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Fw: Israel-Palestine – what is the U.S. nat ional interest?

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  • Romi Elnagar
      Israel-Palestine: What is the U.S. National Interest?   By Ralph Nader Tuesday, November 20, 2012  Israeli elections are coming up in January so it is
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 20, 2012

      What is the U.S. National
      Interest?   By Ralph
      November 20, 2012
      elections are coming up in January so it is Palestinian hunting season
      again. Israeli cynics call it a time “for mowing the
      Out comes the well-worn playbook by Israel’s
      militaristic government that has worked to silence Israeli politicians
      and citizens who want a two-state solution. This is an opportunity to
      use and test advanced weaponry from the U.S., compliments of U.S.
      taxpayers, and squelch ongoing peace efforts, small and large, by
      Palestinians, Israelis and international peace advocates.
      playbook’s first chapter is provocation to upset a tense but
      workable truce with Hamas, the elected government of Gaza. Hamas was
      encouraged at its creation years ago by both Israeli and U.S. backers
      to counter the secular Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Bit of
      a blowback there.
      Israeli government leaders are expert
      provocateurs when they wish to seize land, water or prisoners and
      upset any movement toward a peace that would create a viable
      Palestinian state back to the 1967 borders, which includes East
      Jerusalem. When Israel came into being in 1948, it soon broke a UN
      truce and doubled its territory by taking the large area known as the
      Negev desert, whose refugees ended up in the Gaza Strip. Now 1.6
      million encircled and impoverished humans, blockaded and under siege
      by Israel, try to survive in an open-air prison little more than twice
      the size of the District of Columbia.
      strategy of breaking cease-fires and truces over the years has been
      documented by Princeton University history professor emeritus, Arno J.
      Mayer, in his scholarly bookPlowshares into Swords: From Zionism to Israel (Verso,
      late 2008, Israel broke a months-long truce with Hamas with an attack
      that took half a dozen lives. Modern Israeli missiles and crude Hamas
      rockets started flying to and fro. Then Israel invaded the Gaza strip
      with soldiers to add to its previous incursions -  24/7
      electronic and satellite surveillance, omnipresent spies, flyovers,
      and data mining (down to specific details on each extended family and
      neighborhood). With their avowed pinpoint bombing, the Israelis
      destroyed homes, schools, clinics, police stations, clusters of people
      at bus stops, farms, UN facilities and even hit the American
      International School – all with the blessing of President-elect
      Barack Obama.
      Observers marvel at the precise knowledge by Israel of who was
      in what car traveling where in Gaza, before being vaporized. Yet
      somehow, the second-most modern military in the world could not detect
      and stop those garages assembling the rockets or the sites firing the
      crude missiles, which were the rationale for the Israeli
      When the Gaza invasion-massacre ended, there were more than
      1400 Palestinian fatalities, including around 300 children, and many
      thousands of injuries, a population surrounded by destruction and
      deprived by this illegal blockade-siege of medicines, food, water,
      electricity and the other necessities of life.
      large extended family in several adjoining homes was ordered by
      Israeli soldiers to congregate in the largest of the homes. Then the
      Israelis blew it up. This Samouni family lost about 30 of its members,
      or more than double the entire fatality toll in Israel, including
      those soldiers lost from friendly fire.
      current hostilities started in two stages. The first was a
      back-and-forth that saw an emerging truce broken decisively on
      November 14 when Israel pridefully blew up a car containing Hamas
      military chief, Ahmad al-Jabari who actually was leading the
      negotiations via Egypt with Israel for a longer-range
      Back to Israel’s playbook, chapter two can be called the
      instant, mandatory resolutions by the puppet show in Congress and the
      automatic one-sided mantra by the White House. “Israel has a
      right to defend itself,” said President Obama, from the
      occupied, besieged, defenseless Palestinians, whose lands, water,
      homes, businesses and freedom of movement are being taken relentlessly
      by the raiding Israeli government that is not content with possessing
      78 percent of traditional Palestine.
      More than 1500
      Israeli reserve combat officers and soldiers signed a
      declaration refusing, in their words, "to fight
      beyond the 1967 borders in order to dominate, expel, starve and
      humiliate an entire people." The founder of Israel, David ben
      Gurion, candidly declared it “their (Palestine’s) land and
      we took it.”
      So Palestinians do not have a right to try
      to defend themselves against their cruel, powerful occupiers. Israel
      is violating several UN resolutions along with international law,
      according to many experts including Richard Falk, the United Nations
      special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories. But
      the U.S. gives Israel its unwavering UN veto cover.
      Finally, chapter three of the playbook is to make sure that
      the Israeli government advocates dominate the U.S. media – the
      talk shows, the news slants, and the opinion columnists. This is
      becoming less easy in an internet age. Which might explain that, along
      with homes, water wells, rescue teams, an ambulance, and other
      civilian installations, the Israeli air force already has bombed the
      office building housing Palestinian television studios and hosting
      media from the western world, including Fox TV. That is one indelicate
      way to tell these western journalists to get out of Gaza so that the
      truth about the immense civilian suffering and war crimes can no
      longer be told by them.
      Still, the heroic Israeli progressives and
      peace advocates would not be silenced, in spite of some Hamas rockets
      nearing Tel Aviv. A few hundred of them demonstrated in this city,
      charging the Netanyahu government with provoking the fighting in Gaza
      to divert attention from conditions of social and economic injustices
      and civil liberty suppression in their country.
      Israeli-Palestinian conflict can be resolved peacefully, without
      violence. During quieter times, more than half the Israelis supported
      a two-state solution. A few years ago, 61 percent of Israelis, polled
      by a prominent university there, favored negotiations with Hamas. A
      majority of Jewish-Americans, though unorganized, favor a two-state
      2002, the Arab League unanimously (22
      countries) presented with great fanfare an
      across-the-board peace treaty with the stipulation that Israel would
      adhere to UN Resolutions and allow a viable Palestinian state. Again
      and again, sometimes in full-page ads in U.S. newspapers, this offer
      was repeated only to receive scoffing and abrupt dismissal by the
      Israeli government. So, predictably, Washington did
      what is the alternative? A one-state solution with both Palestinians
      and Israelis having equal rights? Noura Erakat, who teaches at
      Georgetown University, framed the dilemma back in August whenshe
      quoted former prime minister and current Defense Minister Ehud
      Barak, saying, after leaving his former
      post, “If, and as long as between the Jordan (River) and the
      (Mediterranean) Sea there is only one political entity, named Israel,
      it will end up being either non-Jewish or nondemocratic…. If
      the Palestinians vote in elections it is a binational state, and if
      they don't vote it is an apartheid state.” His rival, former
      Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said the same thing.
      Awareness of this pathway is leading some extremist Israeli
      politicians who call Palestinians “vermin” and
      “rats” to think about the day when they can, with suitable
      provocations, drive the Palestinians into the
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