Skip to content


Bribing Israel: Enhancing the Swag

The appeasement of a militaristic country veering into fascism makes matters much worse

By Phyllis Bennis

The breathless will-they-won’t-they coverage wasn’t quite as extreme this time, but there’s still been way more attention paid to the latest U.S. “settlement freeze” offer to Netanyahu than it deserves. What’s supposed to be the main point of it all – new negotiations leading to something remotely resembling a just, lasting and comprehensive peace – is simply not on the agenda of either Israel or the U.S.

The actual bribe – oh, sorry, I meant to say “incentives” – being offered to Israel this time around isn’t insignificant, of course. Among other things it will massively escalate the offensive capacity and reach of Israel’s air force, already by far the most powerful in the region. The offer starts with 20 brand-new state-of-the-art F-35 Joint Strike Fighter planes – three billion dollars worth. That’s $3 billion on top of the almost $3 billion of military aid already paid to Israel this year. According to the influential Israeli daily Ha’aretz, it will double the number of the F-35 stealth bombers that the U.S. will send to Israel – Tel Aviv had already ordered 20 using the “normal” military aid to Israel, now they’re being offered 20 more free of charge.

F-35 Stealth Bombers free of charge to Israel, that is – this offer will cost U.S. taxpayers $3 billion more, money that could instead pay for 600,000 new green jobs here at home.

Then there’s the guarantee that the U.S. will veto any effort in the United Nations aimed at winning Security Council recognition of a Palestinian state. And the promise to prevent any UN effort to hold Israel accountable for possible war crimes in Gaza, such as moving the Goldstone Report forward in the Council, and potentially moving the investigation to the International Criminal Court. From what we know of the offer (the final language is not yet settled – at least publicly) it will also include a broad commitment to automatically veto essentially any UN resolution that Israel claims undermines its already precarious international legitimacy.

I’ve been discussing these issues in the media quite a bit lately, including a couple of weeks ago on al-Jazeera’s “Inside Story” and yesterday on Russia Today.

What it all means is that the Obama administration is promising to interfere with and prevent any effort to hold Israel accountable in the international arena. The U.S. is staking out a position that allowing the UN to function unhindered, or implementing UN resolutions such as the Goldstone Report, are simply gifts to be bestowed or withheld according to politically-driven, not international law-driven, considerations.

So basically, the U.S. government is now openly and publicly complicit in all the Israeli violations of international law and past UN resolutions.

And what does Israel have to give up for all of this? A one-time-only 90-day partial settlement moratorium in the West Bank, NOT including Occupied Arab East Jerusalem. Not a bad deal. Sure, most of the swag is stuff Israel would have gotten anyway. The U.S. has been vetoing Security Council resolutions criticizing Israel for decades; just a couple of weeks ago the Obama administration engineered the withdrawal of a mild request in the UN’s nuclear watchdog agency, the IAEA, asking that Israel finally acknowledge its widely known but officially secret nuclear weapons arsenal. That’s nothing new. But 20 additional new F-35 warplanes, at $130 million a pop, paid for by U.S. taxpayers? Now that’s nothing to sneeze at.

On the other hand, sneezing at the “settlement freeze” isn’t such a bad idea. It simply isn’t serious. Settlement expansion – which translates into house demolitions, land grabs, and population expulsions – will be allowed to continue at its current record pace in Occupied East Jerusalem. Just six weeks after the last ten-month settlement moratorium ended, Peace Now reported that construction had virtually caught up to the level it would have reached anyway. And even if the new West Bank “freeze” is total (which it certainly won’t be), all it does is delay the settler building frenzy for 90 days – at which point it can explode again, since the U.S. promised that this settlement slow-down will be the last ever requested.

So with U.S. complicity, Israel’s illegal settlements – all of which are illegal, whether in the West Bank or East Jerusalem, whether tiny outposts or the giant settlement cities – will continue.

With 500,000 illegal settlers in the Occupied Territory who are breaking international law just by waking up in the morning, Israel will continue to violate the Geneva Convention’s prohibition on moving people into occupied territory. This “freeze” will do nothing to change that. In fact, the Israeli settlement real estate boom is being aided by U.S. organizations like the Hebron Fund, that raises tax-exempt funds to support the illegal and particularly violent settlers in Hebron.

Unfortunately the Obama administration seems not only to recognize, but to welcome the reality that the U.S. is supporting illegal occupation. According to the noted analyst and former head of the American Jewish Congress Henry Siegman, “How else to understand what Vice President Joe Biden told Netanyahu on November 8 in New Orleans before a gathering of Jewish Federation officials, that differences between Israel and the United States on the subject of construction in Jerusalem and in the West Bank are nothing more than ‘tactical in nature.’ Is the continuation of Israel’s military occupation and its denial of all rights to millions of Palestinians for nearly half a century nothing more than a minor tactical issue for the United States? Is that what President Obama told the Arab and Muslim world in his speech in Cairo? President Obama will have to take his own words about the Middle East peace process and its deep moral and strategic implications for America more seriously than he has so far if he expects Bibi Netanyahu to do so as well.”

We will have to take those words seriously too. Stay tuned to the action alerts of the U.S. Campaign to End Israeli Occupation for the latest.

I have been traveling again, most recently up to Canada where I did a four-city speaking tour mainly on Israel-Palestine, though with some discussion also about Afghanistan, particularly because of the 3,000 Canadian troops backing the U.S. war there. In Toronto I was honored to deliver this year’s James Graff Memorial Lecture, following Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein, and Richard Falk who have delivered that lecture in the past. I was speaking on “The U.S. in the Middle East: Peace Processes and War Fevers” if you want to take a look at the video. Then some other interesting events in London, Halifax, Ottawa…An interview on Rabble.ca (Canada’s answer to Pacifica Radio) is here.

Quite fascinating to see how the Israel-Palestine discourse is changing up there — not quite as rapidly as here in the United States, it seems, but nonetheless far more quickly than before. Of course the Canadians now face a similar challenge to what we in the U.S. faced for so long, with their Harper government — the same government that led to a common joke, Canadians are bemoaning the fact that their country is the only place left where George Bush is still president. Prime Minister Harper has embraced a position of hard-core support for all Israeli policies of occupation, apartheid, suppression of any criticism. Staking out a pro-Israel position even beyond that of the Obama administration, Harper announced a couple of weeks ago that Canada would stand by Israel and refuse even to “pretend” to be an “honest broker.”

But what’s exciting is the huge escalation in human rights activism in Canada, challenging the government’s support for Israeli occupation and apartheid, supporting Palestinian rights and using the global campaign of BDS – boycott, divestment and sanctions – to confronting Harper’s policies. The world, specifically the United Nations, is helping as well, having just voted to deny Canada a coveted two-year term in the UN Security Council, largely because of the Harper government’s embrace of Israeli violations. It was a shock to many Canadians, who for decades viewed their country as a key backer of the UN and multilateralism, the country of Lester Pearson, credited with inventing UN peacekeeping. Suddenly Canadians had to face that their once-and-future “UN country” was being dissed by the world…But maybe that’s a good thing. It certainly sparked some good discussions.

Finally, with all the unchanging grim news on the policy side, the discourse shifts are racing ahead. For any of you who may have missed it, I urge you to take a look at this amazing four-minute video of “young Jewish and proud” – an extraordinary portrait of a new generation of already experienced activists. These young people – organized by Jewish Voice for Peace – stood to confront Netanyahu as he addressed the heart of the U.S. Jewish pro-Israel establishment: the annual assembly of the Jewish Federation. As the Israeli prime minister railed against those who would dare to delegitimize Israel, they stood alone, one after another, to raise hidden banners and to shout “the OCCUPATION delegitimizes Israel!” “The LOYALTY OATH delegitimizes Israel!” “The SETTLEMENTS delegitimize Israel!” “The SIEGE OF GAZA delegitimizes Israel!” And more. Each one was grabbed, roughed up, thrown out. After each one, somewhere else in the vast hall, another stood. The crowd turned vicious, turning on the last of the protesters, Rae Abileah from JVP and Code Pink, throwing her into a choke hold. But they turned the narrative around. Their action should make all of us proud. And we’ve got a lot of work to do to catch up.

Phyllis Bennis is a Fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies and co-author with David Wildman of the new Ending the U.S. War in Afghanistan: A Primer.

View the original article at Veterans Today

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Posted in Middle East, Politics.

Tagged with , , , , , , , , .

Support #altnews & keep Dark Politricks alive

Remember I told you over 5 years ago that they would be trying to shut down sites and YouTube channels that are not promoting the "Official" view. Well it's happening big time. Peoples Channels get no money from YouTube any more and Google is being fishy with their AdSense giving money for some clicks but not others. The time is here, it's not "Obama's Internet Cut Off Switch" it's "Trumps Sell Everyones Internet Dirty Laundry Garage Sale".

It's not just Google/YouTube defunding altenative chanels (mine was shut), but Facebook is also removing content, shutting pages, profiles and groups and removing funds from #altnews that way as well. I was recently kicked off FB and had a page "unpublished" with no reason given. If you don't know already all Facebooks Private Messages and Secret Groups are still analysed and checked for words related to drugs, sex, war etc against their own TOS. Personally IU know there are undercover Irish police moving from group to group cloning peoples accounts and getting people booted. Worse than that I know people in court at the moment for the content they had on their secret private group. Use Telegrams secret chat mode to chat on, or if you prefer Wickr. Or if you need to, buy a dumb phone with nothing for the NSA to hack into if you are that paranoid. Ensure it has no GPS tracking on it and the battery can be removed. These are usually built for old people to get used to technology storing only a set of numbers to call. However they have no games, applications to install and other ways people can exploit the computer tracking device you carry round with you most of the day.

So if your not supporting this site already which brings you news from the Left to the Right (really the same war mongering bollox) then I could REALLY do with some..

Even if it's just £5 or tick the monthly subscription box and throw a few pound my way each month, it will be much appreciated. Read on to find out why.

Why?

Any support to keep this site would be appreciated. You could set up a monthly subscription for £2 like some people do or you could pay a one off donation as a gift.
I am not asking you to pay me for other people's articles, this is a clearing house as well as place to put my own views out into the world. I am asking for help to write more articles like my recent false flag gas attack to get WWIII started in Syria, and Trump away from Putin. Hopefully a few missiles won't mean a WikiLeaks release of that infamous video Trump apparently made in a Russian bedroom with Prostitutes. Also please note that this article was written just an hour after the papers came out, and I always come back and update them.

If you want to read JUST my own articles then use the top menu I have written hundreds of articles for this site and I host numerous amounts of material that has seen me the victim of hacks, DOS plus I have been kicked off multiple hosting companies, free blogging sites, and I have even had threats to cease and desist from the US armed forces. Therefore I have to pay for my own server which is NOT cheap. The more people who read these article on this site the more it costs me so some support would be much appreciated.

I have backups of removed reports shown, then taken down after pressure, that show collusion between nations and the media. I have the full redacted 28/29 pages from the 9.11 commission on the site which seems to have been forgotten about as we help Saudi Arabia bomb Yemeni kids hiding in the rubble with white phosphorus, an illegal weaapon. One that the Israeli's even used when they bombed the UN compound in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead. We complain about Syrian troops (US Controlled ISIS) using chemical weapons to kill "beautiful babies". I suppose all those babies we kill in Iraq, Yemen, Somalia and Syria are just not beautiful enough for Trumps beautiful baby ratio. Plus we kill about 100 times as many as ISIS or the Syrian army have managed by a factor of about 1000 to 1.

I also have a backup of the FOX News series that looked into Israeli connections to 9.11. Obviously FOX removed that as soon as AIPAC, ADL and the rest of the Hasbra brigade protested.

I also have a copy of the the original Liberal Democrats Freedom Bill which was quickly and quietly removed from their site once they enacted and replaced with some watered down rubbish instead once they got into power. No change to police tactics, protesting or our unfair extradition treaty with the USA but we did get a stop to being clamped on private land instead of the mny great ideas in the original.

So ANY support to keep this site running would be much appreciated! I don't have much money after leaving my job and it is a choice between shutting the server or selling the domain or paying a lot of money just so I can show this material.

Material like the FSB Bombings that put Putin in power or the Google no 1 spot when you search for protecting yourself from UK Police with "how to give a no comment interview". If you see any adverts that interest you then please visit them as it helps me without you even needing to give me any money. A few clicks per visit is all it takes to help keep the servers running and tag any tweets with alternative news from the mainstream with the #altnews hashtag I created to keep it alive!

However if you don't want to use the very obvious and cost free ways (to you) to help the site and keep me writing for it then please consider making a small donation. Especially if you have a few quid sitting in your PayPal account doing nothing useful. Why not do a monthly subscription for less money instead. Will you really notice £5 a month?


0 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.



Some HTML is OK

or, reply to this post via trackback.



css.php