No settlement freeze-No U.S. aid
by MainStreet, Thu Jun 25, 2009 at 10:32:17 AM EDT
Natural growth of Israeli settlements?
As everyone should know by now, Netanyahu's use of the concept of "natural growth" to continue settlement expansion is little more than a subterfuge intended to keep the colonization of the Palestinian territories moving forward. Yesterday, in Paris Netanyahu rejected the French president Sarkozy's call for a total freeze on settlements, also indicating that the settlements would remain. If Obama blinks on this key issue, the one which has singularly impeded peace for decades while Israel came up with one red herring after the other to distract public attention from the colonization, Obama will fail. The more facts on the ground, the more difficult it will be to get Israel to remove settlements and permit a sovereign Palestinian state to emerge.
Obama's failure to deliver Palestinian statehood will eventually undermine his new Middle East policy. Indeed, Ahmadinejad, Iran's de facto reelected PM, a severe critic of the United States for supporting Israeli expansionism, will gain the day.
Is it time for Obama to use the nuclear option and suspend aid to Israel?
The Jewish Voice for Peace thinks so and has organized this petition (diary title) addressed to President Obama to tell him so:
Please send an email to President Barack Obama asking him to withhold U.S. aid to Israel until Israel stops all settlement construction and agrees to abide by U.S. and international law and end the occupation of Palestinian Territories. Call on him to back up his words with concrete and meaningful action.
Click HERE to sign on.
In the meantime, the boycott, divestment, and sanction movement against Israel remains in full swing.
Recently, Ilan Pappe, Israeli historian (The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine), and chair of the Department of History at the University of Exeter in England, a peacenik by temperament, also urged boycotts. Pappe's article, The necessity of cultural boycott was published on the Electronic Intifada a few days ago. His main points were directed at the UK, but they could apply equally to the US.
At the minimum, boycotts, in conjunction with US aid suspension, could push Israel to the peace table, something it continually avoids, this time by invoking untenable preconditions.