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 clock is ticking on what could be the next explosion in the Middle East, if Palestinians press their demand for United Nations recognition as a state and the United States and Israel continue to spurn this acknowledgement of Palestinian rights. But Adil E. Shamoo says this political bomb can be defused.
Israel is experiencing a protest movement for “social justice” as are other countries in the Middle East and Europe. But the Israeli version seeks a more equitable society for Jewish citizens while sidestepping the plight of Palestinians, what Lawrence Davidson sees as the result of intense anti-Arab indoctrination.
With Israeli-Palestinian peace talks going nowhere – and Israel still counting on the unqualified support of the United States – a diplomatic clash is shaping up at the United Nations in September as Palestinians push for UN recognition of their own state. But Lawrence Davidson questions whether that is the right option.
The U.S. government talks about its preference for peaceful change in the world and rhetorically condemns violence. But in the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, Washington does all it can to stop non-violent actions by the Palestinians and their supporters seeking to challenge Israeli abuses, Ivan Eland observes.
Americans generally see their country as a great moral force in the world and thus reject evidence of U.S. crimes, even when they’re obvious, like George W. Bush’s Iraq invasion or his use of torture. This delusional self-righteousness often leaves the United States at odds with how the rest of the world sees things, Lawrence Davidson writes.
Israel and its backers are on the political offensive against critics who are putting non-violent pressure on the Likud government of Benjamin Netanyahu to address the legitimate needs of Palestinians and to recognize human rights for all people who live in Israel/Palestine. Israeli defenders equate this “delegitimizing” of Israel with anti-Semitism, but Lawrence Davidson disagrees.
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