Norman Finkelstein says the UN resolution against settlements was very strong, making them a war crime, and Obama allowed it to pass, in a major shift from his previous stance, because he wanted a legacy on Israel/Palestine and wanted to turn the tables on Netanyahu. Now the question is what Palestinians will do to enforce the latest in a long line of historical documents damming the settlements.
Category Archives: US Politics
Donald Trump is terrifying but there’s one big upside. Thanks to his extremism, a long-delayed reckoning is coming on Israel/Palestine. Boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) will take off as never before.
Only four congressional Democrats have been outspoken in support of Obama’s decision to allow a resolution critical of Israeli settlements to pass the UN Security Council, Senators Dianne Feinstein and Patrick Leahy, Kentucky Rep John Yarmuth and Illinois Rep Jan Schakowsky. Meanwhile there has been a chorus of denunciation from the likes of even good liberals like Jerrold Nadler, Richard Blumenthal, Hakeem Jeffries, Adam Schiff, Sherrod Brown, and Ron Wyden.
Alan Dershowitz gave Keith Ellison’s campaign to become DNC chair its largest boost in weeks when told the Fox Business Network, “If they appoint Keith Ellison to be chairman of the Democratic Party, I will resign my membership to the Democratic Party after 50 years of being a loyal Democrat.”
Netanyahu’s most impressive achievement is that he has associated his politics and even himself personally with sacred Jewish history and its hallowed lessons. That is why Jimmy Carter and now John Kerry must be vilified for pointing out the apartheid treatment of Palestinians. Netanyahu’s sacred construction is about to crash to the ground. Jeffrey Goldberg has already jumped ship.
An unnerving bunch, these Jewish public moralizers. Just when you think you’ve got their propaganda down pat, along comes a shift in U.S. power and they turn the whole game upside down. Remember when it was bad form to analogize Israel’s army of occupation to the Nazis? Well, that was then. Today it’s David Friedman, Donald Trump’s pick for US ambassador to Israel, who publicly accuses the liberal-Zionist Jews of J Street of being even worse “than kapos – Jews who turned in their fellow Jews in the Nazi death camps.”
In the NY Times lead story on the Kerry speech, writer David Sanger says Obama has distanced himself from Middle East peace negotiations, which he “doubted would succeed.” This is false and a jab at Kerry. The policy was Obama’s, and set in place with the Cairo speech of 2009.
John Kerry’s closing act as secretary of state is a 72-minute speech devoted to a problem, Israeli settlements, that was removed from the Democratic Party platform just five months before. The bitter failure of the Obama administration to take on Netanyahu untill the last minute is proof of the power of the Israel lobby inside American liberalism. The Democratic Party will support justice in the Middle East only if it takes on the forces of intolerance in its own ranks. That means the Israel lobby. You can’t defeat an enemy if you can’t name it.
Israel’s vehement response to Resolution 2334 speaks volumes. It will not “exchange land for peace,” it will not help create a Palestinian state, it will not stop settlements, it will not end the occupation. And in 23 days it will get a new American administration that will sign off on the end of the idea of a Palestinian state.
John Kerry’s speech on Israel/Palestine today was a eulogy for the two state solution, some commenters said; while others said he laid down new criticisms of Israel with statement about “separate but not equal” residents of West Bank and saying “The settler agenda” is defining Israel’s future.
“Stay strong Israel, January 20th is fast approaching!” Donald Trump tweeted today in anticipation of Secretary of State John Kerry’s much-ballyhooed speech on Middle East peace this morning. But Steny Hoyer joins forces with Trump in telling the Obama administration to leave Israel alone.
In extensive coverage of the UN Security Council resolution against settlements, the New York Times has quoted only four Palestinians. One article was headlined that the focus is now “back on Palestinians,” but quoted numerous Americans and Israeli voices, but only one Palestinian.
President Obama’s decision to allow passage of a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements as illegal has done more to change the shape of the conflict than any other action in the last ten years, even than Israel’s massacres in Gaza. Israel supporters always said that the country would not move toward peace if the U.S. was tough on it. But the UN Security Council resolution against settlements shows the opposite to be true: a little distance is already causing huge positive developments, isolating the country in world opinion and licensing criticism of PM Netanyahu. Obama has nudged Israel, and the media, toward recognition of the country’s new status, as a rogue state.
Judah Ari Gross of the Times of Israel offers unflinching description of “ugly” Israeli occupation at a NY synagogue: Israeli police who deal with settler crimes are “terrible,” Israeli soldiers come out of service “crazy.” And it’s perfectly reasonable to discuss a one-state solution with equal rights for everyone, “call it a day and what will be will be.”
Journalist Eli Lake has been unhinged by the UN resolution against Israeli settlements that Obama allowed to go through, and has been accusing Obama of cowardice and hatred, invoking biblical claims to Jerusalem and attacking writers who disagree with him as terrorists
Jason Greenblatt, the 49-year-old real estate attorney representing Donald Trump’s business conglomerate, has been named special representative for international negotiations which will include the Israel-Palestinian peace process. Greenblatt once studied at a religious school in the West Bank settlement of Alon Shuvot and may be the first leading adviser on Israel to a US President that’s done guard duty at a Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank “armed with an M-16 assault weapon.” In perhaps a sign of things to come Greenblatt told Israel’s Channel 1, “[Trump] has gone on record to say that the settlements in the West Bank can stay…I personally believe that they should stay. I don’t believe that they’re an obstacle to peace.”
More cries of betrayal from the pampered nation. Benjamin Netanyahu says President Obama “initiated” the resolution against settlements at the United Nations, betraying his “explicit commitment” to Israel not to support such action. Education Minister Naftali Bennett says it was all planned in the Cairo speech 7 years ago. Israel’s situation is naked in the wake of the Security Council resolution to condemn the settlements.
‘We tried everything,’ White House aide Ben Rhodes says, in explaining Obama decision to allow UN Security Council resolution against settlements. He says Obama and John Kerry repeatedly warned Netanyahu about Israel’s “international isolation” but Netanyahu chose to ignore the warnings.
That an American abstention from the world’s top council was required to ensure the success of a resolution favoring Palestinian human rights tells us it is time to recognize the American-Palestinian conflict. Did you know there are more Americans in Palestine engaging in illegal activity than there are in Iraq and Afghanistan?
The Justice Department should investigate civilian Donald Trump’s intervention in US foreign policy– calling Egypt to avert an anti-settlements resolution in the UN Security Council — as a violation of the Logan Act.
The New York Times commits journalistic malpractice, suggesting the US abstention at the UN was due to personal animosity between Obama and Netanyahu. Obama is dead serious about a two state solution, Netanyahu about holding on to power
The United States abstained on a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements today, allowing it to pass, in a historic break from the passivity of the Obama administration on the question.
When it learned President Obama intended to allow a UN Security Council resolution condemning settlements to go through yesterday, Israel called on Donald Trump to intervene, and he called Egyptian president al-Sisi, and Egypt withdrew the resolution. And you thought we had one president at a time!
The Obama administration was going to abstain from a UN Security Council vote condemning Israeli settlements today, according to reports; but Egyptians withdrew the measure at the last minute under international pressure from Israel and Donald Trump.
If a newspaper had produced the documentation of political corruption that Wikileaks provided in the last year, it would be up for a Pulitzer Prize. The media should stop demonizing Wikileaks and the Russians and focus on what we learned from the records.