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Author Topic: U.S. veto in United Nations of Palestinian resolution. Good, Bad, or Ugly?  (Read 479 times)

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Offline eloneTopic starter

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/UN/usvetoes.html

Since 1983 the U.S. has vetoed about 27 United Nations resolutions that were critical of Israel in one form or another. In every case the U.S. was the only vote to be against the motion in the form of a veto. Other nations abstained or voted for the resolution.  Last week the U.S. vetoed a resolution calling the settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory illegal.  Over 100 nations supported the resolution as did all of the Security Council.  Although the U.S. has indicated that the settlements are an obstacle to the peace process, and the justice department has determined them to be illegal under international law, the U.S. still vetoes the resolution, even though it was non-binding.  My questions: given the current breakout of demonstrations for democracy in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, etc. can the U.S. afford to continue supporting an over 40 year occupation of Palestine?  Does the U.S. lose its credibility as a mediator in the peace process? If Palestinians demonstrate against Israeli occupation in such a scale as in Egypt, where will the U.S. stand on that? Would like some answers and opinions.

Offline adifferenceinsize

Re: U.S. veto in United Nations of Palestinian resolution. Good, Bad, or Ugly?
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2011, 12:51:49 AM »
The Israel situation is pretty tricky in the US. The Israelis have done a pretty solid job on keeping both political parties locked in their favor, so while you might see some individual congresspeople express misgivings at times, there's almost always a race to temple to be more for Israel. That said, the US has occasionally applied some real pressure on Israel from the executive, so there's a limit to how quickly & grossly they can step on the toes of the Palestinians. I think the Obama administration would have to play to Israel publicly lest the hair-triggered response from the political right start spraying, but I think if a popular uprising like in other countries starts flaring, they'd keep Israel from cracking down as harshly as some in their government would like. The best hope for the Israel/Palestine issue to find resolution is likely to get the dictators out of the neighboring states... when the other countries have less reason to scapegoat Israel, everyone can step down from the "eternal brink of war" stance.

Offline eloneTopic starter

Re: U.S. veto in United Nations of Palestinian resolution. Good, Bad, or Ugly?
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2011, 03:44:46 PM »
The best hope for the Israel/Palestine issue to find resolution is likely to get the dictators out of the neighboring states... when the other countries have less reason to scapegoat Israel, everyone can step down from the "eternal brink of war" stance.

Interesting perspective.  I think it is to Israel's advantage to always have an evil regime close by so as to keep our $3 billion per year coming. I read on BBC news today that this Friday the Palestinians are going to hold a day of rage.  From the articles viewpoint, the question is who to rage against. Is the enemy of the people Israel of the government of Abbas.  Much of the Palestinian government has resigned. Palestinian elections are overdue, put on hold because the can't reconcile with Hamas.  Interesting to note that when they did have full democratic elections here, Hamas won, but of course no one would recognize that.  My point of this is that the people of Palestine are really in a bind.  Caught between Israeli occupation, U.S. indifference, and the battle between Hamas and the Abbas government. Unfortunately, the situation keeps feeding the likes of the extremists on both sides, Israeli right wing and Arab terrorists.

Offline Polymorph

Re: U.S. veto in United Nations of Palestinian resolution. Good, Bad, or Ugly?
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2011, 12:31:47 PM »
It's notable that the only country that really voiced support for Mubarak before he left was Israel. Dictators, as long as they're pro western and like Mubarak open to normalising relations with Israel they are quite happy to have as neighbours. Democracy in the Arab countries on the other hand hasn't proved to be as good for them from their experiance. Hamas won an election (in Gaza at least, after which they effectively performed a coup to drive out the remaining PA institutions.) based on a large part due to their pledges to fight the Israelis. Though corruption by the PA and chronic unemployment played their part too.

In Israel itself, the form of Democracy they have with multi party proportional representation gives more political clout to the right wingers than would be the case under the US or UK systems. A party or bloc of parties gaining 10-15% of the vote ends up being the balance of power and virtual kingmaker.

I lived in Israel for about two years in a kibbutz between Ashkelon and the Gaza strip. Most of the Israelis I knew considered the settlers as nothing more than troublemakers and a hindrance to peace. It's telling that when the settlers were removed from the Gaza strip there was little outcry amongst the general Israeli population, despite rhetoric from the settlers on how they'd hold out to the end. The general opinion was that anyone who wanted to live in heavily fortified enclaves in places like Gaza or Hebron was probably insane.

Offline eloneTopic starter

Re: U.S. veto in United Nations of Palestinian resolution. Good, Bad, or Ugly?
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2011, 02:39:56 PM »
Of course Israel would support Mubarak, they have a treaty with him. Better the known dictator than the unknown democracy.  That seems to be the root of middle east policy for the U.S. as well.
It's telling that when the settlers were removed from the Gaza strip there was little outcry amongst the general Israeli population, despite rhetoric from the settlers on how they'd hold out to the end.

Having lived in Israel, I assume you are more in tune with things over there.  Since the west bank is not apparently as radicalized as Gaza, I wonder what would happen if Israel went back to the 1968 border and left the settlers to be a part of Palestine.  That is essentially what happened to the Arabs in 1948. Give them the choice, live with dual citizenship under a Palestinian state or leave.

Also, I still believe that the U.S. position is influenced by the Israeli lobby, whose campaign contributions and ideas are very much in play. Is there any other explanation for the U.S. being the lone veto in the U.N.  We in the U.S. don't seem to get the same news coverage that the rest of the world sees. That is evident by watching other sources such as BBC news, and even, Al Jazeera.  Admittedly, Al Jazeera may be a bit slanted, but there are real reports there that we never see in our press, be it written or aired.  When was the last time anyone saw reports and videos of home demolitions, or peaceful demonstrations at the wall being broken up with tear gas and rubber bullets. Even our news stories are always "accordin to the IDF.

As you pointed out, the Israeli form of democracy leaves a lot to be desired. I still don't understand our unwavering support for Israel, just wish we could be a more honest broker. It would be much better for our national interest and international prestige.