State Dep’t spox Nuland condemns Palestinians’ village– but it’s not ‘appropriate’ to comment on Israeli expansion on Palestinian land

on 14 Comments

A simply disgraceful double standard in the Obama State Department: condemning the Palestinian village of Bab al-Shams, which the Israeli occupying forces removed, but offering no opinion on Israeli plans to ethnically cleanse a large portion of Area C near Hebron.

First, Tuesday’s State Department briefing with Victoria Nuland, boldface mine:

QUESTION: On the same topic, in the last – over the weekend, the Israelis forcibly moved Palestinians who had tried to reclaim an area taken from them for a settlement in the E1 area in Bab al-Shams. Do you have any comment on that?

MS. NULAND: We’ve obviously been aware of recent developments in E1. I will again take this opportunity to urge all sides, both sides, to refrain from unhelpful action, from unhelpful rhetoric, and to think seriously about the consequences of their actions. Every step taken should be designed to reduce tension, to prepare the way for getting back to the negotiating table.

QUESTION: Would that be the kind of nonviolent resistance that the Palestinians ought to pursue in fighting the occupation?

MS. NULAND: I’m not sure what you’re —

QUESTION: Doing – taking action like that, going to areas and pitching tents and staying up there and do temporary housing and staying on land without seeking – without resorting to violence, that would be the kind of action that the Palestinians ought to do in sort of undoing the occupation?

MS. NULAND: We oppose all unilateral action, Said, including settlement activities of any kind. They complicate efforts to resume direct bilateral talks. This includes in the E1 area. It’s just not helpful.

Wednesday’s briefing, also with Nuland. The question involves the Israeli court considering the legality of government efforts to remove eight Palestinian villages in the Hebron hills:

QUESTION: I had a question. It was about the South Hebron Hills…

MS. NULAND: With regard to Hebron Hills, this is with regard to the hearings –that are ongoing at the Israeli High Court of Justice. We’re obviously aware of the hearings. We’re watching that situation closely. The hearings are ongoing, as you know.

QUESTION: And I – okay, understandably, but – and I understand that this

And I – okay, understandably, but – and I understand that this is also in the Israeli legal system right now. But do you have any opinion on whether these evictions are legal or even – or do they – would they fall under the category of unilateral action that would be a provocative act?

MS. NULAND: I don’t think it’s going to be appropriate to comment here on an ongoing legal case in Israel while it’s ongoing. 

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14 Responses

  1. Woody Tanaka
    January 17, 2013, 12:08 pm

    “A simply disgraceful double standard”

    It’s not a double standard. It’s a single standard: whatever the zionists and their lobby want, they get.

    The problem is that you assume that the US and its government are fundamentally good, and are just astray. It’s not. It aid and abets injustice much more than it fights it, as has been the truth since before it’s founding.

  2. Avi_G.
    January 17, 2013, 12:52 pm

    Thank god for the “bilateral talks” excuse. Unfortunately, it’s starting to lose its potency.

    Do you remember way back when The dog ate my homework worked like a charm?

    Well, look at it now; claiming that the dog had eaten your homework invites nothing but laughs and ridicule.

    Nothing lasts forever, not even a sorry excuse.

  3. yourstruly
    January 17, 2013, 12:53 pm

    “Te’o is said to be victim of hoax” – today’s LA Times, sports section

    of a virtual kind?

    fooled him & then the public at large?

    for 3 months, then the truth got out?

    & the belief that the zionist entity israel is both jewish & democratic?

    until 2013, the year the truth gets out?

  4. Bumblebye
    January 17, 2013, 1:09 pm

    I wonder if Nuland gets a good bonus from her Israeli masters?
    Everything she said comes from the Israeli approved terminology playbook.
    And the Israeli viewpoint.
    Just sickening.

  5. James Canning
    January 17, 2013, 2:11 pm

    Victoria Nuland is the wrong person to serve in the position she occupies. That is, Nuland is the wrong person if the best interests of the American people are to be served.

  6. Rusty Pipes
    January 17, 2013, 5:12 pm

    Any word yet on who will be State Dept. spokesperson under Kerry. I’ve heard of keeping your friends close and your enemies closer, but having a spokesperson sleeping with neocon Robert Kagan is way too close.

    • James Canning
      January 17, 2013, 8:06 pm

      I like to think Kerry has the good sense to get rid of Victoria Nuland.

    • Hostage
      January 17, 2013, 10:08 pm

      I’ve heard of keeping your friends close and your enemies closer, but having a spokesperson sleeping with neocon Robert Kagan is way too close.

      Maybe Nuland is keeping her enemies close (and one eye open when she’s supposedly sleeping?;-) It would explain why she’s seemingly asleep at the switch and clueless about all of these other hot button issues.

      • James Canning
        January 18, 2013, 2:31 pm

        Would it be fair to ask whether Hillary Clinton told Nuland not to complicate Clinton’s possible bid for the White House?

  7. Hostage
    January 17, 2013, 6:32 pm

    I don’t think it’s going to be appropriate to comment here on an ongoing legal case in Israel while it’s ongoing.

    That’s odd, the State Department hasn’t adopted that position with respect to the Palestinian case in the ICC. When Palestinian government officials accepted the jurisdiction of the ICC; filed their own criminal complaint about Operation Cast Lead; and turned over reports from several international fact finding missions to the Court for investigation and prosecution, the State Department swung into action and publicly denounced all of the reports about Israeli war crimes and crimes against humanity from the UN, the Arab League of States, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, et al as “fatally flawed” – and pointed out that the US Congress would end funding to any UN body that attempted to take appropriate actions on the basis of those reports.

    I wonder if the State Department can comment or answer questions yet on the case that was concluded in the ICJ back in 2004? Among other things, the Justices agreed that Israel had flagrantly exceeded it’s legal authority in matters concerning the jurisdiction of its courts and the applicability of its municipal laws to situations involving places in the occupied Palestinian territory, like E1 and these Hebron area villages.

    The first question that should be addressed deals with the fact that the Court considered the Geneva Conventions applicable to the conflict in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including East Jerusalem. The ICJ also considered the PLO’s unilateral declaration on behalf of the State of Palestine to comply with the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols to be a valid legal undertaking:

    Now that the UN General Assembly has finally recognized the formal 1988 Declaration of the State of Palestine, why has the US government failed to fulfill its legal obligation to suppress Israel’s grave breaches of the terms of the Geneva Conventions or to treat Palestine as a High Contracting Party entitled to assert and pursue unilateral legal claims and legal remedies on its own behalf as a victim State?

  8. talknic
    January 18, 2013, 7:40 am

    MS. NULAND:“I don’t think it’s going to be appropriate to comment here on an ongoing legal case in Israel while it’s ongoing. “

    The ongoing legal case is legally in Palestine, not in Israel.

  9. Accentitude
    January 20, 2013, 3:29 am

    I can’t decide who’s worse: Victoria Nuland or Susan Rice?

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