Sen. Cardin tells how he and Hillary Clinton muscled foreign ambassadors to block ‘anti-American’ Palestinian statehood

Senator Cardin
Senator Cardin

While 2600 participants gathered in downtown Washington this weekend for the third annual J Street conference, another group of about 250 Jews met at a synagogue in the DC suburb of Chevy Chase Sunday night to hear Maryland Senator Ben Cardin and Israeli diplomat Eliav Benjamin discuss “how pro-Palestinian forces have manipulated the UN to isolate, demonize and delegitimize Israel.” For Phil and me, two of the youngest people in the audience, it was an instructive lesson in how the United States exercises its not so soft-power to protect Israel. 

The relatively unknown American Jewish International Relations Institute organized the event along with a fundraising reception. According to the AJIRI, it is a non-profit, tax-deductible organization which serves as a private research arm for a bipartisan US Congressional Task Force of more than 40 House members who are concerned with how friendly foreign governments vote in the UN on Israeli and Palestinian issues. In 2006, the then House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and Republican Whip Roy Blunt established the Task Force to directly communicate with foreign leaders. AJIRI coordinates actions between the Task Force and the State Department, which supposedly “welcomes” the congressional dabbling in US foreign policy.

As to AJIRI’s effectiveness, its Chairman Richard Schifter told the audience that the US had to exercise 41 vetoes at the Security Council on behalf of Israel before the establishment of the Task Force. Since 2006, the US has had to exercise only one veto. Schifter attributed this success rate to the group of ex-diplomats AJIRI has assembled in New York.

In his speech from the synagogue’s bimah, Senator Cardin, who sits on both the Senate Foreign and Finance Committees, boasted about how the Palestinians were roundly thwarted in their recent attempt to gain state recognition at the UN Security Council. First, the United States made it very clear that it would veto any resolution that received enough votes to pass.

But why were the Palestinians unable to even get the necessary 9 votes which would then have required a US veto to defeat the resolution? Cardin:

It was clear that when the resolutions were being contemplated to circumvent the peace process, that the Palestinians were not able to get the votes they thought they could have gotten in the Security Council. Now why couldn’t they get their nine votes? They couldn’t get their nine votes because of why you’re here this evening, because of the organization you’re supporting, because of the work that they did in talking to delegates from other countries, and energizing the political system in America to be much more sensitive to UN votes.
Secretary Clinton and myself have talked several times about this directly. Any bilateral meeting during that time, that the Secretary had, included [discussions of] the United Nations and votes within the United Nations. When the Secretary of State lets other countries know that what they do in the United Nations is important to the United States, we get different action in the United Nations. That was the direct results of the efforts.
Sure the United States could have taken the old route of veto, but we are now committed to what you are committed — to changing the numbers within the United Nations, to make it more favorable. The Palestinians could not get that nine votes in the Security Council because we changed some of the votes. We did. By simply going over with the countries, the United State’s position.

And then Sen. Cardin spoke about his own direct efforts with the Ambassador from Bosnia:

I had a chance to talk several times with representatives of Bosnia. I chaired at the time the US Helsinki Commission. I am the Senate Chairman of the US Helsinki Commission, that’s a group that works internationally on a lot of different issues, primarily in Europe. Bosnia is trying to get more legitimacy within the Helsinki process. Their Ambassador is in my office almost monthly to talk about progress being made on their constitutional problems.

Every time that Ambassador was in my office I talked a little about the UN vote. They understood, they got the message. They need the US support. Well we need their help also. And Bosnia was not going to be a vote on behalf of the Palestinians. We changed the Security Council votes. We made a difference.

Sen. Cardin also related how he and his colleagues set the parameters for US relations with the PLO and Palestinian Authority:

The United States Congress passed resolutions. I was proud to be the co-author with Senator Collins of Maine [of one which opposed any push for Palestinian statehood except through direct negotiations] because this is not a partisan issue. [referring to a resolution of a year ago not to accept unilateral action, negotiations between the parties being the only course]  That resolution passed 100 to 0. Then we offered, the two of us, Senator Collins and myself, a letter to President Abbas…. We were pretty direct. We told President Abbas exactly how we felt. And that is that if he were to pursue a vote in the United Nations there would be consequences.

Now understand we want peace in the Middle East, we want the Palestinians to succeed. But they need to understand that when they do things that are anti-American, going against the leadership of our country, which is critically important to move forward in the peace process, that we’re going to take note of that. And there will be consequences to their actions. I think that had some impact also.

At last, Senator Cardin had mentioned a foreign action that he called anti-American rather than anti-Israel. For the life of me – and for most of the attendees at J Street – it is hard to comprehend how Palestinians seeking recognition of a state at the UN can be considered to be against American interests. The only boos I heard towards a speaker during the entire J Street Conference came when Anthony Blinken, National Security Adviser to Vice President Joseph Biden, boasted about the Administration’s opposition to UN recognition of a Palestinian state. Who in actuality went against “the leadership of our country”–President Abbas or Senator Cardin and his fellow Senators? 

Senator Cardin, upon finishing, received a standing ovation from the entire audience minus two. One week before the primary vote for his re-election, Cardin chose to address a group of constituents whose vote he already had (except for one).

It was an amazing glimpse of how the Senator spends his time representing the people of Maryland and the United States, and a lesson for the textbooks in how the United States actually exercises its diplomatic power.

About Bruce Wolman

Bruce Wolman is a citizen journalist who has lived in Norway and the Washington area.
Posted in American Jewish Community, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government, US Politics

{ 59 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. seafoid says:

    “Every time that Ambassador was in my office I talked a little about the UN vote. They understood, they got the message. They need the US support. Well we need their help also. And Bosnia was not going to be a vote on behalf of the Palestinians. We changed the Security Council votes. We made a difference. ”

    It was the same in 1947 before the vote that gave Palestine to the Zionists. Deals with Zionist Jews behind closed doors. Israel has always been dependent on raw American power. As long as America controls the Middle East there will be a Jewish Sparta. But how many more years does the US have ?

    The problem with Israel is that it takes too much work. It is a totally artificial state that is unable to fend for itself. Senate support is only good while it lasts. It remains to be seen how smart it is to build a regional empire on the back of the capricious political force of a third party.

    Israel is building up dreadful off balance sheet liabilities while the US Senate delivers it 100-0 votes.

    • “It was the same in 1947 before the vote that gave Palestine to the Zionists. Deals with Zionist Jews behind closed doors. Israel has always been dependent on raw American power. “

      “After the war, the question of who would represent Jewish interests at the Peace Conference was bitterly contested. A delegation cutting across [American Jewish] Committee [i.e. mostly wealthy German Jews] and [American Jewish] Congress [less elegant, predom. East European Jews] lines finally did assemble. . . .Majority Jewish sentiment won out at Versailles [in 1919], assuring a Jewish homeland in Palestine, with stipulations preserving Jewish rights in other countries.
      American Jewish Congress leaders returned from Versailles in triumph. They had helped create a Jewish homeland . . .” The Transfer Agreement, by Edwin Black

      Truman’s 1948 vote was a formality. The deal was done 30 years before Truman.

      • seafoid says:

        “The deal was done 30 years before Truman.”

        Balfour started the process but it’s an insult to the many Zionists who lobbied away for 30 years to 1947 to imply the deal was done. Zionism has always been about back doors and back stabbing.

        Zionism still needs the dark arts.

    • dimadok says:

      USSR voted also in favor. There was a deal there too?

      • Eva Smagacz says:

        dimadok,

        you wrote: “USSR voted also in favour. There was a deal there too?”

        Winston Churchil wrote:

        “There is no need to exaggerate the part played in the creating of Bolshevism and in the actual bringing about of the Russian Revolution by these international and for the most part atheistic Jews.

        It is certainly the very great one; it probably outweighs all others.

        With the notable exception of Lenin, the majority of the leading figures are Jews.

        Moreover, the principal inspiration and driving power comes from the Jewish leaders…”

        Can you see Soviets NOT voting with Jewish majority in Versailles in 1919?

  2. Hostage says:

    All of this talk about the Security Council and UN membership may rake in the contributions for American Jewish International Relations Institute, but the UN organization as a whole cannot continue to treat a full member state of one of its own specialized agencies as a non-state actor or entity – especially when it already enjoys all of the privileges of a full UN member state in the other organs, except for voting privileges and payment of dues.

    Congress adopted the threat to UNESCO funding to keep us from being in this situation and the tactic failed. That’s the reason Secretary Clinton’s representative cradled his head in his hands after the UNESCO vote.

  3. Scott says:

    Good piece. In Beinart’s book, he quotes an anonymous US diplomat as saying “Sometimes I thought I was representing Israel.”

  4. LeaNder says:

    Hmm? It seems Norman Finkelstein’s running gag must have gotten under some people’s skin:

    It’s just the U.S. and Israel, and then there are five other countries every year: Nauru, Palau, Tuvalu, Micronesia, and the Marshall Islands.

    It so utterly absurd to watch fidelity-to-Israel-declarations as a constant US election theme.

    • lysias says:

      Cardin isn’t doing this to keep his seat in the Senate. That seat is utterly safe. There is zero chance of a Republican beating him in an election, or of his losing a primary. This is Maryland, after all.

      • LeaNder says:

        I stand corrected. Then I misinterpreted this:

        One week before the primary vote for his re-election, Cardin chose to address a group of constituents whose vote he already had (except for one).

        So he could address voters that would elect him, since he was sure he would be elected anyway?

        • Bruce says:

          @lysias & @LeaNder,

          Yes, Cardin will certainly win the primary next week and almost certainly retain his Senate seat in November. My remark was more a comment on the state of American politics than the political strategy of Senator Cardin.

          I won’t speculate on Cardin’s reasoning for appearing before AJIRI this week, but winning more votes does not appear to be it.

          This weirdness reflects the fact that there have been very few serious challenges to Democratic Party incumbents during this year’s primaries. In Maryland, progressive alternatives are nowhere to be found. Democrats might as well stay home. Anyone hoping for changes among the Democrats will have to wait at least until 2014.

          I apologize LeaNder for the ambiguity. No reason you should have been able to interpret the statement correctly.

        • LeaNder says:

          Bruce, you are much more polite, than I deserve. Lysias attention was quite enough for me. Not you were ambiguous, but I miss a basics about the US election circus. Obviously it was quite clear for Lysias.

  5. Woody Tanaka says:

    Disgusting. Absolutely disgusting to see how many precious diplomatic resources are devoted to these ingrates. And the anti-American line? Well, it’s interesting what a few campaign contributions can do…

  6. lysias says:

    Cardin’s committee assignments (according to The 2010 Almanac of American Politics) are: Budget; Environment & Public Works; Foreign Relations (where he also sits on the Subcommittee for Near Eastern & South & Central Asian Affairs); Judiciary; and Small Business & Entrepreneurship.

  7. hophmi says:

    “It is a totally artificial state that is unable to fend for itself. ”

    Do you just make this stuff up as it suits you, or do you really believe it?

    • Bumblebye says:

      Course it is! What happens if/when US freezes all (and I mean ALL – inc loan guarantees and anything else) aid, not just military? You and who else are going to commit how much of your own income? And let’s see, there won’t be any tax deductibles – will y’all be able to make up the difference if every overly ardent zionist around the world did the same?

    • Hostage says:

      Do you just make this stuff up as it suits you, or do you really believe it?

      Nope the CIA reported that Israel would never be self-sufficient, and it isn’t. It’s highly dependent on imported food, petroleum, raw materials, and foreign military alliances. It’s also facing an on-going water crisis.

      • dimadok says:

        So is Japan and the whole bunch of European countries. Dream on.

        • Shingo says:

          So is Japan and the whole bunch of European countries. Dream on.

          How much financial aid does Japan receive?

        • seafoid says:

          Israel is a jerrymandered garrison at the end of a very long supply chain that is slowly turning its back on its key allies.

        • Mayhem says:

          Israel is the 24th largest economy in the world and ranks 17th on the UN’s Human Development Index. This is pure irrelevant waffle to suggest that Israel will never be self-sufficient. Countries succeed by producing goods and services that other nations want. If the Palestinians ever wake up they will realize they have an opportunity to piggyback on to the economic miracle that Israel has created.
          And don’t give me this guff about Israel depending on American handouts to survive. Egypt gets half of what Israel gets from the US and is a basket case economically.

        • seafoid says:

          Mayhem

          Israel has built up off balance sheet liabilities to the Palestinians in excess of USD 100 bn via the occupation. Israel can’t afford any of it. The only reason it’s off balance sheet is because the Ziobots have bought Congress. Take away blind US support and see what happens to Israel.

        • Cliff says:

          Good, then stop taking our tax dollars, our diplomatic support, our military support, and our media support.

          Urge your political leaders of your favorite country to cut all ties w/ the US or at least refuse all the support we give you.

        • Hostage says:

          Israel is the 24th largest economy in the world and ranks 17th on the UN’s Human Development Index. This is pure irrelevant waffle to suggest that Israel will never be self-sufficient.

          Only because it is stealing and borrowing resources from others that it has no intention of ever repaying. The ability to provide essential public services, like water, without invading neighboring states and stealing it, is part of the standard that is used to measure the viability of a prospective state. Israel has come to rely on the US to write-off the balance due on its foreign military assistance loan accounts in order to provide for Israel’s domestic defense needs. On the water issue alone, your current Prime Minister has admitted that the creation of a Palestinian state along the lines of the 1967 borders would mean the end of the Jewish state.

        • hophmi says:

          I mean, you guys just don’t acknowledge reality. Israel is a first-world country with a GDP of close to $250 billion dollars and free trade agreements with everybody in the Western world. And this in a country where a substantial part of the population does not work. That’s not even mentioning the army.

          What about this says “artificial state that can’t fend for itself?”

        • hophmi says:

          “On the water issue alone, your current Prime Minister has admitted that the creation of a Palestinian state along the lines of the 1967 borders would mean the end of the Jewish state.”

          I’m glad you believe everything Bibi Netanyahu says. I’ll assume you also believe that Iran should be attacked.

        • American says:

          Israel is a first class parasite, pirate and scavenger, without what it steals and begs it couldn’t exist.
          So says the CIA country report. It says Israel will never be self supporting.

        • Hostage says:

          GDP of close to $250 billion dollars . . . What about this says “artificial state that can’t fend for itself?”

          GDP only reflects the final cost of goods and services produced, not whether a state relies on foreign sources for essential goods and services of a non-self-supporting nature.

          Those figures include goods and services produced in the occupied territories using stolen resources and a military occupation that is being funded by the PA and foreign donor capital that Israel would otherwise be obliged to pay. See for example Guy S. Goodwin-Gill, Opinion, Re Certain Legal Issues Arising from the Application of Israel to become a Member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. link to bdsmovement.net

        • Hostage says:

          I’m glad you believe everything Bibi Netanyahu says. I’ll assume you also believe that Iran should be attacked.

          Hell no, Netanyahu’s assessment of the water crisis has been independently verified. Israel is emptying the aquifers faster than they can be naturally recharged and has already built several desalinization plants that exacerbate its energy problems and reliance on imports. For several years it was much cheaper to import citrus products than to pay for the water needed to produce them in Israel.

          A country that can’t supply its own water or feed its people from domestic sources when needed can’t be considered self-sufficient.

        • @ seafoid 03/29/2012 14:42 — Very well put, though it might be up for debate just how “slowly” they’re sticking it to their supposed allies.

        • hophmi says:

          “GDP only reflects the final cost of goods and services produced, not whether a state relies on foreign sources for essential goods and services of a non-self-supporting nature. ”

          Aha. Look, Francis Boyle, sorry, Hostage, you and your friends are all free to delude yourselves as much as you please. I don’t mind the obvious jealousy of the Israeli miracle. I wouldn’t bet on Israel ending anytime soon.

        • Shingo says:

          I don’t mind the obvious jealousy of the Israeli miracle.

          Such a miracle that it still relies on the biggest financial and mkilitary aid package in the world. Some miracle.

        • Cliff says:

          Judging by your infantile response to Hostage, it’s more like the “Israeli delusion” rather than miracle.

          I guess facts contrary to your mythology hurts your brain, hoppy.

        • Shingo says:

          Israel has built up off balance sheet liabilities to the Palestinians in excess of USD 100 bn via the occupation. Israel can’t afford any of it.

          Israel couldn’t even foot the bill for the 2006 Lebanon war, which cost Israel approx 2 billion. Israel did what it always does, cried poor and ran to Washington demading that Uncle Sam paid the bill for them.

  8. “The Palestinians could not get that nine votes in the Security Council because we changed some of the votes.”

    Yeah Senator, you fucked them really good.

    I wonder if he would talk that way if he spent one day with Rachel Corries parents or visiting Palestine himself.

  9. Absolutely excellent piece of reportage. Even though i can imagine just how sold out the americans are to this project it is still good to see these behind the scene manipulations to assuage the tribe.

    Listen, i don’t believe for a moment that the u.s is not in this kneck deep too and, for their own reasons, but the amount of money that is passed out must be staggering to keep this project ongoing for so long.

    • lobbyists often say that a senator is cheaper to buy than a tank.

      Haim Saban ‘bought’ into the Brookings Institute, the most prestigious think tank in DC (until then) for only $13 million. The $13 m was a tiny fraction of the taxes he’d saved by off-shore stashing of profits from his billions-dollar sale of his cartoon company.

      Saban has since set up a Brookings in Dubai.

      • Pamela Olson says:

        I once set up a meeting with the head of the Palestine division at Brookings, just after I moved to DC from Palestine in 2006.

        Her name was Tamara, and I assumed she would be Palestinian. It turned out she was a Jewish-American woman who had studied in Tel Aviv. Of course this didn’t necessarily mean she was obtuse about Palestinian rights and aspirations, and American complicity in Israeli crimes. But after talking to her for a while, it was clear she was just another typical Washington Zionist hack, albeit in sheep’s clothing (talking nice about the two-state solution without doing anything about it, etc.).

        I lost quite a few illusions that day. Silly me, I thought “think tanks” actually thought.

  10. Ramzi Jaber says:

    It’s truly depressing to read such accounts.

    The most powerful and the most prosperous nation on the planet
    joins
    the most criminal and the most spoiled nation on the planet
    to gang up against
    the most helpless and the most oppressed people on the planet.

    Shame. Shame. Shame. Shame on the US politicians. Shame on the American people to let your politicians do this. I don’t want to say shame on israel because israel is a shameless country full of people drunk with arrogance.

    One thing I know for certain though: all the american zionists, both jew and christian, will have their day of reckoning. Why I know this? I know this because we, Palestinians, are Arabs and Arabs are VERY patient and history is measured over generations and centuries not over months or years.

    To those who are enslaved to the zionist agenda I say: Don’t crow lest you shall cry.

  11. Kathleen says:

    Thanks for the first hand account. Pressure, threats, intimidation this is the way Clinton, Cardin clearly operate. Very clear they do not want a Palestinian state.

  12. jimmy says:

    The Palestinians could not get that nine votes in the Security Council because we changed some of the votes. We did. By simply going over with the countries, the United State’s position.

    the US bribed those countries with economic goodies thus increasing the US trade deficit again and again….just for israel….

    I become very depressed reading mondowiess and many other sites that keep pointing out the complete submission of the US congress to the israeli lobby…

    and in no way care about the people of the US…or any other nation for that matter…

    as a matter of fact the dont even think the arabs are human.

    • Kathleen says:

      “I become very depressed reading mondowiess and many other sites that keep pointing out the complete submission of the US congress to the israeli lobby…”

      Reality can bite. Take that depression and act. Even if it mean contacting a Rep persistently about this issue. Pass out information about the situation. If Americans knew has great info to hand out. Form a study group.

  13. Shingo says:

    What a load of horeshit this Senator is saying.

    1. They would have vetod the UN Resolution at the UNSC because, according to him, it would have circumvented the peace process.

    So then why did the US veto a UNSC Resolution condeming the settlements, which are also circumventing the peace process?

    2. He decribes those who voted or would have voted for recognition of Palestinian membership as anti American. But if the US was hav ign to use it’s veto, what does that say about France and Britain? Are they allies or are they anti Ameircan?

    • Mayhem says:

      @Shingo: What’s worse, horseshit or Shingoisms? There were no settlements before 1967 and there were plenty of obstacles to a peace process back then. 
      Obama used the issue of the settlements to try to force a peace deal but it backfired. Now the Palestinians have conveniently adopted the issue of the settlements as an incontrovertible blocker.

      • Cliff says:

        The settlements prevent any contiguous Palestinian State.

        And all of them are illegal under international law.

        You don’t need to refer to IHL anyway.

        If I usurp you, and build on your land – that’s wrong.

        The problem is Zionism and Jewish nationalism (such as it is). You are criminally narcissistic and thus, incapable of thinking outside of your ideological blinders.

        • Fredblogs says:

          Israel (the land) prevents any contiguous Palestinian state. Gaza is on one side, the West Bank is on the other. As to a contiguous West Bank (with Gaza kind of like Alaska is separated from the U.S.), the Israelis are perfectly willing to negotiate a deal that makes a contiguous West Bank, they can evacuate any settlements that would make it non-contiguous. But the longer the Palestinians wait, the worse their position gets. That’s why the settlers are ecstatic about the Palestinians refusing to negotiate.

          As for the settlements being wrong, if your people try to kill my people and I win, I take your land. See: the entire history of the human race.

        • Hostage says:

          As for the settlements being wrong, if your people try to kill my people and I win, I take your land. See: the entire history of the human race.

          Nope. So, either you don’t consider the WWII Allies to be human, or you’re an ignoramus who never heard of Peal Harbor, the Battle of Britain, and the modern-day independent states of Germany and Japan.

        • Shingo says:

          the Israelis are perfectly willing to negotiate a deal that makes a contiguous West Bank

          No Fred, Israelis are perfectly willing to hold “talks” behind closed doors, with only the US there pretending to be impartial mediators while acting as bagmen.

          The Israelis were perfectly willing to sign the Road Map, which required Israel to stop building settlements in 2002, before beginning negotiations.

          Israel cannot even be relied on to honor agreements they ratify in the Knesset.

          But the longer the Palestinians wait, the worse their position gets.

          Which again proves that Israel cannot be negotiated with. Arguing that the ongoing land theft  and settlements are legitimate until there is a peace deal is like suggesting that rockets and suicide attacks should be accepted until there is a deal on 2 states. 

          That’s why the settlers are ecstatic about the Palestinians refusing to negotiate.

          Why are you a settler yourself Fred? Again, you’ve contradicted yourself. If the settlers are ecstatic about the Palestinians refusing to negotiate, then surely the Israeli government (who subsidizes and finances the settlement project) also have no interest in doing so.

          After all, why would Israel be pouring all those billions into settlement construction if they had any intention of dismantling and evacuating them?

           As for the settlements being wrong, if your people try to kill my people and I win, I take your land.

          First of all, it’s your people doing all the killing, and your people planned the land theft long before the conflict began.

          See: the entire history of the human race.

          See Geneva Conventions, Nuremberg Principals and International Law.

        • Fredblogs says:

          Talk to the Germans about German Prussia and other German territories taken from them after WWII. Talk to them about the expulsion of ethnic Germans from places their ancestors had lived for centuries. Talk to the Japanese about islands that are still owned by the Russians. The Allies in WWII took plenty of territory.

        • Hostage says:

          The Allies in WWII took plenty of territory.

          They didn’t annex Japan or Germany to their empires and there were signed treaties after both World Wars that ceded the territories you mention as a form of economic reparation. That practice along with the expulsion of ethnic minorities was abolished by mutual consent when the Allies adopted the UN Charter, and the Geneva Conventions of 1949. There is unanimous agreement that Israel isn’t entitled to any territorial reparations.

          The states that you mentioned have accepted the acquis communautaire of the EU. They allow Germans to travel freely, reside, and work in their territories. When do you suppose Israel will do the same thing for the refugees it has expelled?

      • Taxi says:

        There is NOTHING on the planet more ignorant and brainwashed and nausiating than mayhemism.

        Just get the eff outta Palestinian mister european and enoufayer hasbara lies and justifications for ethnic cleansing. Nobody believes what you and your army of hasbara robots say anymore – people are reading the history of the region for REAL on the internet and NOT your revisionisms and fascist propaganda and swindles.

        The whole frigging Apartheid state of israel is an illegal and immoral settlement!

        • American says:

          There is some good news. AIPAC is not succeeding very well in creating Israel lobbies in other countries:

          Translating U.S. pro-Israel advocacy for Jewish communities abroad—and taking care about context
          link to jta.org

          “”One way to assist Jewish communities overseas is to leverage the impression of U.S. Jewish influence, said Michael Salberg, the Anti-Defamation League’s international affairs director ”

          ”Two days later, a closed meeting with AIPAC officials and the Europeans ended in an emotional shouting match. Insiders who attended the meeting said the AIPAC officials accused the Europeans of exercising excessive caution in advancing lobbying in their countries, and the Europeans countered that AIPAC was pushing too hard.

          The axis of Israel is this—6 million Jews in the US, about 6.5 Jews in Israel. The other 500,000 some Jews are scattered around the world in dozens of other countries in small numbers not significant enough to have much political force or influence on those countries. The US Israel lobby is where Israel’s power is because the US is the only country outside of Israel with a large enough population of Jews to bolster support of Israel.
          Also most other countries don’t have a political system where a Parliament can be leveraged against the Executive as congress can do in the US and congress is where AIPAC does it’s work to pressure the Executive.

      • Hostage says:

        There were no settlements before 1967 and there were plenty of obstacles to a peace process back then.

        On the contrary, the Zionist Organization established Jewish colonies all along. But when the non-Jewish Palestinian population was finally emancipated from the mandate, the Jews displaced hundreds of thousands of them, declared martial law to prevent them from returning to their homes and villages, and commenced the greatest program of foreign colonization in the history of Palestine. In many instances their homes and villages were resettled by waves of incoming Jewish immigrants, i.e.

        The United Nations had certainly not intended that the Jewish State should rid itself of its Arab citizens. On the contrary, section C of part I of the Assembly’s 1947 resolution had explicitly provided guarantees of minority rights in each of the two States. For example, it had prohibited the expropriation of land owned by an Arab in the Jewish State except for public purposes, and then only upon payment of full compensation. Yet the fact was that 90 per cent of the Arab population of Israel had been driven outside its boundaries by military operations, had been forced to seek refuge in neighbouring Arab territories, had been reduced to misery and destitution, and had been prevented by Israel from returning to their homes. Their homes and property had been seized and were being used by thousands of European Jewish immigrants. — Representative Malik, Lebanon 45th Session of the Ad Hoc Committee hearings on Israel’s membership application in the UN, A/AC.24/SR.45, 5 May 1949

        link to unispal.un.org

        In John Quigly, “Apartheid Outside Africa: The Case of Israel,” 2 Ind. International and Comparative Law Review. 221, 1991-1992; and The Palestine Yearbook of International Law 2000-2001, page 5 The authors and editors explained that the martial law regime against the Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel began in 1948 and lasted for nearly two decades. It was used to prevent internally displaced citizens from traveling in their own country, returning to their homes, accessing their agricultural lands, or conducting political organizing activities on their own behalf and amounted to a regime of apartheid. The properties of the displaced citizens were classified as “abandoned” and expropriated to facilitate the in-gathering of foreign Jewish “exiles” who simply perpetuated the colonial project undertaken by the Zionist Organization.

        Moshe Dayan implicitly admitted as much when he glossed-over the fact that Jews only purchased about 6 percent of the territory of Palestine:

        We came to this country which was already populated by Arabs, and we are establishing a Hebrew, that is a Jewish state here. In considerable areas of the country we bought lands from the Arabs. Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages. You do not even know the names of these Arab villages, and I do not blame you, because these geography books no longer exist; not only do the books not exist, the Arab villages are not there either. Nahalal arose in the place of Mahalul, Gevat — in the place of Jibta, Sarid — in the place of Haneifs and Kefar Yehoshua — in the place of Tell Shaman. There is no one place built in this country that did not have a former Arab population. — Ha’aretz, April 4, 1969, cited and quoted in The Question of Palestine (1980) by Edward Said, p.14

        Obama used the issue of the settlements to try to force a peace deal but it backfired.

        The removal of outposts constructed after 2001 and putting an end to settlement construction, including natural growth, was a Quartet Phase 1 demand. It was endorsed and adopted by the UN Security Council. It remains to be seen if Israel has heard the last word on that subject.

      • Shingo says:

        There were no settlements before 1967 and there were plenty of obstacles to a peace process back then.

        Oh really? So how do you explain the fact that the June 1967 borders look nothing like the 1948 borders? When the smoke cleared in 1949 the status of the territory that lay between the Partition Line and the Armistice Line was this:

        They were territory that had been allocated to the “Arab state” in 1947 but had been seized by force of arms by the “Jewish state” in 1948-49.

        The Armistice Agreements of 1949 explicitely said that accepting the armistice did not imply that the Arabs were acknowleging Israeli sovereignty over any territory seized by the Haganah.

        Which meant that between 1949-1993, everything seized by the Haganah in 1948-49 was A Much An Occupied Territory as that seized by the IDF in 1967. Prior to 1993, the state of Israel could point to no document – none whatsoever – that would confer any legitimacy to Israel’s claim to possess sovereignty over any territory that lay outside the borders defined in UNGA Resolution 181.

        Now the Palestinians have conveniently adopted the issue of the settlements as an incontrovertible blocker.

        No, that has already been determined by the 2002 Peace Road Map, which required Israle to STOP all settlement construction as a pre requisite for final status negotiations. You know, the same Road Map that Israel signed and the Knesset rattified.

  14. jimdonnellan says:

    Powerful. This piece plus the Ben-Gurion letter. Why did we not know this stuff seventy years ago?

    Can anyone make specific what the good Senator meant when he said (especially the anti-American bit):

    “Now understand we want peace in the Middle East, we want the Palestinians to succeed. But they need to understand that when they do things that are anti-American, going against the leadership of our country, which is critically important to move forward in the peace process, that we’re going to take note of that. And there will be consequences to their actions. I think that had some impact also.”

    • American says:

      We did know 70 or at least 63 years ago, ago. Truman knew and was displeased with his Israel creation. The whole world was demanding that Palestines driven out by Israel be allowed to return to their homes

      link to mondoweiss.net

      But the world has taken no action on it for 64 years now. I think the main reasons it didn’t was at first a combination of the holocaust being fresher in people’s minds that made them loath to take action against Jews, combined with the Zionist who have maintained a constant political presence in the US since Truman.
      Now the Holocaust protection racket for Israel has worn thin and people are rejecting it. Israel has also worn thin with the US public to put it midly. Israel now has mostly only two things in it’s pocket; the US politicians and the German government.
      Losing Germany would be a blow to them, but losing the US would mean the end of them.