US Offers Israel Multibillion Dollar Bribe to Suspend Settlement Building for 90 Days
Posted by uscsjp on November 15, 2010
U.S. Offers Israel Military Upgrade, Peace Veto for Limited Settlement Freeze
“Israel’s cabinet is preparing to vote on a package of U.S. incentives to extend a West Bank settlement freeze and revive peace talks with the Palestinian Authority. The Obama administration has offered to give Israel 20 advanced F-35 warplanes worth around $3 billion and veto U.N. resolutions seeking Middle East peace. The veto pledge could be seen as a tacit endorsement of Israel’s rejection of the two-state solution based on the 1967 borders, which has been regularly backed in U.N. votes. Israel would only have to suspend settlement construction for 90 days, and the freeze wouldn’t apply to occupied East Jerusalem. The deal would also lead to a new bilateral security pact to strengthen U.S.-Israeli ties. The United States has also assured Israel it would not seek another extension after the freeze expires. Israel rejected a similar proposal last month but is now said to be seriously considering the new offer. Israeli cabinet member Avishay Braverman called the deal a boon for Israel.
Avishay Braverman: ‘Somehow this week the Prime Minister will have to approve it [the U.S. offer], whatever form it takes, because this is such a great offer, security-wise. But for the sake of the interest of Israel, I would say to the Prime Minister, “Extend the freeze even for four, five months.”‘
The Palestinian Authority has refused to negotiate with Israel so long as settlement building continues. PA spokesperson Ghassan Khatib said Palestinians fear the incentive deal would further undermine Palestinian rights.
Ghassan Khatib: ‘We hope that the American efforts to convince Israel to stop this expansion of settlements in order to resume negotiations will work and succeed. However, we also hope that these guarantees will be compatible with the international legality and does not violate or infringe on any of the Palestinian rights guaranteed in the international legality.’
White House Drops Plans to Close Gitmo
The Washington Post is reporting the Obama administration has effectively abandoned plans to close the Guantánamo Bay prison. Administration officials said they do not expect to secure congressional funding to close the prison and transfer remaining prisoners to the United States. One official said, ‘Gitmo is going to remain open for the foreseeable future.’ The White House also says it expects Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, to remain jailed without trial indefinitely…”
–Democracy Now!, 15 November, 2010
Also from Democracy Now! :
An interview on Morocco’s occupation of Western Sahara which helps illuminate the logic and processes of occupation
“…Well, we’re looking at a situation that bears striking parallels to East Timor: on the verge of decolonization from a minor colonial power, the large neighbor came and gobbled up the country, with the United Nations Security Council, along with the International Court of Justice, ruled that this takeover was illegal, called for Morocco’s withdrawal, but Morocco, like Indonesia, had some powerful friends on the UN Security Council, including the United States, which has blocked the world bodies from enforcing their mandates. And so, in fact, the invasion took place just six weeks prior to the Indonesian invasion of East Timor, in November of 1975. So, for more than 35 years, the people of Western Sahara have been suffering under a foreign military occupation.
For the first 15 years, there was an armed struggle led by the Polisario Front, and a ceasefire came to pass in 1991 in return for a United Nations-supervised referendum on the fate of the territory. But the Moroccans, recognizing they would lose such a referendum, have prevented it from taking place. And again, with the backing of the United States and France and the Security Council, the UN has been powerless to enforce its mandate.
Just a few years ago, the people of Western Sahara started what they refer to as ‘Intifada Istiqlal,’ Intifada for Independence, an overwhelmingly nonviolent struggle using the classic techniques of strategic nonviolent actions—strikes, boycotts, protests and the like—only to be met by increased Moroccan repression. And so, you have an irony of here you have a movement, which incidentally is—the most prominent leader of which is a woman, Aminatou Haidar. Here we have an Arab Muslim country engaged in nonviolent struggle to build a democracy and women’s rights, a very kind of a nation that Western countries say they want to see in the Arab and Islamic world, and yet we’re supporting this autocratic monarchy and crushing this nonviolent resistance….”
–Stephen Zunes on Democracy Now!, 15 November, 2010