Obama Belatedly Says No to Israel

Exclusive: If President Obama had confronted Israel over its illegal settlements earlier, he might have really achieved something, but his U.N. abstention as he heads out the door is better than nothing, observes Marjorie Cohn.

By Marjorie Cohn

For the first time in his eight-year presidency, Barack Obama said no to Israel. When the Security Council voted to condemn Israel for building illegal settlements in occupied Palestinian territories, the Obama administration abstained, allowing the resolution to pass.

President Barack Obama addresses the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 20, 2016. (UN Photo)

Resolution 2334 says the settlements have “no legal validity,” calls them “a flagrant violation under international law,” and demands Israel “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities.”

Although 2334 is consistent with prior resolutions of the council, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threw a tantrum, calling the US abstention a “declaration of war.” In light of Obama’s unwavering enabling of Israel’s illegal policies, Netanyahu was likely shocked that Obama finally said no.

The United States, a permanent member of the council, vetoed a resolution in 2011 that would have condemned the building of Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territories. And in 2014, the U.S. opposed a draft resolution demanding Israel’s withdrawal from the West Bank within three years.

Since 1967, Israel has transferred more than a half million of its own citizens into Palestinian territories, continuing to build settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

In 2004, the International Court of Justice affirmed that the Palestinian territories are under Israeli occupation and Israel’s settlement building violates the Fourth Geneva Convention.

A state occupying territory not its own cannot build settlements on that territory and transfer its own citizens into them. Article 8.2(b)(viii) of the Rome Statute for the International Criminal Court (ICC) defines “the transfer, directly or indirectly, by the Occupying Power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies” as a war crime.

Israel took over the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem by military force in 1967 and has held it under military occupation ever since.

Like Security Council Resolution 242, passed in 1967, Resolution 2334 reiterates “the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war.” Although Resolution 242 called for “withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict,” Israel continues to occupy the Palestinian territories it acquired in the “Six-Day War.”

“Over 4.5 million Palestinians live in these occupied territories, but are not citizens of Israel,” Jimmy Carter wrote in the New York Times. “Most live largely under Israeli military rule, and do not vote in Israel’s national elections.”

Complete Control

Israel exercises complete control over every aspect of Palestinian life in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza. That includes borders, airspace, ingress and egress of people and goods, and the seashore and waters off the coast of Gaza. The occupation violates fundamental human rights of the Palestinians.

A section of the barrier — erected by Israeli officials to prevent the passage of Palestinians — with graffiti using President John F. Kennedy’s famous quote when facing the Berlin Wall, “Ich bin ein Berliner.” (Photo credit: Marc Venezia)

Flavia Pansieri, former U.N. deputy high commissioner for human rights, said last year that human rights violations “fuel and shape the conflict” in the occupied Palestinian territories, adding, “[h]uman rights violations in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, are both cause and consequence of the military occupation and ongoing violence, in a bitter cyclical process with wider implications for peace and security in the region.”

Building illegal settlements in occupied Palestinian territories is not the only war crime Israeli leaders have committed. In 2014, Israel invaded Gaza and killed more than 2,000 Palestinians, the majority of them civilians. Nearly 10,000 Palestinians were wounded, more than 2,000 of them children. Tens of thousands of Palestinians lost their homes and infrastructure was severely damaged. Numerous schools, U.N. places of refuge, hospitals, ambulances and mosques were intentionally targeted.

Israel used the “Dahiya doctrine” to apply “disproportionate force” and cause “great damage and destruction to civilian property and infrastructure, and suffering to civilians populations,” as defined in the 2009 U.N. Human Rights Council (Goldstone) report. Those acts constitute evidence of war crimes under Article 8 (2)(a) of the Rome Statute.

The ICC can investigate and prosecute these crimes. Yet, in order to prevent such investigation and prosecution, the United States consistently opposed Palestine becoming a party to the Rome Statute. Palestine, which was recognized as a non-member observer State by the U.N. General Assembly, acceded to the Rome Statute in January 2015 and asked the ICC to investigate Israel for building illegal settlements and committing war crimes in Gaza.

In January 2015, Fatou Bensouda, the ICC prosecutor, opened a preliminary investigation into the illegal settlements and Israel’s 2014 bombing of Gaza. Netanyahu is upset because the new Security Council resolution bolsters the case for ICC war crimes prosecution of Israeli leaders.

Violating U.S. Law

The United States’ unwavering support for Israel violates U.S. law. Under the Leahy Law, military units that commit human rights abuses cannot receive U.S. training or weapons, and individuals who commit human rights abuses are denied U.S. visas. The State Department’s annual report has documented Israeli violations. And the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 prohibits assistance to any country “which engages in a consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights.”

President Barack Obama stands with Israeli President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during the President’s official arrival ceremony in Tel Aviv, Israel, in 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Yet, throughout his presidency, Obama has unconditionally supported Israel and shielded it from accountability for the war crimes of building settlements and targeting civilians in Gaza.

In September, Obama promised Israel a record $38 billion in military assistance over the next 10 years, becoming the strongest financial supporter of Israel ever to occupy the White House. Obama, whom Israeli journalist Gideon Levy dubbed “the patron of the occupation,” increased the amount of money the U.S. provides Israel each year from $3.1 to $3.8 billion.

Netanyahu called the increase in U.S. aid “unprecedented” and “historic,” characterizing it as “the greatest accomplishment since sliced bread,” according to Aaron David Miller, vice president of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. “The bond between the United States and Israel is unbreakable,” Obama declared, as he and Netanyahu shook hands.

The annual $3.8 billion, more money than the U.S. gives to any other country, will fund the continuing Israeli military occupation of Palestinian lands, now in its fifth decade. Obama, however, is to be commended for finally standing up to Israel, albeit at the 11th hour. We cannot expect President-elect Donald Trump to follow suit.

Trump intervened unsuccessfully to prevent Resolution 2334 from coming to the council floor. He stated he will move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, even though, as Resolution 2334 states, East Jerusalem is occupied Palestinian territory. David Friedman, Trump’s incoming ambassador to Israel, is notorious for funding the rightwing orthodox Beit El settlement near the West Bank city of Ramallah.

A Voice of Reason

We can hope Trump will listen to Gen. James Mattis, his nominee for Secretary of Defense. “I paid a military security price every day as a commander of CENTCOM because the Americans were seen as biased in support of Israel,” Mattis said at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado in 2013.

Retired Marine General James Mattis, President-elect Donald Trump’s choice to become Secretary of Defense.

Mattis criticized Israel for building settlements in the occupied West Bank, saying they “are going to make it impossible to maintain the two-state option.” He added that the settlements might weaken Israel as a Jewish and Democratic state and could lead to Israel becoming an “apartheid” state.

“If I’m in Jerusalem and I put 500 Jewish settlers out here to the east and there’s 10,000 Arab settlers in here, if we draw the border to include them, either it ceases to be a Jewish state or you say the Arabs don’t get to vote — apartheid,” Mattis said.

Meanwhile, Resolution 2334 has propelled the illegality of Israel’s settlements into the public discourse. While Israel has pledged to defy the council and continue building illegal settlements, Jewish Voice for Peace and other human rights organizations have called for “increasing grassroots pressure on Israel, through Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions [BDS] campaigns, until full human rights of Palestinians are realized.”

Indeed, the text of Resolution 2334 implicitly invites countries to engage in BDS by saying they should “distinguish . . . between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967.”

Marjorie Cohn is professor emerita at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, former president of the National Lawyers Guild, deputy secretary general of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers, and a member of Jewish Voice for Peace. Her most recent book is ‘Drones and Targeted Killing: Legal, Moral, and Geopolitical Issues.’ Visit her website at http://marjoriecohn.com/ and follow her on Twitter @MarjorieCohn.

51 comments for “Obama Belatedly Says No to Israel

  1. :james.
    January 22, 2017 at 08:54

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  2. Larry Motuz
    January 11, 2017 at 00:25

    No it is not better than nothing.

    Cutting off all U.S. military aid in the event of more settlements would have required Israel to go it alone.

    All too little, all too late.

    • Zachary Smith
      January 11, 2017 at 13:38

      Oh, I don’t know about that. Obama’s trivial do-next-to-nothing deed will be magnified in his next book as evidence he was really and truly on the side of Truth and Justice.

  3. Ira Dember
    January 11, 2017 at 00:07

    Israelis relocating to the Occupied Territories are not “settlers.” They are invaders and, as noted by the author, are violating UN Resolution 2334 and the Fourth Geneva Convention, which defines the invaders’ action as a war crime.

    Thus it appears the settlers are not only invaders but, technically speaking, war criminals.

    Netenyahu called the US abstention an act of war, which seems to fit with this interpretation.

    I’m not an international lawyer. Is the interpretation really supportable based on the facts at hand? Or, on the other hand, can anyone convincingly refute it?

  4. Michael K Rohde
    January 10, 2017 at 22:31

    What is sad is that many who read these words today are not aware of this state of affairs because AIPAC and their fellow travelers have such a hold on our allegedly free press that there is a virtual censorship on news out of the West Bank that is negative about Israeli actions at all. Most Americans, who are paying for the occupation, are not aware Israel occupies 3 times its’ own geographical boundaries of Palestinian land and rule it with their Army. Our “free” press needs to start printing the truth or name names about who is causing this illegal censorship to take place. Oh ya, we should stop the Looting of our treasury and cut off the aid Israel doesn’t need. Her American supporters have just stopped their private contributions and forced the rest of America to take up the slack.

  5. John
    January 10, 2017 at 21:05

    Israel’s occupation is a cancer to the planet…….and exposes the cowards of the world…..

  6. Dan Huck
    January 10, 2017 at 21:01

    Just taking cognizance of the anger towards the leaders of the state of Israel in these comments, if, as some of those leaders have stated, “We control the Media and the Congress”, then one doesn’t have to wonder long as to why it is the Media and our Senators are speaking with one voice regarding aggression, war crimes, and impunity towards the ‘rule of law’ by Russia.

    After all, isn’t it reasonable for the nation to be up in arms over something so serious and important to ourselves and the rest of the world, brought to our attention so effectively by President Obama’s Administration allowing a unanimous condemnation of the policies of the state of Israel regarding its settlements on Palestinian land, contrary to International Law, in the ocupied territories, in the United Nations Security Council with just ourselves abstaining and the nations of the world applauding?

    And in any normal democracy where the Media and Senate have not been ‘bought and paid for’, this is what the headlines would be full of, and our Senate would be talking of Sanctions on Israel, to ‘bring them to their senses’.

  7. January 10, 2017 at 19:14

    Ms. Cohn

    “………And in 2014, the U.S. opposed a draft resolution demanding Israel’s withdrawal from the West Bank within three years…….Indeed, the text of Resolution 2334 implicitly invites countries to engage in BDS by saying they should “distinguish . . . between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967……..”

    First of all, the US is never going to back a resolution which requires a complete withdrawal of Israelis from the West Bank. Arafat signed the Oslo Accords which call for a negotiated agreement for the border separating the Palestinian state from the state of Israel. Arafat represented the Palestinians people and Israel simply is not going to withdraw everyone from the West Bank. The Oslo Negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians recognized that some of the settlements were going to remain a part of Israel.

    Secondly, connecting “BDS” to Israel occupied territories is confusing the issues. The BDS movement calls for the reintegration of Palestinian refugees into Israel which will ensure Israel will not maintain a Jewish majority. If boycotting products made in the West Bank is the goal, then this must be done under a different name so no one confuses this with the goal of the BDS movement which is to eradicate the only Jewish state in the world.

    The intransigence of Netanyahu and the right wing government indicates that some kind of boycott of West Bank goods may be necessary to bring Israel to the negotiating table (in good faith). This is not going to happen under Trump who looks like he is going to make things worse for the Palestinians. For all the critics of HRC who was criticized relentlessly for her “fealty” to Israel, careful what you wish(ed) for……..

    • Zachary Smith
      January 12, 2017 at 00:23

      First of all, the US is never going to back a resolution which requires a complete withdrawal of Israelis from the West Bank

      Agreed. Israel owns the US Congress (both houses) lock, stock, and barrel.

      Secondly, connecting “BDS” to Israel occupied territories is confusing the issues. The BDS movement calls for the reintegration of Palestinian refugees into Israel which will ensure Israel will not maintain a Jewish majority. If boycotting products made in the West Bank is the goal, then this must be done under a different name so no one confuses this with the goal of the BDS movement which is to eradicate the only Jewish state in the world.

      Saying something doesn’t make it true. That last bit looks as if you invented it on the spot. If you have evidence for this claim, let’s see it.

      This is not going to happen under Trump who looks like he is going to make things worse for the Palestinians. For all the critics of HRC who was criticized relentlessly for her “fealty” to Israel, careful what you wish(ed) for

      Pure nonsense about Hillary. The woman declared she was willing to push Russia on a vital point with a key ally (Syria) and she clearly didn’t give a damn if doing so meant war between Russia and the US. As I’ve already written here, before the election I as pulling my Civil Defense materials out of deep storage, especially the radiation meters. The Palestinians were a non-issue for me because they were probably losers no matter who was elected.

      So the part I’ve ‘bolded’ is likely correct. But since Trump hasn’t even been sworn in yet, the issue isn’t cast in stone. I can foresee a small chance that he will indeed bend over backwards to coddle Israel, but then declare it’s time to deal. Recall what George “Codpiece Commander” Bush once said:

      “So now that I’ve kissed your ass, what do I have to do to get a deal?”

      It’s not clear to me what Trump and his people will do when Israel tells them to go to hell with their desires to settle the Palestinian issue with anything remotely resembling a fair “deal”. Considering Holy Israel is a nation of a few million arrogant, murderous, and thieving spoiled brats, that’s how I see their reaction.

  8. bluto
    January 10, 2017 at 17:03

    coming talk

    ‘The Successful 2nd American Revolution and Seismic Transformations of Jewish Power in the US and Israel’

    WHEN: Sunday Jan 15 2017, 2:00 – 3:15 pm
    WHERE: Otay Branch San Diego Public Library,
    3003 Coronado Ave, San Diego, Ca 92154
    WHO: Dr Lance Dale


    The Successful 2nd American Revolution

    -The Successful 2nd American Revolution Playbook

    ‘Obama as a Transformational American President regarding Jewish Power in US and Israel’. A ‘Club of 2’

    ‘Red Lines on Bibi’ – UN SCR 2334 and American Recognition of Palestine. Legacy as ‘man who lost Israel’

    ‘Bibi, Trump, and the onrushing ‘Palestine Annexation Law-Woodchipper’.

    ‘Checkmated and desperate Knesset’s passage of the Palestine Annexation Law’ into the Ch 6/possible Chapter 7 teeth of UN Sec Co Resolution 2334

    Transitioning to ‘1P1V1S One State’, ‘1P1V1S One State replacing Apartheid-One State’, Marwan Barghouti. 10 million Palestinians and 6 million Jews – do the math

    The Cost of Netanyahu’s continued pursuit of passing the Palestine Annexation Law – triggered/greenlighted Chapter 7 upgrade to UN SCR 2334, and some Israeli summary removal as head of state apparently ‘on the table’, calls for it from Israel x 5, triggered ICC hot in flagrante delicto cases

    ‘One Big Bag’ – the entirety of the Kahanists swept up together – the Apartheid and the Kahanist Neocons, etc, ‘Bibi and Trump as Israel and the Israel Lobby’

    American Recognition of Palestine – shifts in American media coverage

    Diskin/CIS needs Chapter 7 upgrade of UN SCR 2334 to dismantle Apartheid

  9. Pablo Diablo
    January 10, 2017 at 16:40


  10. backwardsevolution
    January 10, 2017 at 15:03

    Jews are less than 2% of the U.S. population, but they own the U.S. They’ve bought off Congress and the Senate. They own the government, media, telecommunications, Hollywood, academia, big tech, Wall Street, the Federal Reserve, are grossly over-represented on the U.S. Supreme Court (had Obama gotten his way, they would have had 4 of 9 Supreme Court positions).

    Jews stick together, promote and back each other, like to own and control. They control the money, and with that, the narrative. They were thrown out of England for 350 years, and have faced problems the world over. And they always wonder why. It’s not that hard to figure out. They write movies about this stuff, but they always get it wrong: the poor, persecuted Jews, through no wrongdoing of their own, just seem to keep getting picked on for no reason. Yeah, right!

    “Crush humanity out of shape once more, under similar hammers, and it will twist itself into the same tortured forms. Sow the same seeds of rapacious licence and oppression over again, and it will surely yield the same fruit according to its kind.”

    Israel doesn’t ask for permission. It just takes, and then once it has the land, hopes the world will just forgive and forget. For what they have done, Israel deserves to be stripped of their land and set adrift, again.

    • Dr. Ibrahim Soudy
      January 10, 2017 at 15:39

      Gilad Atzmon writes about that very well on his blog and his book “The Wandering Who?” BUT he limits what you describe to what he calls “Category 3 Jews” to differentiate them from Category 1 Jews (those who are just Jews by Birth) and Category 2 Jews (Those who choose to follow Judaism). The point that is hard to assess is what percentage of them fall into each category?! I strongly recommend the following references:

      – The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine Ilan Pappe.
      – The Invention of The Jewish People ……Shlomo Sand.
      – The Invention of Israel……Shlomo Sand.
      – Why I Stopped Being a Jew…..Shlomo Sand.
      – Goliath, Life and Loathing in Greater Israel………Max Blumenthal.
      – The Holocaust Industry………Norman Finklestine.
      – Also Google “The Jewish Neocons”, “Robert Kagan” ” Victoria Noland”

      • backwardsevolution
        January 10, 2017 at 17:58

        Control by money needs to end. Stop campaign financing. No more revolving door. You want to lobby after your political appointment? Okay, fine, in ten years. Term limits. Media and big banks need to be split up into many pieces, along with the medical monopolies. That’s a start. Get Jewish money out of politics.

        Isn’t it funny that the U.S. says it’s fighting for democracy in Syria, Ukraine and Iraq, and yet Israel and Saudi Arabia (both with far worse civil rights records) are left untouched.

      • Bill Bodden
        January 10, 2017 at 19:03

        Thank you, Dr. Soudy, for that list. Minor typo: Noland should be Nuland.

      • John
        January 10, 2017 at 21:23

        From the review on Mondoweiss, I would suggest adding State of Terror by Thomas Suarez to your list.

      • Gregory Herr
        January 10, 2017 at 22:54

        Also Jeremy Hammond’s book “Obstacle to Peace: The U.S. Role in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict”

      • John P
        January 11, 2017 at 00:35

        I think Alan Harts volumes titled “Zionism: the real Enemy of the Jews” is a must read along with your list Dr. Soudy. He was a friend of both Golda Meir and Yasser Arafat, and a reporter for the BBC and Independent Television (ITN). He didn’t like Meir policies, and said that Arafat was extremely nice when you got to know him in private.

      • Zachary Smith
        January 11, 2017 at 13:34

        The Gun and the Olive Branch: The Roots of Violence in the Middle East by David Hirst

        Another one to add to your list. I’d suggest looking for the 2003 edition, for I believe it tells of a serious suppression effort. If my memory isn’t wrong, the earlier books weren’t listed in Books In Print!

    • David F., N.A.
      January 10, 2017 at 20:02

      This isn’t a Jewish problem, it’s a rich Zionists (AIPAC) with influence over well paid political drones problem.

    • Anon
      January 10, 2017 at 20:34

      Agreed. Rarely has the world seen the victims of fascism adopt fascism so wholeheartedly. Their zionist right wing needs an updated chapter in their sacred history, in which the entire world in all its wonderful diversity sees in modern times the extremity of their racism and utter selfishness, and expels them again from the land they keep promising themselves. And hopefully also from your land and my land. Good riddance that would be.

      But it would be more appropriate to bring ISIS and AlQaeda there from Iraq and Syria et al, let Israel test any nuclear weapons it has on its own territory, let them fight it out street to street. Those slaves do get uppity now and then. Kill two birds with no stones, and may the best fanatics win. I’ll bet on the Sunnis, and would be glued to the news.

  11. Bill Slavick
    January 10, 2017 at 15:02

    I’ve read of no protests of disregard for Palestinian rights when the first Zionist Congress, in 1895, decided to create a Jewish state in Palestine by forcibly removing the indigenous Arab population–Muslim. Christian, and Druze, 90 % of the population. When Palestinians rejected the clearly unjust partition announced in 1947, giving the Zionists, then 30% of the population, political control of 55% of Palestine, the Zionists effected their objective, taking political control of 78% of Palestine and ethically cleansing 750,000 Palestinians from their homes, land, and enterprises, stealing all Palestinians could not carry in a few minutes’ notice, then illegally reneged on their agreement to honor the Geneva Conventions-backed right of refugee returns condition of Israel’s recognition as a state, beginning 69 years ago of Israeli assumed impunity from any accountability for its theft of now approximately 80% of Palestinian real estate, as well as Palestinian water and other resources and its myriad crimes against Palestinians, from endless humiliations to false imprisonments to torture to maimings, to murder, and genocide, not to mention destruction of over a million Palestinian olive trees, demolition of tens of thousands of homes, and bombing of schools and hospitals, and destruction of agricultural irrigation systems–meeting all criticism with bleats of “antisemitism,”confident that brainwashed American Jews and Christian evangelicals and bought Congressmen and women will affirm the disgustingly inhuman claims of exception from all oral accountability. Netanyahoo’s bleat that the recent US abstention is an act of war carries it a bit far. If that was an act of war, what as the 1967 deliberate air attack on the USS Liberty in an effort to sink it without survivors?

  12. J'hon Doe II
    January 10, 2017 at 14:58

    Robert P. Jones on the End of White Christian America – The Atlantic …
    Oct 13, 2016

  13. J'hon Doe II
    January 10, 2017 at 14:45

    Right-wingers are traditionally aggressive in a violent extreme.
    Obama was the conduit into this right wing extirpation of power.

    Imagined, “Hope and Change”
    was the rightwing highway into
    “Make America Great Again.”

    Conservative Rule.

  14. Bill Bodden
    January 10, 2017 at 13:59

    Yet, throughout his presidency, Obama has unconditionally supported Israel and shielded it from accountability for the war crimes of building settlements and targeting civilians in Gaza.

    And, throughout his presidency Obama has repeatedly said that no one is above the law. Of course, Israel’s right-wing government was not the only entity above the law during Obama’s eight years of trashing his oath of office. No doubt we will get more BS from Obama in his good riddance speech tonight.

  15. Joe Tedesky
    January 10, 2017 at 13:44

    Everyone on the boob tube is concerned that Russia has taken our democracy away, well I’m sorry Israel already did that. Honestly, why do we Americans feel comfortable while watching our elected leaders fall to their knees when addressing the AIPAC lobbyists.

    In fact in 1967 when Israel attacked the USS Liberty leaving 34 of our nations sailors dead, and 171 wounded, did Israel then escort the USS Liberty to a safe port, no but a Russian ship did. To this day I still continue to meet many of my fellow Americans who have never even heard of the USS Liberty attack. When I describe what happen it always leaves them stunned, and then they back off out of fear of be called anti-semitic. Talk about being conditioned.

    • rosemerry
      January 10, 2017 at 15:09

      Don’t forget it was Admiral McCain, father of the Arizona Senator (to Ukraine!) who was one of the perpetrators of the shameful Liberty coverup.

      • Joe Tedesky
        January 10, 2017 at 20:32

        “Even Rear Admiral Wylie, McCain’s deputy, confessed years later in an oral history interview with the Naval War College that he did not believe the attack was an accident. “That was deliberate,” Wylie told an interviewer. “I don’t know why in God’s name those idiotic people did it, but—I think I’ll not talk about it.”

        From – The Attack on the Liberty: the Untold Story of Israel’s Deadly 1967 Assault on a US Spy Ship by James Scott


        Admiral McCain was assigned the task of covering up Israel’s crime on the U.S. side of this coverup equation of deceit. McCain forbid his investigative staff from going to Israel in order to collect more data regarding the attack on our U.S. Naval vessel.

        Although Netanyahu sites Israel as being America’s only Middle Eastern friend, the facts in respect to Israel’s actions speak to the contrary. See the link below for further examples of Israeli deceit, and manipulations, used against it’s largest benefactor the United States of America.


      • Joe Tedesky
        January 10, 2017 at 20:50

        Here’s more from irmep.org

        “…On Sept. 16 State Department Spoke­sperson John Kirby responded to a reporter’s persistent questions about the legality of aid to Israel, given former Secretary of State Colin Powell’s newly leaked e-mails confirming that Israel had over 200 nuclear weapons pointed at Tehran. Asked whether, under U.S. law, aid to Israel should be cut off since it is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, Kirby dodged and weaved, claiming he was unware of and would not discuss the implications of such “e-mail traffic.” When pressed to comment on Israel’s possession of nuclear weapons, Kirby stated, “I’m certainly not going to discuss matters of intelligence from the podium, and I’m not—I have no comment on that.”

        The concept that Israel’s nuclear weapons program is an “intelligence matter”—rather than common knowledge long in the public domain that should have policy implications—is a subterfuge that has been repeatedly used by U.S. administrations since Gerald Ford left office. The Obama administration passed a secret gag order regulation under State Department classification guidelines in 2012 mandating criminal charges against any contractor or federal employee who dares mention Israel’s nuclear weapons. Kirby followed the gag order to the letter. The huge, costly impact of the gag order on sunshine laws has provided standing for a lawsuit challenging not only the gag order as illegal, but also all U.S. aid to Israel (see October 2016 Washington Report, p. 18).


        I would like to add, that if we in America were to have an objective, and reliable news media, none of these pieces of surprise Israeli related events would be new to us. Instead we have been lied to, and persuaded into us having undying support for this little rogue nation stealer called Israel.

        My posting isn’t aimed at the many innocent Jewish people who have no more power over Netanyahu than an American has over Barack Obama, so make note of that. When, or if the day ever comes that justice will prevail let’s hope that the real war criminals, and only those specific war criminals, are the only culprits who will suffer the wrath that will be sure to follow.

    • David F., N.A.
      January 10, 2017 at 20:28

      …never even heard of the USS Liberty attack.

      I bet they haven’t heard of Zionism either.

      …called anti-Semitic

      Zionists hide behind innocent and peaceful Jews, and would prefer anti-Zionists be called anti-Semites. This way they can use the victims of the holocaust to continue perpetrating the current atrocities in Israel.

      • Joe Tedesky
        January 10, 2017 at 21:27

        Thanks for pointing that out, because I feel that is a very important aspect of the grouping mechanism that will include the many who had nothing to do with committing any crime against humanity, and with that consideration to be observed these people should be saved from any retribution and punishment. Far to often the painting with a broad brush overlooks the innocent bystanders who may have been more on the side of right, as opposed to their aiding in the crime at hand. This isn’t a Jewish thing, as much as it is a Zionist thing for sure, and again thanks for the clarification.

  16. Bill Cash
    January 10, 2017 at 11:54

    You can criticize Obama but it was the first and will be the last time any modern American president stands up to Netanyahu. Trump sold that policy to Sheldon Adelson.. Adelson bought it for 100 million dollars but in Trumpian policy only paid 25 million. Trump has already basically told Netanyahu he will get anything he wants. You are foolish if you believe Trump will stand up to AIPAC.

    • Adrian Engler
      January 10, 2017 at 12:07

      “You can criticize Obama but it was the first and will be the last time any modern American president stands up to Netanyahu.”

      According to Haaretz (http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.761049?=&ts=_1484064168810): “No. Since 1967, all U.S. presidents have allowed the adoption of Security Council resolutions. To this day, 47 resolutions concerning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have been adopted by the UNSC, all during the presidencies of presidents other than Obama. President George H. W. Bush allowed nine resolutions to pass during his presidency. During President Bill Clinton’s presidency three resolutions were adopted by the UNSC. In fact, this is the first time Obama refrained from using the U.S. veto in the Security Council when it came to Israel since he entered the White House eight years ago. Last time a resolution on Israel was brought to a vote at the Security Council in February 2011, a resolution also concerning the Israeli settlements, Obama vetoed it.”

      Of course, these resolutions that were critical of Israeli policies were not all during the government of Netanyahu, and most did not concretely concern settlements. But compared to George H. W. Bush, this one UN security council resolution Obama allowed to pass is not that remarkable. Of course, there is serious doubt whether Trump would refrain from a veto even once.

      • Gregory Herr
        January 10, 2017 at 22:38

        I agree. Wholly unremarkable. “Standing up” would be voting FOR the resolution. Standing up doesn’t involve silence or saying Israel has a right to defend itself every time it goes on another killing spree in Gaza. Standing up would be to say that:
        “the settlements have “no legal validity,” [calling] them “a flagrant violation under international law,” and [demanding that] Israel “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities.” That would be standing up.

    • JD
      January 10, 2017 at 17:39

      Mr. Cash,
      Thank you.

  17. John P
    January 10, 2017 at 11:42

    I had high hopes for progress between Israelis and Palestinians when Obama was elected. And then, I think it was his second term he gave a great progressive speech in Egypt and a few days later he blew it all apart with a speech in Israel. From then on I considered his great oratory just wind.

    You may be interested in these sites concerning Israel trying to influence the British Parliament and democracy in a very offensive and illegal manner. Over there are two lobbies in particular, Conservative Friends of Israel and the Labour Friends of Israel. I find the influence of lobbies like these a complete contradiction to the way governments should work. Follow the money as usual !






    • Bill Bodden
      January 10, 2017 at 14:14

      I had high hopes for progress between Israelis and Palestinians when Obama was elected.

      In that case you weren’t paying attention to what Obama was saying and what he was doing. You must also have ignored the perennial habits of presidential candidates abandoning their stump speech promises once elected.

      • John P
        January 11, 2017 at 00:22

        As a black man, I was hoping Obama would have enough empathy for those who face discrimination, to do the right thing. He is a powerful speaker. Perhaps the pressures were too much. Carter was a great humanitarian but he sometime wavered under the strain of the Israeli lobby. Even so he did a great job but Israel backed by the Republicans did him in over the release of the hostages in Iran.
        With the Israeli lobby, one can hope that some mentioned gifts towards them are for cover and not fulfilled policy. He gave an amazing hopeful speech to the Arabs while in Egypt and then completely about faced in Israel.
        I’m not American so aren’t privy to all that you see and hear.

        • Bill Bodden
          January 11, 2017 at 13:13

          As a black man, I was hoping Obama would have enough empathy for those who face discrimination, to do the right thing.

          Obama was beholden to special interests that didn’t include African-Americans before he entered the White House so it should have come as no surprise that many African Americans are disappointed in his performance.

          He is a powerful speaker.

          Unfortunately, his oratorical skills fooled lots of people for longer than they should have because they didn’t pay attention to what he said and what he did and didn’t do.

          Carter was a great humanitarian but he sometime wavered under the strain of the Israeli lobby.

          Carter was out of his league in Washington where he was ambushed by the oligarchs of the Republican Party and his own Democratic Party.

          • Bill Bodden
            January 11, 2017 at 14:08

            Obama was beholden to special interests that didn’t include African-Americans before he entered the White House so it should have come as no surprise that many African Americans are disappointed in his performance.


            You may find this article of interest: “Pity the sad legacy of Barack Obama: Our hope and change candidate fell short time and time again. Obama cheerleaders who refused to make him accountable bear some responsibility” by Cornel West – https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jan/09/barack-obama-legacy-presidency

  18. January 10, 2017 at 10:22

    As my Old Irish Dad used to say “Its simple, Do good and Good things will happen to you,
    Do bad things and bad things will happen to you.. And sooner or later everybody gets what’s
    coming to them and they better hope it happens on this planet”.. R.I.P. Pop

    • Sam F
      January 10, 2017 at 20:14

      That is a fine sentiment and quite true where it was meant to be applied.

      But as a lifelong energetic humanitarian subject to lifelong attacks by the selfish, I know that it is no longer true when extended beyond personal social groups. The US teaches and rewards selfish bullying above all, gives all economic power to the selfish bully and all political power to the demagogic tyrant serving the business bully. Unfortunately, good intentions and the education, literature, art, and chatter they produce have no effect at all upon that.

      The tyrant is deposed at the point of a gun and not otherwise. The people of the US have not been vigilant to protect their former freedom, and do not now have the self-respect and courage of their ancestors. They will hide in their TV rooms and play with their toys as tyranny surrounds them ever more closely. They will serve as the enforcers and slaves of money and political corruption, because they cannot survive otherwise. Until the collapse, when the US is surrounded by the enemies it deserves, when it has suffered strings of military defeats and economic disasters, when it is impoverished and humiliated, when the screams of the tyrants that “Russia did it” ring so hollow as to arouse the rage of the oppressed, they will gladly be slaves.

      They will be slaves for generations more, gamed by the worst among them, the scum of the earth, the Dems and the Reps and whoever gets oligarchy money to continue the charade.

  19. W. R. Knight
    January 10, 2017 at 10:10

    Obama’s legacy: “A day late and a dollar short”

    • January 10, 2017 at 10:45

      If the majority of Israeli citizens could clearly understand what is ahead for them, they would oust the rabid Likud Party in a New York Minute. Security for any people is never found in the oppression of others. Eventually an apartheid state (and the supporters of such states will come to judgment). Too many evangelicals in this country, members of Congress, future President Trump (a dedicated supporter of Israel) and lobbying organizations in the United States, haven’t a clue. Until that moment in history arrives, every perceived or real reaction by Palestinian citizens against continued oppression, will be viewed as a just cause for retribution by Israel which is a rogue State. Israelis may have many nuclear weapons but they are poor students of their own history. By the way, when is the last time you saw a legal representative from Palestine interviewed on American television?

      • Bill Bodden
        January 10, 2017 at 14:09

        If the majority of Israeli citizens could clearly understand what is ahead for them, they would oust the rabid Likud Party in a New York Minute.

        The histories of our Deep South with its KKK, Jim Crow, and segregation and South Africa with its apartheid will give the Israeli’s a clue as to what may be in store for them. Unfortunately, for the Palestinians the lessons to be learned indicate it will take many years of struggle and abuse before justice will prevail. There is a slim hope that some day some wealthy Arabs will outbid the Jewish Lobby for the favors of the courtesans in Congress and the White House. The constant we can rely on is that Washington’s politicians will always go to the highest bidder.

    • Kalen
      January 10, 2017 at 15:09

      And “missed just a little”.

      In fact all of the empty gestures Obama are performing is a pure political opportunism to get himself and Dems a bragging rights that they supported Palestinians in some way while he acted as a Bibi slave for eight years allowing for criminal wars against civilians while seeking no peace in Palestine Syria or elsewhere as a Nobel peace prize laureate should.

      Obama legacy is the war and continuing massive bailouts of Wall Street run Health insurance and bankers gorging themselves on scandalous student loan feudal servitude while people had their income cut 60% or lost job permanently resulting in massive homelessness on the streets and squatting at friends or relatives basements and hence collapse of family formation rate to war like levels,

      Dems cannot fathom that their pretending to represent ordinary people while in fact being an oligarchic party with a Jim Crow inhumane legacy has been uncovered. They are finished.

    • JD
      January 10, 2017 at 16:51

      And Trump’s prophecy: “Stick it in your ear, pobrecito. I don’ give a rat’s a.. what you think.”
      Thanks, Don. Now go suck an egg.

    • franck rigaud
      January 11, 2017 at 01:22

      Moderator. Wake-up !

      • Anon
        January 11, 2017 at 06:00

        Yes, the truth is immoderate. Let us prohibit all that would diminish group benefits.

    • Robert
      January 22, 2017 at 17:51

      Make that “A day late and $10,000,000,000,000 short.

  20. January 10, 2017 at 10:06

    If only Obama had done it for the right reasons and not just to make life more difficult for Trump. It’s as foolish to think that Trump will be any better than Obama, as it was to have believed Obama might have been any better than his predecessor. In warning us to expect the worse, maybe the corporate media is doing Trump – and even the rest of us – a favour. After all, if we lower our expectations enough, we won’t be quite so disappointed when even those aren’t met. Whatever, it’ll have to be really hard for Trump to get that much worse than we are being told he will be. I hope.

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