By Alan Hart
Never before has an American President’s fear of offending the Zionist lobby and its stooges in Congress been so exposed as it was by Obama’s decision to veto the Security Council resolution condemning continued, illegal Israeli settlement activities on the occupied West Bank and demanding that Israel “immediately and completely cease” all such activities. In a different America – an informed America – some might think, I do, that Obama should be impeached. The charge? TREASON.
After she had exercised the Obama administration’s first veto, the plea made by U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice for understanding of America’s position could not have been more absurd. “Our opposition to the resolution before this Council today should not be misunderstood to mean that we support settlement activity. On the contrary, we reject in the strongest terms the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity.”
So why the veto? Ambassador Rice said:
“The United States has been deeply committed to pursuing a comprehensive and lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians, In that context, we have been focused on taking steps that advance the goal of two states living side by side in peace and security, rather than complicating it. That includes a commitment to work in good faith with all parties to underscore our opposition to continued settlements.”
What nonsense! If the Obama administration really wanted to underscore its stated opposition to Israel’s on-going colonization of the occupied West Bank including Arab East Jerusalem, there was no better or more effective way of doing so than voting for the resolution or abstaining. In either case the resolution would have passed and that would have opened the door to real global pressure on Israel if it continued to defy international law.
As for advancing the goal of a two-state solution, the Obama administration has done the opposite. By allowing Israel to continue its illegal settlement activities and consolidate its occupation, it, the Obama administration, has helped to guarantee that there can never be a viable Palestinian state living side by side with an Israel inside its borders as they were on the eve of the 1967 war.
In the context of the conflict in and over Palestine that became Israel, the only thing to which the Obama administration has been deeply committed is not provoking the wrath of the Zionist lobby and its stooges in Congress and the mainstream media. For all practical purposes Obama has surrendered policy making on Israel-Palestine to this lobby. (The veto marked the complete surrender).
The essence of the problem this presents can be simply stated. The Zionist lobby’s agenda – unquestioning support for Israel right or wrong – is not in America’s own best interests. (In reality it is not in anybody’s best interests including those of Israeli Jews and the Jews of the world).
As I pointed out on I February in my post Crunch time coming for America in the Middle East?, what all Arab peoples want is not only an end to corruption and repression and a better life in their own countries. They also want an end to the humiliation caused by Israel’s arrogance of power and American support for it.
It is clear that the manifestations of Arab people power the world is witnessing were not instigated by Islamist extremist groups and are spontaneous protests with demands by citizens from all sections of civil society. So at the present time that is no evidence to suggest that change brought about by people power in Arab states will create more cover, more scope and more popular support for extremist and violent forces which use and abuse Islam in much the same way as Zionists use and abuse Judaism. But this could change, in my view will change, if America goes on supporting Israel right or wrong. In other words, the more the administration in Washington D.C. is perceived by the Arab street as being complicit in the Zionist state’s defiance of international law and crimes, the more American interests and citizens are likely to be targeted and hit.
The American Constitution states that a president can be impeached and removed from office for “treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanours.”
In my view a president who allows a lobby group to put the interests of a foreign power above those of the country of which they are citizens, and who by doing so puts his fellow citizens more in harm’s way than they otherwise would be, is guilty of treason. (And all the more so when the American-Jewish lobby in question does not speak for more than about a third, and possibly only a quarter, of America’s mainly silent and deeply troubled Jews)
The admirable and courageous Gideon Levy, the conscience of Israeli journalism, has a brilliant article (which I have tweeted) in today’s Ha’aretz with the headline With settlement veto resolution, Obama has joined Likud.
And this is how Gideon concluded his piece:
“If the U.S. had been a responsible superpower, it would have voted for the resolution on Friday to rouse Israel from its dangerous sleep. Instead, we got a hostile veto from Washington, shouts of joy from Jerusalem and a party that will end very badly for both.”