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

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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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