Israel’s right-wing leaders feel they can count on U.S. politicians to rubber-stamp pretty much whatever Israel does to the Palestinians, with some extremist rabbis even glorifying the racist mass murderer Baruch Goldstein. Which leaves Lawrence Davidson wondering what it will take to change behavior in Washington and Tel Aviv.
Palestinian officials have appealed for membership at the United Nations, prompting angry retorts from Israel and a veto threat from the Obama administration. But the UN issue is membership, not statehood, which Joe Lauria writes is already a de facto reality.
Exclusive: Israeli leaders continue to pound the drum about taking out Iran’s nuclear program – and some hardliners may want to strike soon, fearing the window of opportunity will close if President Barack Obama wins reelection and is less susceptible to political pressures, as ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern observes.
Pulitzer-winning author Alice Walker sees a reflection of the injustice done to African-Americans in today’s treatment of the Palestinians, leading her to object when the artwork of Palestinian children is barred from U.S. museums and to join a flotilla that challenged Israel’s blockade of Gaza, as Dennis Bernstein reports.
President Barack Obama struggled to explain his planned veto of UN recognition of a Palestinian state just a year after he welcomed the idea. His speech was a painful example of a leader knowing what is right and calculating that he can’t do what is right, notes Lawrence Davidson.
At the United Nations, President Barack Obama tried to square the circle of U.S. support for democracy and freedom across the Middle East with his threat to veto statehood for the Palestinians, a cause he championed just last year. In an open letter to the President, author Marc H. Ellis critiques Obama’s depressing double talk.
Though the World War II victors promised that the Nuremberg principles would apply not just to the Nazis but to everyone, today’s reality is that international law follows two standards: a lenient one for the West and its friends and a stringent variant for adversaries. This hypocrisy is now being institutionalized, Lawrence Davidson notes.
The Arab Spring uprisings and Palestine’s bid for statehood at the United Nations are reshaping the political dynamics of the Eastern Mediterranean region, but perhaps nothing is more important than the newly assertive role of Turkey and its split from Israel, reports Danny Schechter.
Departing political leaders offer two kinds of reflections: self-serving rationalizations by those still protecting their reputations and blunt truth-telling by people who realize they should have done more when they had the chance. Both are galling, though in different ways, as Lawrence Davidson notes.
Often in the application of international law, it’s not what a country did but who its friends – and who its enemies – are that count. In that light, Israel, a close U.S. friend, got the blessings of a UN report for its attacks against Gaza-bound civilian ships on the high seas, a stamp of…