By Eileen Fleming
AIPAC praises failure of UN resolution to recognize Palestine as a state, an effort by Palestinians to kickstart the peace process killed by Netanyahu’s extremist government
On December 19, President Obama signed bills to bolster the ‘special relationship’ with Israel, support Syrian rebels, to disrupt Native American land rights, and to protect domestic spying (Click here)
In their statement AIPAC praised Obama for passing the United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2014 saying the “measure lays the foundation for expanded U.S.-Israel cooperation in a wide variety of spheres, including defense, intelligence, homeland security, cyber security, energy, water, agriculture, and alternative fuel technologies.”
The bill increases Israel’s stockpile of American weapons to be used in anything Israel claims is an emergency from a value of $200 million to $2 billion.
For the weapons Israel used in its latest war on Gaza all they had to do was inform the Pentagon that they would need them, thus Israel’s easy access to state of the art weapons of destruction continues to escalate its hostility and seize even more Palestinian land with settlement expansion.
On December 30, AIPAC commended the Obama administration for its successful efforts to prevent adoption of a resolution by the United Nations Security Council claiming Palestinian success would be “a severe setback to the prospect of a resumption of the Israel-Palestinian peace process.”
The only process that has endured since 1948 when Israel was recognized as a state has been as Israel’s first leader, David Ben-Gurion, made clear in 1937:
“We must expel Arabs and take their place. But one needs an opportune moment for making it happen, such as war.”
In 1947, Ben-Gurion also admitted: “Let us not ignore the truth among ourselves…politically we are the aggressors and they defend themselves. The country is theirs because they inhabit it, whereas we want to come here and settle down, and in their view we want to take from them their country.”
Business as usual Republican and Democratic lawmakers wasted no time in threatening the Palestinian Authority in the wake of their seeking international intervention to end the ongoing occupation by joining the International Criminal Court.
On 31 December, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), the chairwoman of the U.S. House of Representatives Middle East subcommittee said:
“Congress must do everything in its power to block funds to the P.A. and to any U.N. entity that recognizes a non-existent State of Palestine to make it clear to Abu Mazen that there will be consequences to his schemes at the United Nations and other international organizations like the International Criminal Court” which would open the door to an investigation of Israeli war crimes. (Click here)
The Obama administration said it was “deeply troubled” by Abbas’ action, calling it counterproductive.
A funding bill passed by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama last month contains language that stipulates that no State Department economic support funding may be given to the PA if “the Palestinians initiate an International Criminal Court judicially authorized investigation, or actively support such an investigation, that subjects Israeli nationals to an investigation for alleged crimes against Palestinians.”
Even before the November congressional elections, Republican and Democrat members of Congress called repeatedly for a reexamination – or even freeze – of funding to the Palestinian Authority.
In September, Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) submitted a bill together with ten Republican co-sponsors to cut all US funding to the PA until “the PA has stopped providing funds or rewards to terrorist organizations; and working with terrorist organizations, including Hamas” who were democratically elected in 2006.
Following the Security Council vote on Tuesday, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) posted on his Facebook page that “we should make clear that continuing these efforts will result in the immediate freeze in American financial support to the PA.”
The US is not a signatory to the ICC, but is a key funder for the Palestinian Authority and budgetary legislation places a series of conditions on the continuation of funding.
The “continuing resolution” passed in December by Congress in lieu of a budget repeats prior year language that no economic assistance may be provided to the Palestinian Authority if the Palestinians obtain the same standing as member states or full membership as a state in the United Nations or any specialized agency.
If the Palestinians obtain member state status at the UN or any specialized agency, the legislation stipulates that the PLO office in Washington will be closed for at least three months. The office can be re-opened any time after those three months, provided the Palestinians engage in direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel.
On Wednesday, Jeff Rathke, director of the department’s Office of Press Relations, described the PA’s move as “an escalatory step that will not achieve any of the outcomes most Palestinians have long hoped to see for their people” and as a “counterproductive” action that “does nothing to further the aspirations of the Palestinian people for a sovereign and independent state.” (Click here)
According to Rathke, the State Department believes that the ICC move “badly damages the atmosphere with the very people with whom they ultimately need to make peace.”
Current estimates put the Palestinian refugee count at 6 million and most reside in Gaza, the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. Since 1948, the World Community has recognized the Right of Return to Palestine under U.N. Resolution 194.
However, Israel created its own laws concerning the Right of Return adding convoluted residency laws, making it impossible to return to lands owned for hundreds of generations by indigenous Palestinians. One example is the prevention of Eastern Jerusalem residents to return to Jerusalem if out of the country for more than seven years-even if as a refugee due to deportation or land confiscation.
Yes, ’n’ how many years can some people exist
Before they’re allowed to be free?
Yes, ’n’ how many times can a man turn his head
Pretending he just doesn’t see?
Yes, ’n’ how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry?
Yes, ’n’ how many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died?
The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
What needs to blow in –is the simple truth that US-backed “peace talks” have and will continue to fail but international intervention can, must and will end Israel’s failure to recognize that Palestine has always lived within the belly of Israel.
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