On Sunday at the HaaretzQ conference in New York, U.S. Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power admitted that Israel’s, “Continued settlement growth raises questions about Israel’s long-term objectives…
By Eileen Fleming
On Sunday December 13th at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City, HaaretzQ with New Israel Fund Conference engaged an Israeli-American discussion about our future in light of current issues and their impact on the U.S.-Israeli special relationship.
The goal was to come together as the community who want Israel to choose the path that will uphold the values of a liberal democracy.
At the HaaretzQ conference U.S. Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power admitted that Israel’s, “Continued settlement growth raises questions about Israel’s long-term objectives. We are under no illusion that achieving peace is easy – it takes tough choices by both sides [and] we have not seen sufficient commitment from either side to create conditions for peace.”
At the HaaretzQ conference Power also claimed the bias against Israel at the UN persists and blasted what she called the “absurdity” of Israel being the only country with a standing item on the agenda of the UN Human Rights Council.
Powers opined that “Delegitimizing Israel delegitimizes the UN” and how Israel fights for the right to be treated like any other country at the UN.
IF ONLY America would treat Israel like any other state and end the dysfunctional special relationship; the UN would not be crippled and thus regain legitimization as an international body to resolve conflicts without war and to form policies in the best interests of humanity.
At the conference Power posed the hypothetical question regarding how would dissolving the PA promote an independent Palestinian state?
This reporter contends the PA is just another layer in Israel’s occupation and dissolving it could be the first real step to free Palestine.
Prior to the 1993 Oslo Accords, in which the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and Israel officially began negotiating under a two-state for two peoples paradigm, the West Bank and Gaza Strip were under full Israeli Civil Administration control.
With the onset of the Oslo process, however, limited autonomy and self-rule was given to the Palestinians in the West Bank (though not in Gaza).
The West Bank was divided into three administrative divisions, with civil administrative control of some areas transferred to the newly created Palestinian Authority (PA) while Israel maintained civil control over the majority of the territory.
Under the terms of the Oslo process, full Palestinian governance was to have been achieved by 1999.
Today there are more than 300,000 Israelis in the West Bank which is more than twice the amount of settlers before the signing of the Oslo Accords!
Power’s praised Haaretz and New Israel Fund’s leadership for organizing the HaaretzQ conference stating, “Haaretz has long understood strengthening Israeli democracy is part of its mission.”
On May 28, 1993, Yedioth Ahronoth [Israel’s top newspaper by way of circulation] quoted Ariel Sharon:
The terms ‘democracy’ or ‘democratic’ are totally absent from the Declaration of Independence. This is not an accident. The intention of Zionism was not to bring democracy, needless to say. It was solely motivated by the creation in Eretz-Isrel of a Jewish state belonging to all the Jewish people and to the Jewish people alone. This is why any Jew of the Diaspora has the right to immigrate to Israel and to become a citizen of Israel.
In “An Israeli in Palestine: Resisting Dispossession, Redeeming Israel” Professor Jeff Halper explained:
An ethnocracy is the opposite of a democracy, although it might incorporate some elements of democracy such as universal citizenship and elections. It arises when one particular group-the Jews in Israel, the Russians in Russia, the Protestants in pre-1972 Northern Ireland, the whites in apartheid South Africa, the Shi’ite Muslims in Iran, the Malay in Malaysia and, if they had their way, the white Christian fundamentalists in the US-seize control of the government and armed forces in order to enforce a regime of exclusive privilege over other groups in what is in fact a multi-ethnic or multi-religious society. Ethnocracy, or ethno-nationalism, privileges ethnos over demos, whereby one’s ethnic affiliation, be it defined by race, descent, religion, language or national origin, takes precedence over citizenship in determining to whom a county actually ‘belongs.’-Page 74.
On May 14, 1948 The Declaration of the establishment of Israel promised:
On the day of the termination of the British mandate and on the strength of the United Nations General Assembly declare The State of Israel will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel: it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion it will guarantee freedom of religion [and] conscience and will be faithful to the Charter of the United Nations.
Jonathan Ben Artzi, a nephew to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, went to jail for 18 months for refusing to serve in the IDF pleaded:
If Americans truly are our friends, they should shake us up and take away the keys, because right now we are driving drunk, and without this wake-up call, we will soon find ourselves in the ditch of an undemocratic, doomed state.
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