FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Sweden, Palestine and the United States

by

Sweden’s new Prime Minister, Stefan Lofven, has announced that that nation will be the first of the European Union to grant official recognition to Palestine. To date, 134 of the 193 member states of the United Nations recognize Palestine. This is a reasonable step that will, hopefully, set the example for other European nations to do the same.

The United States, Israel’s best friend in all the world, and that bottomless pit of financial assistance for Israel, is, not surprisingly, seriously displeased. A spokeswoman for President Barack Obama said this: “We believe international recognition of a Palestinian state is premature. We certainly support Palestinian statehood, but it can only come through a negotiated outcome, a resolution of final status issues and mutual recognitions by both parties.”

Here we go with the ‘negotiated outcome’ nonsense again, nonsense that much of the world dismisses, but that the U.S. clings to, knowing that there can be no ‘negotiated outcome,’ but toeing the Israeli party line.

When Israel carpet-bombs Palestine, a nation it occupies, U.S. spokespersons say that Israel ‘has a right to defend itself’. They don’t see what most of the rest of the world does: that it is illogical for an occupying force to ‘defend’ itself against the people it occupies.

But this is the model that worked for a while for the U.S. public-relations machine, when terrorist U.S. soldiers were occupying Iraq. Iraqi freedom fighters, resisting the cruel oppression of the U.S., were labelled ‘insurgents’. For the U.S., anyone opposing occupation by it or its allies is an ‘insurgent’. Someone opposing a government that has somehow displeased the U.S. is not only a ‘freedom fighter’, but is given whatever level of support the U.S. deems appropriate, often in the form of bombs and/or ground troops. And since the Israeli lobby has purchased the U.S. governing body, and pays its annual maintenance fees, Palestine doesn’t have a chance of U.S. support.

Does anybody outside the White House or the hallowed halls of Congress reasonably believe that the U.S. can be an objective broker in bringing about a settlement between Israel and Palestine? Let’s look at some basic, very pertinent facts about the situation.

* The U.S. provides Israel with $3 billion in foreign aid each year. It provides Palestine with nothing.

* Among the aid provided to Israel is some of the most advanced weaponry in the world. Palestine is not provided with as much as a single gun.

* When the United Nations proposes to officially criticize any aspect of the Israeli occupation, the U.S. uses its veto power to prevent it.

* The U.S. condemns any rocket fire from the Gaza Strip, but supports the carpet-bombing of the Gaza Strip by Israel, with bombs the U.S. provides.

* The killing of any Israeli by a Palestinian is lamented by the U.S., but the deaths of over 2000 Palestinians, nearly a quarter of them children, garners barely a mention.

When the U.S. announces a new round of worthless, meaningless and futile talks between Israel and Palestine, and asks that each side refrain from doing anything to jeopardize them, it isn’t unusual for Israel to announce new settlements on land it is ‘confiscating’ (read: stealing) from Palestine. The U.S. huffs and puffs, and says timidly that this may be counter-productive, but, as Israel well knows, will do nothing meaningful to prevent the new settlement construction.

Despite this, the world’s governments don’t laugh in the face of U.S. proclamations about its efforts to bring about a peaceful solution in the Middle East. The people of the world, however, seem to be taking a second look.

One need not wonder what the U.S. could do, if Congress and the President were not beholden to the Israeli lobby. Simply cutting the purse strings would do the trick. The United Nations, were it not constrained by its own internal inadequacies, could send a ‘peacekeeping’ force to prevent further settlement activity. And while they were about it, that same force could end the cruel, crippling, illegal blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Any reasonable person (this, of course, does not include U.S. elected officials; ‘reasonable’ is hardly a term to describe them) would wonder why this isn’t done. Why, they might ask, does the U.S., despite the power of the Israeli lobby, allow Israel to spit in its face? Do these officials have no sense of pride? Have they no sense of shame?

The answer to those last two questions, unfortunately, is no. With very few exceptions (this writer can’t even think of any at the moment), these officials grovel at the feet of the Israeli lobby, paying homage at the unholy altar of AIPAC (American Israel Political Affairs Committee), receiving the financial largess that that lobby funnels to them, while they, in turn, throw the human rights of the Palestinian people under the proverbial bus. What, they might ask, is the worth of a dead Palestinian baby, when they have campaign coffers to fill?

Perhaps that is what is required: a powerful, wealthy Palestinian lobby. The U.S., despite all its lofty proclamations, isn’t what is generally called a representative democracy. Such a thing represents the will of the people who, ostensibly, are given periodic opportunities to replace those whom they elect. The U.S. represents the will of the rich and the powerful, including oil companies, weapons manufacturers (this writer refuses to call them ‘defense’ contractors; they have little or nothing to do with defense), and Israel, all of which have well-funded lobbies that set government policy. They do this by spending sufficient monies to assure the election and perpetual re-election of those officials that do their bidding. The Supreme Court, in its infamous ‘Citizens United’ decision, has only fostered and supported this model.

So hypocritical U.S. officials continue to fund groups opposing governments that displease it, often with disastrous long-term results. They ignore the suffering of people oppressed by its financial benefactors, decrying the human rights abuses of some countries, while countenancing and even financing the unspeakable human rights abuses of others. And when it appears that the citizenry is getting a sense of this injustice, there is always a war to start, an invented threat to address, and an American flag to wave to get everybody back in line. And like lemmings, much of the citizenry rushes out to put a brand new ‘support the troops’ bumper sticker on their car. And the current victimization of people like the Palestinians continues, while a new population experiences the horror of U.S. terrorism.

Robert Fantina’s latest book is Empire, Racism and Genocide: a History of US Foreign Policy (Red Pill Press).

 

Robert Fantina’s latest book is Empire, Racism and Genocide: a History of US Foreign Policy (Red Pill Press).

More articles by:
June 29, 2016
Diana Johnstone
European Unification Divides Europeans: How Forcing People Together Tears Them Apart
Andrew Smolski
To My Less-Evilism Haters: A Rejoinder to Halle and Chomsky
Jeffrey St. Clair
Noam Chomsky, John Halle and a Confederacy of Lampreys: a Note on Lesser Evil Voting
David Rosen
Birth-Control Wars: Two Centuries of Struggle
Sheldon Richman
Brexit: What Kind of Dependence Now?
Yves Engler
“Canadian” Corporate Capitalism
Lawrence Davidson
Return to the Gilded Age: Paul Ryan’s Deregulated Dystopia
Priti Gulati Cox
All That Glitters is Feardom: Whatever Happens, Don’t Blame Jill Stein
Franklin Lamb
About the Accusation that Syrian and Russian Troops are Looting Palmyra
Binoy Kampmark
Texas, Abortion and the US Supreme Court
Anhvinh Doanvo
Justice Thomas’s Abortion Dissent Tolerates Discrimination
Victor Grossman
Brexit Pro and Con: the View From Germany
Manuel E. Yepe
Brazil: the Southern Giant Will Have to Fight
Rivera Sun
The Nonviolent History of American Independence
Adjoa Agyeiwaa
Is Western Aid Destroying Nigeria’s Future?
Jesse Jackson
What Clinton Should Learn From Brexit
Mel Gurtov
Is Brexit the End of the World?
June 28, 2016
Jonathan Cook
The Neoliberal Prison: Brexit Hysteria and the Liberal Mind
Paul Street
Bernie, Bakken, and Electoral Delusion: Letting Rich Guys Ruin Iowa and the World
Anthony DiMaggio
Fatally Flawed: the Bi-Partisan Travesty of American Health Care Reform
Mike King
The “Free State of Jones” in Trump’s America: Freedom Beyond White Imagination
Antonis Vradis
Stop Shedding Tears for the EU Monster: Brexit, the View From the Peloponnese
Omar Kassem
The End of the Atlantic Project: Slamming the Brakes on the Neoliberal Order
Binoy Kampmark
Brexit and the Neoliberal Revolt Against Jeremy Corbyn
Doug Johnson Hatlem
Alabama Democratic Primary Proves New York Times’ Nate Cohn Wrong about Exit Polling
Ruth Hopkins
Save Bear Butte: Mecca of the Lakota
Celestino Gusmao
Time to End Impunity for Suharto’’s Crimes in Indonesia and Timor-Leste
Thomas Knapp
SCOTUS: Amply Serving Law Enforcement’s Interests versus Society’s
Manuel E. Yepe
Capitalism is the Opposite of Democracy
Winslow Myers
Up Against the Wall
Chris Ernesto
Bernie’s “Political Revolution” = Vote for Clinton and the Neocons
Stephanie Van Hook
The Time for Silence is Over
Ajamu Nangwaya
Toronto’s Bathhouse Raids: Racialized, Queer Solidarity and Police Violence
June 27, 2016
Robin Hahnel
Brexit: Establishment Freak Out
James Bradley
Omar’s Motive
Gregory Wilpert – Michael Hudson
How Western Military Interventions Shaped the Brexit Vote
Leonard Peltier
41 Years Since Jumping Bull (But 500 Years of Trauma)
Rev. William Alberts
Orlando: the Latest Victim of Radicalizing American Imperialism
Patrick Cockburn
Brexiteers Have Much in Common With Arab Spring Protesters
Franklin Lamb
How 100 Syrians, 200 Russians and 11 Dogs Out-Witted ISIS and Saved Palmyra
John Grant
Omar Mateen: The Answers are All Around Us
Dean Baker
In the Wake of Brexit Will the EU Finally Turn Away From Austerity?
Ralph Nader
The IRS and the Self-Minimization of Congressman Jason Chaffetz
Johan Galtung
Goodbye UK, Goodbye Great Britain: What Next?
Martha Pskowski
Detained in Dilley: Deportation and Asylum in Texas
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail