceptance of the occupation but of Israeli apartheid as well.

    While the report often refers to the occupied West Bank as “Judea and Samaria” (a biblical reference used by the Israeli government to justify the occupation and emphatically not accepted by the United Nations, or any other international body), the word “Palestinian” does not appear even once in the 58-page report.

    In fact, the OECD decided to collect data about Israeli citizens and residents within Israel’s “economic territory”, and failed to notice approximately four million Palestinians who live under Israeli occupation. Those four million include 2.5 million Palestinians in the West Bank (where the OECD counts only Israeli citizens and residents in its stats), and 1.5 million in Gaza, which remains part of Israel’s economic sphere and under full Israeli economic control, but do not figure into the OECD calculations at all.

    How can one question that four million Palestinians who use Israeli currency, pay customs and various other taxes to the Israeli government, are subject to Israeli monopolies in water, energy and telecommunication (yes, I am talking also about Gaza, which Israel claims is “no longer occupied” but which pays customs and tariffs on imported goods and Value Added Tax (VAT) for Israeli products that are sold in Gaza.), are not part of Israel’s de-facto economic territory?

    And yet, it seems that the OECD countries are intent on eliminating the Palestinians from the data, as if the area of approximately 27,000 square kilometers (Palestine and the Syrian Golan Heights) was populated by only 7.5 million people, and not by 11.5 million.

    Another example was the OECD’s tourism conference held in October 2010, which Israel won the right to host – in Jerusalem. On this basis, Israel’s minister of tourism announced that the OECD delegates, by attending, recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Buses from one of Israel’s colonial companies (carrying names of illegal settlements) were used to transport the delegates.

    In fact, if Palestinians would be included in the data pertaining to Israel’s “economic territory”, as they should be, a very different face of Israel would be revealed.. Israel would probably be revealed as the most unequal economy in the world. From the refugee camps in Gaza where most people live under the international poverty line, to north Tel-Aviv (about two hours drive from there) with neighbourhoods housing millionaires and billionaires…

    Israel’s image as a developed economy and as a democratic country rests on its ability to separate Jews and Palestinians, citizens and subjects. This kind of separation is called apartheid.

    While it is obvious why the Israeli government would like the world to forget about the existence of the Palestinians altogether, one wonders why the OECD countries go to such great lengths to help Israel conceal them.

    JNEWS.

    • seafoid
      October 6, 2011, 12:23 pm

      Shir Hever is a national Israeli treasure. One of the few who will have credibility and integrity when the dust settles.

  19. kalithea
    October 6, 2011, 11:10 am

    The questions should have been asked as so: How can you oppose the will of 90% of the world on the statehood issue and still expect to be taken seriously as broker on the peace process, or expect to be taken seriously in regards to Syria, Libya or ANY OTHER MATTER, notwithstanding that on the Syria matter Russia and China already represent over one third of the world’s population??? Do you believe it’s right for one country acting on behalf of a foreign country has the right to trump the will of 90% of the world? Finally, how can you pretend with a straight face to care about the rights and freedom of Syrian Arabs and totally ignore and reject the rights and freedom of Palestinian Arabs whose uprising has been going on for decades, and whose rights in the form of U.N. resolutions you have vetoed over and over again throughout decades???

    • Jeff D
      October 7, 2011, 11:05 am

      That question WOULD earn Matt (or anybody else) an improved, extra-strength version of the Helen Thomas treatment. You don’t ask questions like that to Israeli puppets and get asked back again.

  20. Richard Witty
    October 6, 2011, 11:26 am

    What do the questions have to do with Syria?

    Lots of aggressive comments are being made. Syria last week for example announced that if a third party or UN or Nato attacked Syria in any way that they would arrange for thousands of rockets to target Tel Aviv.

    It is reminiscent of Saddam Hussein targeting Israel with scuds during the first Iraq war even though they weren’t a party at all to the conflict.

    Scapegoating.

    Don’t allow Syria to pull one on you Phil. Israel is not a cause of Syria’s domestic troubles, but they are trying to deflect criticism to Israel, and they are trying to threaten to collectively punish a civilian population.

    WHY are you so gullible as to allow your focus to be deflected in that way?

    The Israel/Palestinian issues are important, but they are only very indirectly connected to anything about Syria.

    • Woody Tanaka
      October 6, 2011, 12:19 pm

      “What do the questions have to do with Syria?”

      It doesn’t have to do with Syria (not directly, at least), it has to do with the US. The question is why is the US so solicitous when the oppressed Arabs are oppressed by Alawites in Syria, but are the exact opposite when the oppressed Arabs are opporessed by Jews in Palestine.

      In response to that question US officials exercises the Zionism-mandated doublethink and refuses to see the clear parallel between the two and refuses to answer, even though everyone already knows the real answer.

    • Hostage
      October 6, 2011, 12:38 pm

      What do the questions have to do with Syria?

      The State Department said that “the UN Security Council’s responsibility is to maintain peace and maintain security” and that people had been killed there for months. The Security Council has a Charter obligation to maintain “international peace and security”, but it has failed to intervene in the I/P conflict despite the fact that people have been killed there decade after decade. The notion that the Security Council has a responsibility to protect insurgents in non-international conflicts is based upon the relatively new R2P norm.

      It is reminiscent of Saddam Hussein targeting Israel with scuds during the first Iraq war even though they weren’t a party at all to the conflict.

      Huh? Unlike Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, a portion of Syria is still illegally annexed to Israel and the IDF massacred a lot of innocent people there just last summer. UN Security Council resolution 242 and 338 have not been implemented. If as you suggest, “a third party or UN or Nato attacked Syria”, the government would have the right to attack all of the foreign belligerents responsible for occupying or attacking its territory and displacing its citizens.

    • Shingo
      October 6, 2011, 4:30 pm

      It is reminiscent of Saddam Hussein targeting Israel with scuds during the first Iraq war even though they weren’t a party at all to the conflict.

      Scapegoating.

      Hey Dick,

      Israel keeps threatening to attack Iran, a la Saddam Hussein. Isn’t that scapegoating?

      Don’t allow Israel to pull one over you Dick.

      • Donald
        October 6, 2011, 6:30 pm

        Richard really did seem a little upset about the way Obama teamed up with Netanyahu at the UN, but now he’s back to defending the American government’s double standards. I don’t think he wants to see the US government’s hypocrisy on Palestinian human rights questioned and exposed by reporters.

      • Richard Witty
        October 7, 2011, 8:49 am

        “but now he’s back to defending the American government’s double standards.”

        Your reading comprehension is diminishing Donald. I didn’t comment one way or another about US double standards on Israel/Palestine.

        If you bother to read, you’ll note a consistent criticism of the Netanyahu administration, and even of the US compliance with the Netanyahu dictums.

        Its just that this peace does NOT demonstrate what Phil highlighted.

      • Chaos4700
        October 7, 2011, 9:20 am

        Obama lies about a LOT of things. The fact is, no matter what he SAYS, his administration funds Israeli colonialism at the same time it cuts funding to occupied Palestinians.

      • Donald
        October 7, 2011, 12:13 pm

        You jumped into the comments section of a post by Phil which illustrated the double standards of the Obama Administration and started talking about Syria and fried to change the subject to Syria’s crimes, which are not at issue.

        I’ve always “bothered” to read your posts–your practice is to limit criticism of Israel to criticism of Netanyahu and the Likudists. In general your practice is to judge actions not according to whether the actions are good or bad, but according to who commits them. The bright side of this is that while the Likud is in charge, you will be somewhat critical of Israeli behavior.

      • Shingo
        October 7, 2011, 6:15 pm

        Your reading comprehension is diminishing Donald.

        Donald doesn’t have a decoding device to unscramble your babble.

        If you bother to read, you’ll note a consistent criticism of the Netanyahu administration, and even of the US compliance with the Netanyahu dictums.

        Yes we know thatr Witty, but that position is seriously dishonest, given that Israel were perpetrating the same crimes and violating the same laws/agreements under Kadima. You want so desperately for everyone to be fooled into believing that all the problems will go away once Bibbi is out of occice.

      • Chaos4700
        October 6, 2011, 7:54 pm

        Hope you don’t mind my adding, Shingo: the conversation’s not about Syria, but it is about the deceased former dictator of Iraq? Really, Witty?

      • Richard Witty
        October 7, 2011, 8:52 am

        It is about scapegoating, collective punishment, and the double standard applied relative to collective punishment of civilians when threatened by an Arab leader.

        A single standard would confirm Assad’s comments as a threat of collective punishment of civilians, a deflection only.

        Donald? Single standards? You think that Assad threatening to orchestrate the assault on Israel if UN authorizes military actions is anything but?

      • Chaos4700
        October 7, 2011, 9:18 am

        You still haven’t explained why it makes sense for an exchange between a State Department official and a reporter that touches on Syria and Palestine to not talk about Palestine, and instead should be about Saddam Hussein in Iraq.

        So what, you think it only matters when Arab leaders attack Arab civilians? It isn’t a crime for you when Jewish leaders attack Arab civilians? Or is it that you’re fine with sanctions against the Palestinians because their ethnic cleansing is “necessary” again?

        Witty, I can keep driving Mack trucks through the logical holes in your arguement all… day… long. Fortunately for you, I actually work for a living.

      • seanmcbride
        October 7, 2011, 9:43 am

        Chaos4700,

        Ethno-religious cultism leads to *literal* cognitive impairment and dysfunction. I mean this seriously. Brainwashed members of cults (not just ethno-religious cults) typically lose the ability to engage in rational and logical thinking. And the victims of these cults have no insight into the severity of their mental problems.

        Messianic movements frequently hit the wall and self-destruct because the leaders and followers of these movements can’t think straight. They are addicted to magical thinking. There is something distinctly infantile about their condition.

      • Donald
        October 7, 2011, 12:15 pm

        “Donald? Single standards? You think that Assad threatening to orchestrate the assault on Israel if UN authorizes military actions is anything but?”

        Richard, are you arguing with voices in your head? I said nothing about that. Phil’s post isn’t about that.

      • Richard Witty
        October 7, 2011, 12:36 pm

        The stated foreign policy of Syria, by its leader, of threatening to rain missiles on Tel Aviv if NATO aircraft assist in protecting dissenters in Syria, is pretty cruel and crude, Israelis en masse as hostages.

        Better to not deflect from that evil.

        The similarity in approach between Saddam Hussein and Assad is just noted. You can take it for what it is.

        The questioner has the right to ask the questions that he wants.

        I just would like Phil and Adam to comment on an elephant in the room, outside of sole references to Israel/Palestine.

        Assad isn’t murdering tens of thousands of his own compatriots because of Israel.

      • Shingo
        October 7, 2011, 6:20 pm

        The stated foreign policy of Syria, by its leader, of threatening to rain missiles on Tel Aviv if NATO aircraft assist in protecting dissenters in Syria, is pretty cruel and crude, Israelis en masse as hostages.

        First of all, the NATO aircraft bombing Syria would not be of assitance to dissenters in Syria. After all, there were no NATO aircraft bombing Israeli poistions during Cast Lead. Thus it is clear that bombing Syria would not be done to aid anyone but NATO interests.

        Secondly, Israeli leaders like Golda Meir have admitted that Israel would launch nukes at Europe if the West allowed Israel to fall.

        Better to not deflect from that evil.

        Assad isn’t murdering tens of thousands of his own compatriots because of Israel.

        Assad isn’t murdering tens of thousands of anyone. In fact. it took him 3 times as long to kill the same number of people that Israel killed during Cast Lead.

  21. seanmcbride
    October 6, 2011, 12:12 pm

    A few interesting facts:

    1. Victoria Nuland is the wife of Robert Kagan.
    2. Victoria Nuland is the sister-in-law of Frederick Kagan.
    3. Victoria Nuland is the daughter-in-law of Donald Kagan.
    4. Robert Kagan is a Jewish neoconservative.
    5. Robert Kagan was an Iraq War ringleader.
    6. Robert Kagan was a founder of the PNAC.
    7. Robert Kagan is an FPI board member.
    8. Robert Kagan is a pro-Israel activist.
    9. Robert Kagan is a Likud Zionist.
    10. Robert Kagan is a Skull and Bones member.
    11. Robert Kagan is a close associate of William Kristol.
    12. Robert Kagan is a New Republic contributing editor.
    13. Robert Kagan is a Weekly Standard contributing editor.
    14. Robert Kagan is a Commentary writer.
    15. Neoconservatives are Greater Israelists.
    16. Neoconservatives support the expansion of Israeli settlements in the occupied territories.

    Edits, additions, deletions, insights, inferences, etc. welcome.

    My main insight: the US government, which is entirely under the thumb of AIPAC and the Israel lobby, makes occasional noises about opposing Jewish settlements in the occupied territories while permitting the settlement building to continue apace.

    Really: how stupid would one have to be not to see what is really going on here: say one thing, do another.

    The entire Mideast peace process has been a con game from the very start — the Israeli government under both Likud and Labor regimes planned to stall and drag out the negotiations forever while building Greater Israel. Dennis Ross has been a Likud mole inside the American government all along.

    • MRW
      October 6, 2011, 4:16 pm

      seanmcbride,

      Wow. Didn’t know that.

    • Donald
      October 7, 2011, 12:21 pm

      I just googled, checked the wikipedia entries for Nuland and Robert Kagan and you’re right. Small world, isn’t it?

      Seriously, yeah, our whole political culture seems like a con game, with the Israel/Palestine issue being one of the most flagrant examples of this.

    • Chu
      October 7, 2011, 1:43 pm

      This con game goes on. These are the second-string
      leftover-neocons that still have their claws in the state
      department.
      Robert Kagan during the PNAC docs, i thought, made the
      claim about China’s oil needs would eventually compete
      with US oil interests. So going to Iraq was part of the
      strategic move to control oil. Looks like the plan didn’t work.

      • Jeff D
        October 8, 2011, 12:46 pm

        That’s what happens when you look at Israel as the center of the omniverse and the prime beneficiary of American power: you ignore the fact that there’s a whole rest of the planet out there.

        Karma running over dogma like that is pretty messy.

  22. rensanceman
    October 6, 2011, 1:51 pm

    The use of logic will not resolve the issues that define this conflict. Obama and Clinton will continue to kowtow to the Zionist no matter how clear the irrationality of their policies. I believe Chomsky and Finklestine are right in their belief that it will take a major threat/defeat to Israel to awaken them from their holy goal to colonize all the land from the Jordan to the Med for a Jewish state. The Palestinians must leave or be evicted for they are “stones on the road” that must be removed( Ben Gurian) or live ” like dogs” (Moshe Dayan).

  23. chet
    October 6, 2011, 2:25 pm

    Don’t all these inconsistent US positions come back to one root cause – the unfortunate necessity of having to mollify AIPAC so as to not torpedo any chance of re-election.

    Any deviation from support of the status quo would almost surely cause an electoral defeat.

    So expect more of the same for the next twelve months.

    • Charon
      October 6, 2011, 6:38 pm

      chet, the lobby is definitely key to this whole mess. Zionist lobbies have been around from the start and their influence has always been powerful. The CIA had an old report on partition from the 40s which even says this (and also says they are comprised of mostly evangelical Christians ironically) available on their site.

      At this point, nobody can be relied on to grow a pair. I can’t imagine these politicians enjoy being lobbied slaves, you would think by now that a mutinous alliance would’ve emerged.

      The lobby must be taken on. Billboards that advertise ending military aid to Israel might increase awareness. They aren’t going to get anywhere as long as AIPAC is still around. Even when AIPAC has been caught spying they got away with it. They’ve evaded being registered as a foreign agent for decades. There is plenty of dirt on them. When the lobby is exposed it will be in a position to be destroyed. Not many seem to be interested in tackling AIPAC though unless they have one of their events going on.

      AIPAC isn’t the only one either. They’re the ones who lobby Congress the most though. There is also CUFI which is pretty big and CPMAJO. And of course, last but not least the J… I mean ADL. The ADL is quite possibly the worst when it comes to ensuring a Zionist-friendly narrative in the media and at universities. They’ll smear and sue you for being an antisemite for talking negative about Israel. They are career killers. J Street can go too, I don’t trust them.

      • Jeff D
        October 7, 2011, 11:10 am

        J Street have positioned themselves admirably as the “safe”, “moderate” Zionist extremists. It’s kind of funny that for the last ten years, we’ve had a policy of “you’re either with us or you’re against us” on the one hand, and “go ahead and stab us in the back some more; would you like us to double the free money we give you?” on the other.

        Treasonous.

  24. seafoid
    October 6, 2011, 5:22 pm

    Niall Ferguson presents the case for the binational state

    link to thedailybeast.com

    That “difficulty” remains that a Jewish state could be created only at the expense of non-Jews living in Palestine. The Arabs resisted Israel’s creation, but they lost. So it goes. A trip to Yalta provides a salutary reminder that throughout history those who lose at war generally lose land, too, and sometimes sovereignty with it. By comparison with what the Poles endured last century, the Palestinians have got off lightly.
    They will get their own state eventually. But not until all the permanent members of the Security Council are convinced the Palestinians will not abuse the privileges of statehood.

    • Shingo
      October 6, 2011, 8:38 pm

      Ferguson is always interesting but always a pompous ass.

      How did the Palestinians get off lightly? The Poles have a state and soverighnty.

      Adn what does he mean by “..not until all the permanent members of the Security Council are convinced the Palestinians will not abuse the privileges of statehood.”

      Is he suggesting that abjusing the privileges of statehood is oly to be reserved for the select few – such as Israel?

      • seafoid
        October 7, 2011, 4:56 am

        I think if you turn it around the zionists have forfeited their right to a state . Violence at every turn and the world is sick of it.

      • Jeff D
        October 7, 2011, 11:12 am

        Too bad we hit Iraq instead of the real enemy.

  25. dbroncos
    October 6, 2011, 10:36 pm

    It’s easy for decorated academics like Ferguson to toss off glib judgments about other people’s suffering:

    “By comparison with what the Poles endured last century, the Palestinians have got off lightly.”

    What an ass. He should take the courage of his convictions to Gaza and tell Palestinians there that compared to the Poles they were “getting off lightly”. Instead of opining about what other people have written about who did what to whom and how it felt, he should get up off his lazy book worm ass and experience first hand the human suffering in Gaza. Breath deeply of it and take it home in his nostrils. He might learn something new about learning.

  26. Erasmus
    October 7, 2011, 3:26 pm

    UNESCO decision on Palestinian Membership application – Israeli Ambassador threatens with US cutoff of funds – NYT05Oct11

    No need anymore for State Department’s spokeswoman Victoria Nyland : Israeli Ambassador Barkan announces USA Sanctions of UNESCO

    While Victoria NULAND at the recent press conference can not answer the question whether the UNESCO vote would trigger an automatic cut in U.S. contributions to UNESCO, Israeli Ambassador to UNESCO Nimrod Barkan can:
    …On Wednesday, the Israeli ambassador to the organization pointed to the damage that Unesco could cause to itself.
    “We hope and pray that the Unesco authorities will realize — and the Palestinians will realize — that there is a very high price to be paid, in American participation in Unesco,” said Nimrod Barkan, the Israeli ambassador. .
    See: link to nytimes.com
    Grand TEAMWORK Article of S I X NYT-Presstitutes!!
    ¶Scott Sayare reported from Paris, and Steven Erlanger from Brussels.
    Reporting was contributed by
    Maïa de la Baume from Paris,
    Ethan Bronner from Jerusalem,
    Neil MacFarquhar from New York, and
    Steven Lee Myers from Washington.

  27. Kathleen
    October 8, 2011, 11:47 am

    When over the last five decades has the WH press corp asked questions like htis well except for Helen Thomas. The crack in the decades long building of the Wall of Silence on this issue is getting wider.

    Keep pushing folks. Contact your Reps. Go to the website of IF AMERICANS KNEW and BDS to get information to take to your work places, universities, churches, mosque, synagogues ANYWHERE YOU GO.

    “QUESTION: Okay. Well if – you guys have – correct me if I’m wrong; I thought you guys said you were going to veto it in the Security Council. So no matter how long the Security Council takes to look at it, whether it’s in the Security Council or not, it ain’t going anywhere. You guys are going to kill it, correct?
    MS. NULAND: Was there a question there, Matt?
    QUESTION: Yes. Is that right? You’re going to veto it in the Security Council. Why should the Palestinians wait when you’ve already said you’re going to veto it in the Security Council? Why is it incoherent for them to go to someplace else to try and get the – something minor that they would like, that they think is important to them.
    MS. NULAND: Again, our view has not changed. This is not going to create a state for them.
    QUESTION: But Toria, they don’t even say it’s going to create a state for them.
    MS. NULAND: It is going to make things harder.
    QUESTION: Why?
    MS. NULAND: It creates tensions that add to the environment and makes it harder –
    QUESTION: In other words, it gets Israel upset.
    MS. NULAND: I didn’t say that. I simply said that it further exacerbates the environment of tension. We’re trying to create an environment of trust. We’re trying to create constituencies for peace.
    QUESTION: And you think that Palestinian membership in UNESCO creates tensions? Palestinian membership in the Office for Outer Space Affairs creates tensions?
    MS. NULAND: Matt, I think I’ve said what I can on this subject.
    QUESTION: Well, the problem with what you’ve said on the subject is it doesn’t make any sense, and most of the world, almost all of it, disagrees with you. A, they don’t believe it’s incoherent because they’re voting for it, and B, I don’t think you can get away from the fact that you have said you were going to veto it at the Security Council. So saying the Palestinians should wait for the Security Council to act when they know – because you’ve told them and the rest of the world – that you’re going to kill it, doesn’t make any sense.
    MS. NULAND: Doesn’t change the fact that we oppose this at UNESCO.

    • seanmcbride
      October 8, 2011, 2:35 pm

      Victoria Nuland nicely demonstrates the intellectual and moral bankruptcy of the Israel lobby — there it is in black and white, nailed cold.

      At some point, future historians are going to pick over this kind of nonsense with contempt and relish in trying to explain how American foreign policy got so far off the track.

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