Just testing to see if you were awake. No, Hillary Clinton didn’t threaten suspension of $3 billion in annual U.S. aid in response to the Israeli announcement that it would build 1,100 news housing units in the East Jerusalem settlement of Gilo. She should have. But didn’t. But you can bet your Gilo apartment on the fact that the U.S. and EU will suspend millions in aid to the PA if the UN approves Palestinian statehood.
Note the irony in the juxtaposition of these two news stories:
European Union representatives have told the Palestinians that any unilateral move on their part will put European aid to the Palestinian Authority at risk, according to senior UN officials in New York.
Israel announced plans Tuesday for 1,100 new housing units in an area of East Jerusalem outside Israel’s pre-1967 boundaries. The move reflects Israel’s continued rejection of Palestinian demands for a halt in settlement construction as a condition for peace talks.
So, a Palestinian campaign for statehood is unilateral and will result in the Palestinians losing their largest foreign benefactors and driving hundreds of thousands into even greater privation than they now face. But 1,100 new Israeli housing units on occupied Palestinian land is not, and will not result in the suspension of $3 billion in U.S. aid. Makes perfect sense to me.
And did you all see that nice lady, Hillary Clinton telling that bad, bad Bibi that he shouldn’t do those mean things to her friend, Mahmoud? It was touching.
In the meantime, Israel’s inner cabinet can’t even agree to accept the terms of the Quartet for returning to talks in one month and agreeing to a final settlement in one year. Despite the fact that Bibi has already publicly embraced the proposal. Gotta tell ya, Tony Blair and his friends in the Quartet have always impressed me with their political muscle.
Likud young blood, Danny Danon, is teaming up with Tea Party darling, Rep. Joe Walsh, to propose both in the Knesset and Congress that Israel annex a major portion of the West Bank (it has already annexed the Golan and East Jerusalem) in retribution for the Palestinians’ chutzpah in attempting to gain statehood from the UN. Think Progress reports that Walsh is concerned that American Jews “aren’t pro-Israel enough” and that he has to show them the way through his Congressional resolution.
Clearly, Walsh’s goal is to embarrass the White House, which ostensibly opposes settlements and the Israeli Occupation. But if the House actually voted to endorse annexation it would put the U.S. legislative branch on record supporting a major violation of international law, not to mention set the possibility for Middle East peace back, oh, at least a few decades. I don’t suppose anyone’s ever told the Tea Party-ers that foreign policy is the sole purview of the executive branch, have they?
Last but never least, Tom “Terrific” Friedman writes from his august perch next door to the Sulzberger family throne room that “all” the Palestinians have to do to get a peace deal is give up the Right of Return. More clear-thinking from Israel’s man at the Times.
This is a sort of rush to the bottom, Israel leading the USA, USA requiring attendance by the EU. Like kids (who don’t know how to swim) rushing to slide down a water-slide into the deep part of the pool.
Palestinians will be swamped in the splashing, especially because the kids don’t know how how to swim.
Militarism today, tomorrow, and forever! Yea! International law, a bad dream that you would be better off forgetting about. Human rights? Militarists especially don’t care about human rights.
Americans, tighten your seat-belts, it’s agonna be a bumpy ride down that slide * * *
Someone want to tell the EU and the White House the definition of “SELF-determination”?
From a Martian’s viewpoint, how ridiculous is it really that all these countries, thousands of miles away, who have always unduly favored the Israelis, are now trying to coerce Palestinians to follow their agenda under a facade of mediation?
Neutral arbitrators or bully supporters? France and the US claim to have a core principle of supporting the underdog, but here they are intent on supporting Israel’s jackboot on Palestinian necks. “Theater of the absurd.” That’s a Freudian projection and a half…
Tea Party darling, Rep. Joe Walsh spends most of his time trying to distract people from his being a “deadbeat dad.” He is likely to be in jail soon in lieu of paying the $100,000+ he owes in back child support.
[comment deleted for major comment rule violation–DO NOT publish comments here that have been published verbatim at multiple sites–DO NOT spam my blog!]
Hardly a day passes without a further outrage committed against the Palestinians. Now the EU has leaped, it seems, into supporting the ongoing crime: “European Union representatives have told the Palestinians that any unilateral move on their part will put European aid to the Authority at risk, according to senior UN officials in New York.” Well, crime indeed does pay, doesn’t it? Big time! We have our president whoring before the world for his 2012 rendezvous with destiny, we have the West in general choking in indignation over the PA’s blatant unilateralism, and then – what do you know? – we have the latest offering from our stalwart and brave little democratic ally (or patron, in reality), another crime in process: “…1,100 new housing units in an area of East Jerusalem outside Israel’s pre-1967 boundaries.” And yes, there is 1967, that new No-No of No-No’s, The year that dare not speak its name. President Obama did not so long ago, and boy, what hit the fan shouldn’t happen even to an unkempt stable. Of course I suspect that few people really feel, or felt, that anything much would emerge from Abbas’ declaration. A Palestinian state? Where? Principally Israel and the U.S. have seen to that. It’s totally obvious that Israel, depending on two elements – facts on the ground and diminishing memory, as with our own 19th-Century acts of Manifest Destiny, so beloved by Israelis – will indeed continue to occupy at least the lion’s share of Judea and Samaria, sometimes referenced as the West Bank. And now the West, Europe and the U.S. included, continue to offer that brave little democracy the shirts off other people’s backs. In the process, of course, international law and rules, written and otherwise, are being trashed. Only a few days ago I received for the very first time a mailing from AIPAC, a big, slick, handsomely done reprise of almost all the Israeli propaganda you might recall. No surprise, but what was most startling in its sheer chutzpah were the two stamped envelopes adressed to my New York senators, Schumer and Gillibrand, who were advised to make sure that our government did not renege on providing Israel with the 3.5 + billion dollars promised. However, AIPAC can be quite understanding, can, as it were, “feel our pain”,
because, as the postcard stated, these are difficult economic times. It was hard to know whether one should laugh, cry or vomit. I daresay, though, we’ll get our money’s worth, perhaps even another major terrorist attack from those we continue to offend, and they are many. Seems to me the only hope is a strong BDS, and I mean strong and deep and widespread. I won’t hold my breath, though.
George Polley says
This kind of thing certainly does make one grind one’s teeth, doesn’t it. It’s way beyond the point chutzpah, even way beyond sick comedy. Outrageous? Too mild. I agree that a really strong BDS movement is a must.
Thanks, Weindeb, for your excellent comments. I appreciate the depth and compassion.
IIRC, Israel hasn’t formally annexed the Golan. They extended Israeli law over it, but stopped just short of annexing it. Mind you, this doesn’t stop bottles of Golan wine being labelled “Made in Israel”.
Richard Silverstein says
Thanks for the clarification. So what do we call it? Quasi-annexed?
Piotr Berman says
I did not find a confirmation of Ha’aretz paragraph elsewhere, and in my opinion, this does sound likely.
For starters, decision making in EU is very cumbersome and requires consensus. So putting an item in the budget is hard and removing it is also hard. Secondly, what “unilateral move” can be meant here? PA already submitted a petition to Security Council so not that. A number of EU countries agree to oppose/abstain in Security Council and support “upgrade” which is available in UNGA, so not that.
I think it is a fishy story.
Piotr Berman says
The European Parliament on Thursday passed a resolution calling the Palestinian bid for statehood “legitimate.”
“The right of Palestinians to self-determination and to have their own state is unquestionable, as is the right of Israel to exist within safe borders”, the resolution said.
EU backs open markets for Palestinian goods
Sarkozy proposes 1-yr Mideast peace map
EU split on Palestinian push for recognition
The European Parliament also reiterated its endorsement of the 1967 borders as a basis for negotiations, stressing that “no changes to the pre-1967 borders, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties should be accepted.” The parliamentarians urged Israel’s government to halt settlement construction.
EU can be ineffective, but clearly does not have a position indicated by the anonymous source of Ha’aretz.
Interesting and most useful contribution. I was especially heartened to see the this inclusion:
“The European Parliament also reiterated its endorsement of the 1967 borders as a basis for negotiations, stressing that “no changes to the pre-1967 borders, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties should be accepted.” The parliamentarians urged Israel’s government to halt settlement construction.”