Well, the question that presumably is on the mind of most People, me as well, is simple. It’s What next? We have a new Administration. It was elected on a slogan of Change and Hope. It’s inspired a great number of People, here and abroad. What can then we expect in its Actions generally, specifically in the Middle East Region, and more specifically with regard to Israel-Palestine.
Now, there is a criterion, very clear criterion by which we can evaluate these policies as they develop and are implemented. The criterion is an Agreement that’s held worldwide, that has been held for over thirty years. It’s quite explicit, there’s no ambiguity about it. It was recently expressed again by a high-level, bipartisan Commission in the United States, led by Paul Faulker, leading specialists from the Security system from both Parties, and they reiterated what has been this overwhelming international consensus. Includes essentially everybody. The consensus is a two-State Settlement on the internationally recognised Border, that’s pre-June 1967 Border, with perhaps minor and mutual modifications. That’s the official US Government wording when the US accepted the basic assumptions of the fundamental document that everybody agrees, UN 242 of November 1967. So that’s the criterion. How will the Obama Administration’s policies relate to this criterion? I should emphasise how broad Agreement is on this. It includes virtually everyone, everyone that matters. It includes Non-Aligned Countries, most of the Countries in the World, Europe, Latin America, it includes Hamas, it includes Hezbollah, it includes Iran, in fact it includes anyone you can think of with one critical exception, Us. The United States has blocked it for over thirty years, along with Israel, and I’ll come back to that. Apparently, still does. That’s critical, because as long as that continues. And it’s blocked not only in words, but in deeds, which is more significant. Well, what can we expect?
During the Campaign, Obama said virtually nothing about this. The truth of the matter is he said virtually nothing about every topic, so it’s not surprising that he said nothing about this. However, his saying nothing was done with what’s been called the soaring Rhetoric, the main thing the Press admired in every article. There was one comment about Israel-Palestine during the Campaign. Last summer, he visited Israel, and made the obligatory visit to Sderot, the town that’s been hit by Hamas rockets from Gaza, and he said that “If my daughters were subject to the Fear of rocket Attacks, I would do anything to protect them.” And he met with sort of the two extremes of the Israeli political leadership: Shimon Perez, regarded as one of the leading doves; and Binyamin Netanyahu, now the Prime Minister, considered the leading hawk, and both of those Leaders reported to the Press that they were very pleased that Obama had agreed with them completely, so they thought this was very Good. That led to an article by one of the Israel’s leading political analysts, saying it’s not surprising, that’s Obama. His style is to sit and listen, make People feel that he cares for them and that he agrees with them, and then go ahead and do what he wants. So from the Campaign, we’re left with virtually nothing except this. That continued after the Election. In fact, right until the Attack on Gaza, which incidentally was carefully timed, so that it immediately ended before the inauguration. That gave Israel maximum Time to do much Destruction as possible, and it ensured that it eliminated the remote possibility that Obama might say something critical about it. He didn’t have to, because after all it’s over, past History, let’s move on. The only thing that was said during this whole period was his Campaign reiterated his comment about the Sderot. So we learn very little from before the inauguration.
We do learn something from the afterwards. Obama has in fact made one Foreign Policy decoration bearing on this. In fact, it’s practically his only one, that’s when he introduced George Mitchell as his emissary for Israel-Palestine. That’s a Good choice. Mitchell is a serious Person, has successful results in resolving conflicts, Northern Ireland was his main achievement. He was an emissary for Israel-Palestine, and had pretty sensible recommendations, which were ignored by the Israel and the United States. That’s a Good choice, I think. The question is, Does he have a leeway to do anything? And Obama made it clear that he doesn’t. His job is, he said, is “to listen, not to talk.” And he’s not supposed to listen to everybody. So for example, he’s not permitted to listen to the elected Government of Palestine. It would be difficult to listen to most of them anyway, because most of them are in Jail in Israel, can’t get in there. He’s not supposed to listen to ones out of Jail, either. There are pretexts for that. I’ll come back to them if there are Time, but to say that they have a minimum credibility. They simply reflect pretty traditional US opposition to democratic Elections if they come out the Wrong way. That’s not the official line, but it’s a very well established Principle. I'll come back to it. So Mitchell can listen except to the elected Government of the Palestinians in a free Election.
However, he beyond that in announcing Mitchell appointment. He made it clear that our prime concern is Security and Safety of Israel. Nothing about the Security and Safety of the People under military Occupation. But he did say that there was one constructive proposal that we should pay attention to, namely, the Arab League proposal. The Arab League Proposal, he said, is highly constructive elements. It calls on the Arab States to normalise their relations with Israel. He said that’s very Good Idea, and he called on the Arab States to live up to their proposal. Obama is an intelligent man, he’s literate, he chooses his words carefully, so we can learn something from what he said and what he didn’t say. What he didn’t say is what the content of the Arab League Proposal is. A slight omission. The content of the Arab League Proposal is simply a reiteration of the international consensus, which the Arab States agreed to thirty years earlier. They reiterated in 2006 proposal, just as before, the same as the Faulker Commission, same as everyone has talked about it: Two States on the international Border, with maybe minor modification. He said, in that context, the Arab States should proceed to normalise Relations with Israel. Obama very scrupulously avoided the content, and just talked about the corollary: Normalise Relations with Israel. To any rational Person, that tells us what he has in mind, namely, a continuation of US Rejectionism, which unilaterally has blocked the diplomatic settlement for over 30 years.
There’s a more extensive presentation of the Obama Administration’s position in an important speech that was given by the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator John Kerry, 2004 Democratic nominee. He’s very close to the Administration. He gave a speech to the Brookings Institution in Washington, considered kind of center-left, whatever that’s supposed to mean, and it was very interesting talk. Should be read carefully. I’ll quote some parts of it and comment on it.
He began by saying that we should recognise the failure of our past efforts to bring about a political settlement among these two adversaries. He said, We’ve tried honourably to reach a political settlement. We have failed because of the “intransigents of the Arab States,” and because, I’m quoting, “although for years everyone has talked of the need to give the Israelis a legitimate partner for Peace,” we and our Israeli Ally have failed in that effort, and we should therefore agree that it’s behind us. So we have to, as he put it, reconceptualise the problem, since our efforts to act as an honest broker have failed. We haven’t been able to find a legitimate partner for Israel, we’ve got to look at the whole issue in a different framework. We should look at it as a regional issue. We should put the Israel-Palestine conflict to the side. We tried, we can’t solve it. We should form a Coalition against Iran including Israel and the moderate Arab States. Moderate is an interesting word in the technical jargon of the Diplomacy. Moderate means, You follow orders. Moderate Arab States are the brutal Egyptian Dictatorship and the most extreme radical Islamic Fundamentalist State in the World, also a Dictatorship, Saudi Arabia. Those are the moderate, because they more or less do what we say and they are our natural Allies. So we should form a coalition between moderate Arab States and Israel under our ægis to confront the real problem in the Region, namely, Iran. He said, It’s been difficult in the past, but now it’s possible. It’s possible because of, he says, there’s been what he calls “tectonic shift in the Middle East.” I’m quoting now. “The rise of Iran has created unprecedented willingness among moderate Arab Nations to work with Israel. This realignment can help lay the groundwork for progress towards Peace.” And he says there’s a crucial new fact: Arab Peace Initiative in 2006. And he goes on, “Whereas once the Arab World voted unanimously for three No,s” of Khartoum, meaning “No Dialogue with Israel; No Recognition of Israel; and No Peace for Israel,” that was before, “there are now three different No,s,” which dominate many Discussions in the Region, “No Iranian Nukes; No Iranian Meddling; No Iranian Hegemony.” The three No,s were in 1967. And a few things have happened between 1967 and today, which he omitted. What happened.
First thing that’s happened in the 1967, right after the three No,s, President Nasser of Egypt began trying to open up ways for peaceful settlements, rejecting three No,s. At that time, the United States was still part of the World, which is important. The US had a position. Its position was UN 242, November 1967. The US interpreted that as meaning No acquisition of Territory by Force, Israel returns to the international Border, and there’s a diplomatic settlement. 242 has nothing in it for the Palestinians, so there US and Israel like it. In every international Negociations, they constantly insist that the 242 has to be the sole topic under the Discussion, because there’s nothing about the Palestinian Rights. There’s a whole series of other UN Resolutions, but they’re off the agenda. And of course, Israel and the United States don’t interpret it the way they did when the United States was part of the World. That was 1967. That lasted a few years.
In 1971, there really was a tectonic shift, significant one. So significant that it’s been wiped out of History. You’ve got to look hard to find it, but it’s there. In February 1971, Egypt offered Israel a full Peace Treaty, full Peace Treaty, everything, in return for the Israeli withdrawal from the Egyptian Territory. Mentioned the Territory, they only cared about the Egyptian Territory. Again, nothing about the Palestinians. Israel regarded what it regarded as a genuine Peace offer. Egypt is by far, in fact the only, major military Force in the Arab World. If it made Peace with Israel, Israel’s Security problems would be eliminated, there’s no Palestinian issue to speak of at the time. So they could have Security. They rejected it, they rejected in favour of Expansion. At that time, it was Expansion into Northeast Sinai. There was some Settlement in the Occupied Territories in the West Bank, but mostly it was Northeast Sinai, where Israel was planning to – it was the Labour Government incidentally, the doves – were planning, and soon did, expel thousands of Bedouin Farmers in the desert pretty brutally, destroyed the Villages, destroyed the mosques, the cemeteries, everything, drive them behind the barbed wire into the desert and proceed to develop a major City that was intended to be a million People. A Seaport Yamit and a lot of Settlements.
Well, that was the choice, Security or Expansion, and Israel chose Expansion, and in fact that’s continued to the present. The critical question as always was What would the United States do? There was an internal bureaucratic battle in the Nixon Administration. The State Department, William Rogers, wanted to continue with what had been the US policy: No Expansion, withdraw to the international Border, and that would mean Accept the President Sadat’s offer and Security. Henry Kissinger objected. He was the National Security Advisor. His position, as he described it, a stalemate meaning No Negociation, just Force. Not unusual for Mr. Kissinger. And he won out the bureaucratic battle, and the United States backed off its position since 1967 and left the World, and it’s been out of the World since then on this issue. That was critical. Israel made a really fateful decision, preferring Expansion to Peace and Security with the US backing meant that Israel is completely reliant on the United States, really for Survival. It’s going to be a position of military confrontation, and so on, it’s got to have a powerful foreign backer, and the United States is it. So what happened from then on was more or less set in February 1971.
President Sadat of Egypt kept warning that the United States and Israel don’t accept Peace, he’s going to go to War. They were laughing at him basically. It was a period of extreme Racism, both in Israel and the United States, mockery of Arabs, how can they fight a War, they didn’t know which end of the gun to hold. Sadat went to War, and Israel was practically destroyed. It came very close. It even came close to Nuclear War, because they apparently armed their Nuclear warheads, and the US declared a Nuclear Alert, so it was no joke. That finally was settled. Then the clouds lifted, and it became clear to Israel’s Leaders and Kissinger that Egypt can’t be dismissed as a basketcase. They’re going to have to negociate with it, and started a series of Negociations. I won’t go through it. They ended up in Camp David in 1978-79. What actually happened at Camp David is the United States and Israel accepted the offer by Sadat that they had rejected in 1971. In US diplomatic History, that goes down as a great diplomatic triumph of the United States, Carter’s great triumph. It was a diplomatic catastrophe. They accepted an offer that they had rejected eight years earlier, the result was a major War, with huge losses and suffering, almost a Nuclear War, and they finally accepted the offer. It’s not exactly a diplomatic triumph, but it’s the way it’s interpreted in powerful States with obedient intellectuals, like us.
Meanwhile in those years, something else had happened. Palestinian issue, which had been sidelined before and not there, entered the international agenda for various reasons, and it entered very explicitly in January 1967. In January 1967, the major Arab States, all the relevant ones, brought a Resolution to Security Council of the United Nations, calling for two States Settlement. That’s what the Arab League recently reiterated and what the rest of the World agrees to. Well, that didn’t get very far, the United States vetoed it. That happens all the time, but when the United States vetoes a Resolution, it’s a double veto: first of all, it doesn’t happen; and then it’s wiped out of History. So again, you have to look hard to find the record of that, but it’s there. The same thing happened in 1980 under Carter. At that point, the Security Council was sort of dismissed, the US wasn’t going to let anything happen there. The issue shifted over to the General Assembly, where there’s actually a veto, though technically there isn’t. US vote against the Resolution amounts to veto. And there are almost annual Resolutions at the General Assembly, kind of reiterating the call for the Palestinian National Right. Votes are pretty uniform. 150-2, the United States and Israel. Sometimes, the United States picked up Dominic, Marshall Islands or somebody.
But that was the record right through the General Assembly Meeting, General Assembly Sessions, and it goes right through today. Obama and Kerry have just reiterated in their indirect and deceitful way. It’s very important to recognise in this record of over thirty years of blocking a diplomatic settlement there was one exception, a very crucial one. The last month of Clinton’s term, he modified his rejectionist position. In December 2000, he presented what he called his parameters for settlement. They were kind of vague, but they tolerated the international consensus as a part. He then made an important speech in which he’d said both sides had accepted the parameters, but both sides expressed reservations. They then met in Tabat, Egypt. A week of Negociations. And two sides came pretty close to a resolution, which was not very far from the international consensus. In fact, in their final Press conference, they said, if they had a few more days, they could have solved the problem. Well, they didn’t have a few more days. Prime Minister Barak of Israel cancelled the Negociations prematurely, and that came to an end. But that’s important. Things have happened since 2001, but not anything fundamental with regard to a settlement. And what it tells us is if a US President were willing to just tolerate a settlement, it could very likely be reached, just as it was almost reached then. Well, that’s out of History, too. Again, Wrong story, but it’s there. These are the kinds of things that John Kerry omitted when he talked about “our failed efforts to be an honest broker since the three No,’s of 1967.” And they’re pretty critical. Again, he’s an intelligent Person, if he can omit this, it tells us something. He also, like Obama, brought up the Arab League proposal, but omitted the central component.
So that tells us quite a lot. I should add that this is not just words. This is not just US and Israel block settlement in words, much more importantly, they block it in deeds. That’s what’s actually happening on the ground. If you were here last night, you saw Rita [Giancaman] put up a map on the screen back there, which described what the United States and Israel have been doing in the West Bank. And what they’ve been doing is very planned, systematic project, continuing right now, undermining the possibility of a two-State settlement. So it’s okay to veto the Diplomacy in words, but it’s more important to act in a way to undermine the possibility of realising it. And that goes on constantly. And it’s not secret.
So for example, Prime Minister Olmert of Israel came to the United States in May 2006 and gave an address to the Joint Session of Congress, where he received a rousing ovation for saying that the historical Rights of Jewish People is beyond question. Huge applause. What did he mean by the Land of Israel? Traditionally that’s kept pretty vague, but his traditional background is the Likud Party, which is now considered more moderate element of the governing coalition, and they have a Charter. Their Charter calls for the Israel to control both sides of the Jordan, everything in the Palestinian Mandate and the State of Jordan. He recently somewhat moderated that position. In 1999, they restated their Charter and calls for Israel to dominate everything from Jordan to the Sea, that’s the historical Land of Israel. And he says, “everything that dominates Jordan Valley.” That’s pretty vague. I mean, of course it includes everything on the Palestinian side, but could be interpreted as whatever is of the value on the other side. But anyway, at the very least, the most sympathetic reading, everything from Jordan to the Sea, all of Palestine. And there, Israel has a Right to settle anywhere, because it’s the Land of Israel, the god said so. It’s the Land of Israel, we can settle anywhere, and in that Territory there cannot be any Palestinian self-determination. That’s the official Charter from 1999 of the moderate element of the ruling coalition. Everybody talks about the Hamas Charter, which nobody has paid the slightest attention to except in Propaganda. But try to find a reference to the 1999 Charter of the moderate element of the ruling coalition.
Well, that’s the plan. In May 2006, Olmert spelled it out. The plan is what he called convergence. That means Israel takes over everything within the so-called separation wall, actually the Annexation wall. That includes more than half of the Water supplies of the Region and a good part of the arable Land. It takes over the Jordan Valley, it’s about the third of the Palestine. That traps what’s left. And it takes over salients that run through the remaining Area, the one to the east of Jerusalem going through the town of Ma’ale Adumim, which was settled and colonised and built during the Clinton years in order to bisect the West Bank effectively. And then a couple of other salients farther north, which break up what’s left, and then random checkpoints all over the place to make Life impossible for whoever remains, and to lead to the kinds of medical conditions you can read about.
He gave up that position. Again, rousing applause. He gave up that position as too moderate a years later, and moved to what you might call convergence-plus, fundamentally the same Idea but more extensive. And again, those are not words, they’re being implemented constantly. So last year, 2008, there was a 60% increase in the housing starts in the Areas that the US and Israel intent for Israel to annex. That compares with the housing starts in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem inside Israel, where housing starts dropped considerably. And a vast increase is planned. Current plans are to double settlers in the Occupied Territories. That’s according to an assessment by Peace Now, which now monitors Settlement. You could read it in the US Press a little while ago. So that’s happening.
It happens every day. Right now, there are Israeli efforts to remouve Palestinians from an old Palestinian Area, a center of East Jerusalem, throw them out, replace them by Jewish settlers, religious Jewish settlers. All kinds of pretexts, which aren’t worth talking about. There were very sharp condemnation of that by the European Union, because that again almost eliminates the possibility or makes it much harder to achieve anything like a meaningful settlement. There was also an admonition by Hillary Clinton. She said it was “unhelpful”. Israel leadership no doubt quaked in their boots when they got this thirty lashes from a piece of macaroni or something like that. And that’s pretty typical. The US regularly says it’s unhelpful to do what you’re paying you to do, and what you’re giving you military and economic and Ideological support to do. That continues with no changes. Incidentally, all of this is in violation of Security Council Orders, going back to December 1968, which at that time the US supported, because remember then the US was a part of the World. So voted for those Resolutions, which barred any Israeli Actions in Jerusalem, but that’s past History, and of course it’s against International Law, and there’s never been a slightest doubt about that. In 1967, Israeli Government was informed by its highest legal Authorities. A very distinguished international lawyer, Theodor Meron, main legal advisor and Justice Minister. They were advised that any movement of the Population into the Occupied Territories is in gross violation of the fundamental Principles of International and Humanitarian Law, Geneva Conventions. And that was understood. Moshe Dayan, who was the Defense Minister and in charge of the Occupied Territories, agreed that it was illegal. But he said, “There is nothing new in that. The situation today,” he describe it sort of poetically, “resembles the complex Relationships between the Bedouin man and a girl he kidnaps against her will. You Palestinians, as a Nation, don’t want us today. But we’ll change your attitude by forcing our presence on you. You will live like dogs, and whoever will leave will leave, while we take what we want.” So okay, it’s illegal, but that’s the way the World works. The powerful do what they want. The World Court ruled on this a couple of years ago, and again unanimously, including the US Justice, declared that any transfer – Geneva Conventions applied to the Occupied Territories. Any transfer of Population is illegal, any Settlement is illegal. That’s the International Law, but International Law has no enforcement, the Mechanism if the powerful want to disregard it, they disregard it. It’s not the only case. In fact, the US is a Leader in disregarding International Law when it doesn’t like it. And as long as the Population accepts that, nothing’s going to stop it.
Let’s go back to Kerry and the expression of his views, explanation, outlining of the positions of the Obama Administration. He talks about the Invasion of Gaza. Different than Obama, who omitted it. But his position is the standard one, in fact, the universal position. Incidentally, the Invasion was of course in violation of the International Law, but also in violation of the US Law. US Law very explicitly bars the use of US Weapons for anything than strictly defensive purposes. Can’t pretend that in this case, but that’s kind of overlooked. So we don’t care about US Law any more than International Law. But he justified the Invasion in the universally accepted terms. He said, I’ll quote him, “If terrorists in Quincy, Massachusetts were launching rocket Attacks in Boston, we would have to put a stop to it, just as the Israelis were forced to respond in Gaza.” Again, that’s Obama statement about what I would do if my daughters were being attacked by missiles. That’s pretty near universal. You have to look pretty far.
There is a Debate about whether the Israeli Attack was disproportionate, but there’s no Debate about the fact whether it was necessary, justified in self-defense. That’s not only false, but it’s transparently false. It’s false in an unarguable fashion. The issue which is constantly evaded is not whether Israel had a Right to Defend Themselves. Sure, everyone has a Right to Defend Themselves. The issue was that whether they had a Right to Defend Themselves by Force. Nobody, in Washington or anyone else, accept the Principle that every State has a Right to Defend Themselves by Force. So for example, When Putin invaded Chechnya, practically destroyed the place, he claimed that it was because of Chechen Terror, which was pretty awful. But it wasn’t praised here or anywhere. In fact, it was bitterly condemned, because he had a way to eliminate the Terror without Force. When the British Army was in the United States in 1770s, they had a Right to Defend Themselves from the Terror of George Washington’s Army, which incidentally was very real, but they didn’t have a Right to Defend Themselves by Force, because there was a way to settle it without Force: Leave the County. And you can give case after case. The question is, Did Israel had a Right to Defend Themselves by Force? Had they exhausted the peaceful means? That’s the crucial question. And the reason the issue is evaded is because the answer to that question is transparent, They had not even tried the peaceful means, because they didn’t want them. There are peaceful means which are narrow, which would have sufficed, namely, accept the cease-fire. Hamas accepted the cease-fire right up to the Invasion. In fact, there had been a cease-fire in June 2008, one of many. And like every other one, Israel didn’t live up to it. So in the cease-fire of June 2008, there was an Agreement, Israel would put an end to the Siege, open the Borders; Hamas would put an end to rockets. Hamas lived up to it. Israel did invade in November 2008, killed a half a dozen Palestinians, but up until that Invasion, the Israeli Government concedes there wasn’t a single rocket. So it lived up to it totally, while Israel didn’t live up to it at all. It maintained the Siege, Siege is an Act of War, a very brutal Act of War in this case, but nevertheless the Hamas lived up to it. After the Israel broke the partial cease-fire, unilateral cease-fire, again there were repeated offers of cease-fire, and Israel rejected them. They went up right before the Invasion. So there’s a very narrow way for Israel to put an end to rocket fire if it cared about it.
But there’s a broader and more important way, which is similar to Putin & Chechnya and the British & the Colonies. Israel could stop the criminal activities in the West Bank, and in Gaza for that matter. And that they are in fact criminal activities is not in doubt, as I mentioned. So they can put an end to the criminal activities, and that presumably would put an end to Resistance to them. It’s pretty hard to argue that People don’t have a Right to Resistance to constant, ongoing criminal Attacks on them. Okay, that’s a broader way to defend themselves against rocket fire.
The conclusion is that there was no justification whatsoever for Israel to invade Gaza. And the reasons are really not debatable. They’re transparent. It’s based on the Principle that everyone accepts, and we not only accept, but insist upon it, in case of our Enemies, namely, the use of Force is not legitimate unless peaceful means have been exhausted. If they have, then you can debate whether the use of Violence is legitimate. You need still a burden of proof. You can’t even raise the question if the peaceful means have been rejected. So universal assent, near universal assent, that Israel had the Right to Invade Gaza is pure hypocrisy, just a reflexion of the depth of Imperial mentality.
Well, let’s return to Kerry’s thesis that there is now a legitimate Palestinian partner for Peace. There wasn’t one before, but he goes on to say now there is one. He gives a very interesting argument for that. The legitimate partner for Peace, he says, is now Mahmoud Abbas and Fata. Let’s review a few facts about them and the rest of Palestine. In January 2006, there was an Election, a free Election. A lot of observers, ratified as a free Election. In fact, the only one in the Arab World. It came out the Wrong way. The United States and Israel didn’t like the outcome of the Election, so therefore they reacted in a standard fashion by punishing the Population for the Crime of voting the Wrong way in a free Election. And punishing very harshly, the Punishment was extreme. In case of Israel, Assassinations and so on, but also it went even as far as cutting off the flow of clean Water to the Aradt in Gaza Strip, where the Sewage and everything else is destroyed and it’s very hard to get any Water. They cut off the Water. An illustration of what the US did was that the European Union proposed, I’m quoting now, “to provide some Health aid,” needed-aid for Health care. The US blocked it, and they had a reason. The reason was, I’m reading the New York Times, “The US Officials expressed concern that some of the Money might end up paying nurses, doctors, teachers and others, previously on the Government payroll, thereby helping to finance the Hamas which won the Election.” That was said with no shame. Just sort of, Yeah, normal. We don’t like the outcome of an Election, we punish the Population. It’s also natural that this goes on side by side with soaring Rhetoric about our Idealism, our commitment to Democracy promotion, and so on and so forth. No contradiction, which in a sense is natural, too, because it’s so consistent.
Well, Israel Attacks picked up severely in the coming following months. By June, Israel had fired 7,700 rockets at Northern Gaza. That’s since its formal withdrawal in September. In June 25th, an event occurred which sharply escalated the US-Israeli Attack. In June 25th, Hamas kidnapped an Israeli soldier on the Border, Gilad Shalit. That led to a huge Outcry in the United States, and in the Europe, too. What a Crime. You can’t kidnap a soldier, capturing a soldier from an attacking Army. Okay, maybe that’s Wrong. But there are worse Crimes. Like the one committed one day before the capture of Gilad Shalit, namely, Israeli Army invaded Gaza, kidnapped this time two civilians, a doctor and his brother in Gaza City, spirited them across the Border, in violation of the International Law, and they sort of disappear somewhere into the Israeli Prison System, where nobody knows what goes on. But there are certainly hundreds of at least People under what’s called Administrative Detention. Just kept there without charge. These two brothers, Muamar brothers, have disappeared. That was one day before the capture of Gilad Shalit. Kidnapping of civilians are far worse Crime than capturing a soldier of an attacking Army. But the two events are treated quite differently. The capture of Shalit is a major international event. To this day, Israel puts it forth, with the support of the United States and indeed with Europe, as a reason for refusing a political settlement. What about the kidnapping of the Muamar brothers? It was reported. Got a couple of dozen words in the Washington Post, but it disappeared, which in a way is justified, because this is standard, regular Israeli practices. Over the preceding decades, they have repeatedly kidnapped civilians in Lebanon, on the High Seas, in the act much worse than Somali Piracy, killing them sometimes, bringing many of them to Israel, where they’ve been kept in Prisons, sometimes secret Prisons, Torture chambers, sometimes for decades, held as hostages. Since that’s regular practice, why care they did it once again in June 24th. But of course if Hamas captures a soldier of an attacking Army, the World is coming to an end. That’s a typical illustration of Western Racism. Somebody else does something to us, it’s a horror story. If we do much worse to them consistently for decades, it’s a yawn. Let’s go back to January 2006. I should say after the capture of Shalit, the Attack on Gaza escalated very sharply. Huge Attack, large-scale destruction, destroyed the Power systems, Water systems, Sewage systems, so on. But that was considered okay, too, after this outrage, which still today is put forth as the main reason for refusing cease-fire and settlement.
In order to overturn the Election, the United States and Israel went farther. They armed a military Force, a paramilitary Force, led by the Fata strongman, Mohammed Dahlan, kind of a tough Thug, whose task was to carry out a military Coup in Gaza in order to overthrow the elected Government. That failed, the Hamas preempted it. And that led to new Attacks and strengthened Siege. But also US and Israel didn’t stop there. A General was sent, General Keith Dayton to train a paramilitary Force with the help of Jordan, which would be the fatwa paramilitary Force. Here we get back to Kerry. He gives a reason why Israel now has a legitimate Palestinian partner. The reason is the Dayton-run paramilitary Force, which he says is really Good. In fact, he says the most important development to show Palestinian legitimacy. Our primary goal, he said, is “to strengthen General Dayton’s efforts to train Palestinian Security Forces to keep Order in the West Bank and to fight Terror. Recent developments have been extremely encouraging. During the Invasion of Gaza, Palestinian Security Forces were largely successful in maintaining calm in the West Bank admist wide-spread expectation of civil unrest.” More has to be done, but we can help extending this Force. To translate that into English, during the Israeli Invasion of Gaza, it was expected that there would be a Protest in the West Bank. The same Country, after all. But thanks to the US-trained paramilitary Forces, they were able to keep the Population under Control, and there was no expression of sympathy for the People being slaughtered in Gaza, and that as Kerry says is extremely encouraging, and we have to do more.
Well, the US has a lot of Experience in this. In fact, unique Experience that goes back a century. Since the US established Philippine Constabulary to try to control the Philippines after invading it and killing a couple of hundred of thousand People, there was a lot of unrest, but the US did succeed, in complicated and sophisticated measures to create a Philippine paramilitary Force, which pretty much runs the Country. That’s one of the reasons why the Country is a basketcase. That’s a century later. And that’s happened over and over. National Guard in the Caribbean and Central America. The paramilitary Forces in Colombia, which were responsible for huge Atrocities in the last couple of decades. And in fact, the military Forces themselves, in Colombia, just cooperate with the paramilitaries. So we’ve got a century of Experience in how to control a Population with collaborationist paramilitary and military Forces, so we should be able to achieve it in the West Bank, too, and that’s, for Kerry, “most encouraging.” Includes his own Experience in Vietnam, where the Saigon Army was such a Force. Its task was to control the Population and prevent it from achieving any self-determination. So yes, we’re pretty good at that. In fact, US style of what’s called the Neo-Colonialism: Develop paramilitary or military Forces, collaborationist Forces to control the Population, and make sure they don’t do outrageous things, like express sympathy when some other part of the Population is being slaughtered. That’s very encouraging, and we’re good at it, it’s second nature.
General Dayton’s Forces are the soft side of the Population Control. There are also much tougher and more brutal Forces in the West Bank. They’re called General Intelligence & Preventive Security, and those guys are really tough, not like Dayton. They’re trained by the CIA. There’s no supervision for CIA training, so they can really train mass killers. General Dayton is technically under the State Department supervision, and that means Congress occasionally has a look at it, maybe some soft-hearted congressman say something about the Human Rights conditionalities. But the CIA-trained Forces can just be unconstrained in Brutality and Torture and Terror. So that’s the tough part of the “encouraging developments,” which finally give Israel a legitimate partner for Peace for the first time.
Let’s go back to the reconceptualisation, the core of the Obama policies. Israel-Palestine is now sidelined with exception of supporting the encouraging development of paramilitary Forces to control the Population and keep them quiet. And we now have to move towards the coalition of Israel and Arab moderates, who are now willing to cooperate with Israel against Iran. What’s the US policy towards Iran? Obama and Kerry agree that US must maintain the Threat of Force against Iran. That’s what it means to say all options are open. Threat of Force is first of all violation of the International Law. You take a look at the UN Charter, it says “the Threat or use of Force” is barred. It’s criminal. It’s also against the will of the large Majority of the American Population. The large Majority of the American People think we ought to enter a normal Relation with Iran, and no Threat of Force. But the Population is as irrelevant as International and Domestic Law are. So they agree on that, and they agree on a lot more. Obama Administration is willing to negociate with Iran, but on a condition, namely, the condition the US demands, namely, the ending the Uranium enrichments are conceded in advance. So if Iran agrees to our condition, we’ll negociate with them, not before. That was put most clearly by the Vice President Biden who spelled out the Administration’s position. He said the US is willing to negociate if Iran first puts a stop to its “illicit weapons programmes.” What are Iran’s illicit weapons programmes? There was a National Intelligence Estimate a year ago, a little over a year ago, which concluded moderate to high confidence that Iran had no Weapons programmes, and hadn’t any for years. But that doesn’t matter. The Obama Administration when it came into the Office said, We reject the Intelligence Estimate. They conceded that they had no evidence, but we don’t like it, so we reject it. So therefore they have illicit weapons programmes, and until they stop the programmes which they may or may not have, US Intelligence says they don’t have them, we can’t enter into Negociations.
We also read constantly that the international Community has demanded that Iran stop Uranium enrichment. First of all, everyone agrees that Uranium enrichment is a Right of Iran. They signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty, they have a Right of Uranium enrichment. Unlike Israel, which didn’t sign and doesn’t have the Right, but has a couple of Nuclear Weapons. So who’s the international Community? Well, the international Community consists of Washington, US Allies who agree with Washington, and nobody else. It omits most of the World. The non-aligned States, most of the World States, forcefully support Iran’s Right to develop rich Uranium for Nuclear Power. So they’re not part of the international Community. A large Majority of the American agree with them, about 75% agree that Iran has the Right of enrich Uranium. So they’re not part of the International Community. The International Community is reduced to Washington and whoever goes along with it. In that sense, it’s true, the international Community is opposed to its demands that Iran stop its enrichment of Uranium.
Just to add a little bit to the irony, the programmes that Iran is carrying out were strongly supported by the United States. By Kissinger, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Wolfowitz, as long as the Shah was in Power. The US had installed a brutal Tyrant, overthrew an Iranian Democracy. They somehow remember that, but we’re not supposed to. And during that period, the US insisted strongly and helped Iran develop a Uranium enrichment programme. In fact, a lot of MIT was done at MIT, where I was. Big fuss about it when Shah sent thousands of Nuclear engineer to be trained at MIT to develop a Nuclear enrichment programmes. Well, that was then. Then the Country was ruled by a Tyrant we imposed. Now, not so. Now, they don’t need a Nuclear Energy.
There is no attention at all paid to the most important proposal, which large part of the Americans agree to, that is to establish a Nuclear Weapons Free Zone in the Region, which is a Right Idea. That would include Iran, Israel, any American Forces deployed there, with a verification system. That would mitigate, if not eliminate, any potential Threat that Iran poses, but that’s off the agenda, because it would means that Israel would have to get rid of illegal and huge collection of Nuclear Weapons, and of course, the US Forces wouldn’t be able to have Nuclear Weapons there. The US has also blocked Nuclear Weapons Free Zones in other parts of the World, because it wants to deploy Nuclear armed Forces there. South Pacific, Europe, and elsewhere. But this one is off the agenda, though a large Majority, about 75% of the Americans favour it.
Obama did give a speech, which you read about, too. Iran reaching out for friendship in Iranian New Year. A lot of Publicity for that. What did he actually say? He said, Yes, we’re delighted to deal with you. It’s a radical change from the Bush Administration, but first you have to show that you’re a responsible member of the civilised World. You have to give up Arms and Terror. Suppose you’re sitting on Mars and you’re watching this, the US is telling Iran to give up Arms and Terror? Does Iran have 800 Military bases around the World? Does Iran produce the half of the World’s Armaments? Is Iran the Country that blocks Security Council Resolution to regulate Arms Trade? [omitted]