The Bigger Half of the Problem Shaping the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

This “special relationship” extends to the political plane.

On December 14, 1979, the UN General Assembly passed Resolution 33/75, “On the Living Conditions of the Palestinian People” and “Against Support for Intervention in the Internal or External Affairs of States.” Only two objected: the US and Israel.

The US and Israel are also the only countries that objected to Resolution 42/5 “ On Cooperation between the United Nations and the League of Arab States” passed October 15, 1987, and Resolution 42/159 “Measures to Prevent International Terrorism, Study the Underlying Political and Economic Causes of Terrorism, Convene a Conference to Define Terrorism and to Differentiate it from the Struggle of People for National Liberation” passed December 17, 1987.

The US is also wont to use its veto power at the UN Security Council to protect the interests of Israel. On February 7, 1988, it vetoed a UN Security Council resolution calling on Israel to abide by the 4th Geneva Convention and calling for an international conference on the Arab-Israel conflict. The US also vetoed a September 6, 2003 UN Security Council Resolution asking Israel to desist from its threat to deport Yasser Arafat. Recently, the US also vetoed a proposed UN Security Council resolution calling on Israel to stop its military offensive at Gaza Strip.

The 4th Geneva Convention provides for the protection of civilians in times of war and while in the hands of an enemy or under military occupation by a foreign power.

Israel also acts in consonance with US policy pronouncements. When the Camp David talks failed, US Pres. Bill Clinton declared in July 2000 that the reason for the failure of the talks is that Israel made more concessions than the Palestinians. On September 28, 2000 Ariel Sharon the head of the Likud Party then, accompanied by 1,000 guards, deliberately visited the Muslim holy shrine Haram al-Sharif. This provoked large Palestinian protests in Jerusalem. In the process of suppressing the protests, Israeli soldiers killed six unarmed protesters. The killings sparked the second intifada (Palestinian uprising).

On July 15, 2002, then US Secretary of State Colin Powell announced that, “It is difficult to work with Chairman Arafat any longer because he hasn’t produced.” On September 20, 2002, Israel besieged Arafat’s headquarters in Ram Allah, demolishing most of his office complex, and confined him there while embarking on a policy of extrajudicial assassinations and imprisonment of Palestinian leaders. Arafat was confined there until his mysterious death in 2004.

What does the US gain from supporting Israel?

Israel is the military enforcer of the US in the Middle East. It tames Arab resistance to US military hegemony in the region, protects and promotes US interests, and implements its designs.

When Israel was under British protection in 1956, it agreed to invade Egypt after Gamal Abdul Nasser threatened to nationalize the Suez Canal. Likewise, when the US was gearing to invade Iraq, the Mossad, Israel’s intelligence service, contributed to reports claiming that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

On June 6, 2008, Israeli Transport Minister Shaul Mofaz declared in an Israeli newspaper Yedioth Aronoth, “If Iran continues with its programme for developing nuclear weapons, we will attack it. The sanctions are ineffective.” He added that, “Attacking Iran, in order to stop its nuclear plans, will be unavoidable,” clearly in line with US policy. The US has been accusing Iran of developing nuclear weapons since 2002. It also accused Iran of supporting Iraqi militants in 2007. In 2008, talks were rife that either the US or Israel was about to attack Iran, thereby contributing to the spike in oil prices.

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