Friday, January 31, 2014

US inconsistency

There is an intrinsic flaw in the peace negotiations with the Palestinians. Israel regards itself as a liberal secular democratic country, even if Jewish, and has affiliation with the western world, and we consider the USA as our chief ally. But, the US is also the mediator in the peace negotiations, and tries to adopt a "neutral" position, in order not to alienate the Palestinians and their own Arab friends and allies, such as Saudi Arabia. I put it to you that the US cannot play both roles, they cannot both support Israel as a favored ally and be neutral in the negotiations.

Case in point, the settlements on the West Bank. Israel has an excellent case in internatiaonal law for Jewish settlement in the territories of Judea and Samara, that have never been under any other sovereign since the Turks were here. When the British captured these territories with the rest of what they called "Palestine" in WWI from the Turks, they were given a "mandate" according to the Treaty of Lausanne and the League of Nations in 1922 to establish a Jewish homeland here. The Arabs were supposed to get Arabia, Syria and Iraq, which they did. But, the British never had actual sovereignty of Palestine. Then in the War of Independence in 1948, Jordan annexed the territories known as the West Bank, but its sovereignty was never recognized. So Israel still has a legitimate claim to sovereignty over these territories.

Whatever the details of the case, one would expect a strong ally and friend to take Israel's position seriously and even support it. Is this asking too much of an ally? But, in fact the US consistently disputes Israel's position and variously states that the Jewish settlements are either "illegal" or latterly "illegitimate." Their argument is that these settlements may preclude the establishment of a contiguous Palestinian State on these territories. But, that doesn't change the legal case, and neither should it prejudge the situation. In effect this US policy accepts that a Palestinian State should be Judenrein, free of Jews, and therefore it opposes Israeli's right to settle there.

Pres. Obama and his Administration have stated several times that they "have Israel's back." But, does anyone really believe that Obama would go to war with Iran if Israel decided that it had no other choice but to strike the Iranian nuclear facilities. According to his policies it is evident that Obama will not attack Iran. Therefore the idea that the US is at the same time a strong ally of Israel and a neutral in the peace process is inconsistent. From this basic inconsistency many unfortunate consequences arise, not least of which is that the Israeli Government and people do not trust Secty, of State Kerry as an honest broker.


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