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Posts Tagged ‘Benjamin Netanyahu’

Biden’s efforts to appease Israel on Iran have failed on all fronts – Responsible Statecraft

Posted by M. C. on December 16, 2021

It’s not the nuclear deal that’s the problem for Tel Aviv, but the very idea that Washington and Tehran would reach any detente at all.

What Israel doesn’t want they won’t get.

https://responsiblestatecraft.org/2021/12/12/bidens-efforts-to-appease-israel-on-iran-have-failed-on-all-fronts/

Written by
Trita Parsi

The New York Times Friday published an important analysis of ongoing U.S.-Israeli tensions over Washington’s efforts to revive the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which had succeeded in curbing Tehran’s nuclear program. As helpful as it is in understanding where things stand between Washington and Tel Aviv, however, the article misses a more fundamental takeaway from recent developments: Biden’s immense efforts to appease Israel in hopes of tempering the latter’s opposition to the JCPOA have not only failed but were likely based on faulty assumptions and were thus a mistake from the outset. 

Diverging Israeli and American views on the JCPOA is nothing new. But senior officials on the Biden team thought President Obama could have handled the Israelis better by coordinating more closely with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and actually heeding some of his hawkish advice. This belief, however, is unfounded.

The fundamental question is this: Are Israel and America’s views on a negotiated settlement with Iran ultimately reconcilable or not? Was there— and is there now — a way to clinch a lasting deal with Iran on its nuclear program that also satisfies Israel? 

The answer lies in understanding that the details of the deal are not the real problem. It’s rather the very idea of Washington and Tehran reaching any agreement that not only prevents Iran from developing a bomb, but also reduces U.S.-Iran tensions and lifts sanctions that have prevented Iran from enhancing its regional power. 

Many of Washington’s partners in the Middle East worry more about a U.S.-Iranian rapprochement and its geopolitical implications — a likely tilt in the regional balance of power in Iran’s favor, especially given the widespread perception the United States is eager to extricate itself from the neighborhood — than Iran’s nuclear advances. “So long as the United States works to contain Iran’s political influence and undermine its economy,” I wrote in Foreign Affairs in February, “the balance of the region will artificially tilt in favor of these states — a tilt that their own power cannot sustain.” 

Indeed, Obama’s fruitless efforts to persuade Washington’s regional partners and their allies in Washington to go along with the JCPOA had demonstrated that no amount of deference or consultation could change their categorical opposition to a deal with Iran. To the great frustration of some former Obama officials who had gone through this experience, the Biden team thought they could square this circle.

In December 2020, Obama’s deputy national security adviser, Ben Rhodes publicly implored Biden not to repeat this mistake: “I plead with [Biden],” he said on the PodSaveAmerica podcast. “Do not think there is any ounce of good faith that will be coming your way from Bibi Netanyahu, from MBS, and from the Tom Cottons of this world. These people have no interest in a deal. They’ve never had an interest in a deal,” he declared. “How many times do we have to go through this play? This is in the hands of the Biden people to say: ‘We don’t need to listen to these people.’”

But Biden chose to listen to them. Instead of returning to the JCPOA in the first days and weeks of his administration, critical time and effort were spent trying to persuade Israel, Saudi Arabia and the UAE to get onboard with diplomacy. 

See the rest here

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War with Iran was planned in 1996

Posted by M. C. on February 9, 2021

https://mailchi.mp/e64b770ac913/the-us-celebrates-30-years-of-bombing-iraq-4196737?e=de2d0eded6

What you need to know when your friends think war with Iran is a good idea:
Neoconservatives wrote a policy paper for Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu back in 1996, to overthrow Saddam and eventually conquer Iran.Seven years later, at Benjamin Netanyahu’s behest, the United States invaded Iraq and overthrew Saddam.That 1996 neocon plan became the blueprint for U.S. foreign policy. The crown jewel of the plan has always been a war with Iran.Media corporations—which are little more than the broadcast system of the military industrial complex—always have fresh reasons to advertise war with Iran. But it is all based on an old plan written decades ago that serves the interests of a foreign power at the expense the American people.In Chapter 6 of Gus Cantavero’s video adaptation of Scott’s new book Enough Already: Time to End the War on Terrorism, Scott delves into the neoconservative policy paper “A Clean Break,” and explores the personal incentives each man in the Bush administration had for toppling Saddam.
https://youtu.be/3Wx-8VLtQ0c
Arm yourself with knowledge so you can fight for peace. Buy Scott’s new book, Enough Already: Time to End the War on Terrorism

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Donald Trump Is Complicit in a Catastrophe for Christians

Posted by M. C. on May 18, 2020

https://libertarianinstitute.org/articles/donald-trump-is-complicit-in-a-catastrophe-for-christians/

by

While the world is busy fighting COVID-19, Israeli political parties have reached a government coalition agreement. Benjamin Netanyahu has succeeded in bringing annexation of occupied Palestinian territory to the table, setting a provisional timeframe—less than two months from now. He can thank the Trump plan for the confidence to push annexation so hard and so fast.

There have been many explanations why the Trump Mideast “vision” fell short of even the most basic requirements for a just and lasting peace. But few commentators have analyzed how the Trump plan dealt with the future of Palestinian Christians in particular—and how Israel’s annexation plans would affect Christian life in Palestine. Let us be clear: implementing the Trump plan would bring catastrophic consequences for the prospects of a political solution between Israelis and Palestinians, and particularly for the fulfillment of the rights of the Palestinian people, including Palestinian Christians.

The basic principles of the U.S. plan contradict the official position of the Heads of Churches in Jerusalem. In response to the plan’s publication, the representatives of Christian churches actually based here in the Holy Land, and not in D.C., affirmed “our strong devotion to achieving a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East based on the international legitimacy and the relevant UN resolutions and in a manner that guarantees security, peace, freedom and dignity to all of the peoples of the region.”

Read the entire article at Haaretz.com.

…The plan’s vision for Jerusalem is solely about Israeli hegemony with lip service to Muslim pilgrimage. Christian Palestinians don’t exist. The architects’ condescending language provides that Muslims who “behave well” can visit Jerusalem, but does not mention Arab Christians, as if we have nothing to do with Jerusalem.

This plan transforms the Holy Land into a “Zionist fairyland” for the enjoyment of extreme Christian evangelicals and Jews, while the local Christian population remains subjugated under Israel’s coercion. In fact, the plan maintains a cruel and artificial separation between two cities with key Christian holy sites – Bethlehem and Jerusalem. ,…

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With apparently fabricated nuclear documents, Netanyahu pushed the US towards war with Iran | The Grayzone

Posted by M. C. on May 2, 2020

Graham Fuller, a 27-year veteran of the
CIA who served as National Intelligence Officer for the Near East and
South Asia as well as Vice-Chairman of the National Intelligence
Council, offered a similar assessment of the Israeli claim. “If the
Israelis had such a sensitive source in Tehran,” Fuller commented, “they
would not want to risk him.” Fuller concluded that the Israelis’ claim
that they had accurate knowledge of which safes to crack is “dubious,
and the whole thing may be somewhat fabricated.”

In this time of trouble it is comforting to know some things never change.

https://thegrayzone.com/2020/04/29/fabricated-nuclear-documents-netanyahu-war-iran/

An investigation of supposed Iranian nuclear documents presented in a dramatically staged Netanyahu press conference indicates they were an Israeli fabrication designed to trigger US military conflict with Iran.

By Gareth Porter

President Donald Trump scrapped the nuclear deal with Iran and continued to risk war with Iran based on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s claim to have proven definitively that Iran was determined to manufacture nuclear weapons. Netanyahu not only spun Trump but much of the corporate media as well, duping them with the public unveiling of what he claimed was the entire secret Iranian “nuclear archive.”

In early April 2018, Netanyahu briefed Trump privately on the supposed Iranian nuclear archive and secured his promise to leave the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). That April 30, Netanyahu took the briefing to the public in a characteristically dramatic live performance in which he claimed Israel’s Mossad intelligence services had stolen Iran’s entire nuclear archive from Tehran. “You may well know that Iran’s leaders repeatedly deny ever pursuing nuclear weapons…” Netanyahu declared. “Well, tonight, I’m here to tell you one thing: Iran lied. Big time.”

However, an investigation of the supposed Iranian nuclear documents by The Grayzone reveals them to be the product of an Israeli disinformation operation that helped trigger the most serious threat of war since the conflict with Iran began nearly four decades ago. This investigation found multiple indications that the story of Mossad’s heist of 50,000 pages of secret nuclear files from Tehran was very likely an elaborate fiction and that the documents were fabricated by the Mossad itself.

According to the official Israeli version of events, the Iranians had gathered the nuclear documents from various locations and moved them to what Netanyahu himself described as “a dilapidated warehouse” in southern Tehran. Even assuming that Iran had secret documents demonstrating the development of nuclear weapons, the claim that top secret documents would be held in a nondescript and unguarded warehouse in Central Tehran is so unlikely that it should have raised immediate alarm bells about the story’s legitimacy.

Even more problematic was the claim by a Mossad official to Israeli journalist Ronen Bergman that Mossad knew not only in what warehouse its commandos would find the documents but precisely which safes to break into with a blowtorch. The official told Bergman the Mossad team had been guided by an intelligence asset to the few safes in the warehouse contained the binders with the most important documents.  Netanyahu bragged publicly that “very few” Iranians knew the location of the archive; the Mossad official told Bergman “only a handful of people” knew.

But two former senior CIA official, both of whom had served as the agency’s top Middle East analyst, dismissed Netanyahu’s claims as lacking credibility in responses to a query from The Grayzone.

According to Paul Pillar, who was National Intelligence Officer for the region from 2001 to 2005, “Any source on the inside of the Iranian national security apparatus would be extremely valuable in Israeli eyes, and Israeli deliberations about the handling of that source’s information presumably would be biased in favor long-term protection of the source.” The Israeli story of how its spies located the documents “does seem fishy,” Pillar said, especially considering Israel’s obvious effort to derive maximum “political-diplomatic mileage” out of the “supposed revelation” of such a well-placed source.

Graham Fuller, a 27-year veteran of the CIA who served as National Intelligence Officer for the Near East and South Asia as well as Vice-Chairman of the National Intelligence Council, offered a similar assessment of the Israeli claim. “If the Israelis had such a sensitive source in Tehran,” Fuller commented, “they would not want to risk him.” Fuller concluded that the Israelis’ claim that they had accurate knowledge of which safes to crack is “dubious, and the whole thing may be somewhat fabricated.”

No proof of authenticity

Netanyahu’s April 30 slide show presented a series of purported Iranian documents containing sensational revelations that he pointed to as proof of his insistence that Iran had lied about its interest in manufacturing nuclear weapons. The visual aides included a file supposedly dating back to early 2000 or before that detailed various ways to achieve a plan to build five nuclear weapons by mid-2003.

Another document that generated widespread media interest was an alleged report on a discussion among leading Iranian scientists of a purported mid-2003 decision by Iran’s Defense Minister to separate an existing secret nuclear weapons program into overt and covert parts.

Left out of the media coverage of these “nuclear archive” documents was a simple fact that was highly inconvenient to Netanyahu: nothing about them offered a scintilla of evidence that they were genuine. For example, not one contained the official markings of the relevant Iranian agency.

Tariq Rauf, who was head of the Verification and Security Policy Coordination Office at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) from 2001 to 2011, told The Grayzone that these markings were practically ubiquitous on official Iranian files.

“Iran is a highly bureaucratized system,” Rauf explained. “Hence, one would expect a proper book-keeping system that would record incoming correspondence, with date received, action officer, department, circulation to additional relevant officials, proper letterhead, etc.”

But as Rauf noted, the “nuclear archive” documents that were published by the Washington Post bore no such evidence of Iranian government origin.  Nor did they contain other markings to indicate their creation under the auspices of an Iranian government agency.

What those documents do have in common is the mark of a rubber stamp for a filing system showing numbers for a “record”, a “file” and a “ledger binder” — like the black binders that Netanyahu flashed to the cameras during his slideshow. But these could have easily been created by the Mossad and stamped on to the documents along with the appropriate Persian numbers.

Forensic confirmation of the documents’ authenticity would have required access to the original documents.  But as Netanyahu noted in his April 30, 2018 slide show, the “original Iranian materials” were kept “in a very safe place” – implying that no one would be allowed to have any such access.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Israel Joins Totalitarian States Using Coronavirus to Spy on Citizens | The American Conservative

Posted by M. C. on March 19, 2020

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/israel-joins-totalitarian-states-in-using-coronavirus-to-spy-on-its-citizens/

Iran and China, too, are turning powerful intelligence-gathering networks on their own people. Is the U.S. next?

An Israeli soldier wearing a face mask enters a train on March 16, 2020 in Tel Aviv, Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced emergency measures to combat COVID-19 after more than 300 Israelis tested positive. (Photo by Amir Levy/Getty Images)

At 1:30 a.m. Tuesday morning, Israel joined Iran and China in focusing the powerful intelligence gathering tools of the state on its own citizens—all in the name of containing the coronavirus outbreak.

In the dead of the night, the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu authorized advanced digital surveillance and monitoring tools to be deployed on Israeli citizens, without court order, in an effort to track coronavirus carriers.

Israel’s internal security service, the Shin Bet, will be allowed to use personal cell phone data and information such as which cell tower a device pings to, to retroactively track the movements of carriers of the “coronavirus in order to see with whom they interacted in the days and weeks before they were tested in order to place those people in quarantine,” reportsThe Times of Israel. This means that “any person in Israel could come under surveillance” of the Shin Bet, “an organization with no public transparency requirements” that reports directly to the Prime Minister.

The decision came after Netanyahu appeared ready to close down most of the court system and deploy the measure without Knesset approval Saturday night.

“The public outcry over these measures and accusations of an effective coup by the government over the other branches led Deputy Attorney-General Raz Nizri to assure a group of journalists on Sunday night that the Shin Bet would not start its surveillance without Knesset approval,” reports The Jerusalem Post.

The government ultimately authorized the surveillance in the middle of the night between Monday and Tuesday, without Knesset approval. The program removes a 30-day limit that Netanyahu had promised, and instead authorizes surveillance to continue an additional 60 days after the government’s state of emergency ends.

“Because the pandemic is spreading at an incredibly fast pace, postponing using these tools by even an hour could cause the deaths of a very large amount of Israelis,” Netanyahu said.

“I can assure you all unequivocally: There isn’t and won’t be a ‘Big Brother’ in the State of Israel, even in the framework of an extreme event like what we are dealing with now,” wrote Transportation Minister Betzalel Smotrich in a tweet on Sunday.

Blue and White leaders Benny Gantz and Gabi Ashenazi called the decision “surrendering transparency” and “political thievery.”

Israel’s new citizen surveillance program builds on a 2002 counterterrorism law that gave the Shin Bet direct access to cellular data, bypassing cell phone companies.

Netanyahu’s political rival Benny Gantz was tasked with forming a government Monday afternoon, and critics argue Netanyahu’s caretaker government does not have the authority to circumvent the relevant committees and single-handedly approve the sweeping measures.

“The government approved in the dead of night, in a move of underhanded opportunism the emergency regulations, despite the fact that the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee started discussing the matter yesterday, without given the option to seriously delve into the issue and complete deliberations,” tweeted Gabi Ashkenazi, former chair of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

“It’s inappropriate to approve such a measure in this manner, without public and parliamentary supervision,” he continued. “I call to allow the establishment of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee (which was dissolved on Monday as the new Knesset was sworn in) as soon as today in order to immediately discuss the issue, and activate the necessary supervision as stated by the law.”

Israel’s new regulations come as governments around the world adopt increasingly draconian measures. Iran rolled out an app ostensibly for the purpose of informing the public of coronavirus symptoms, but which actually spied on Iranians.  The Communist government of China has brought the full weight of its mass public surveillance and social credit system to bear, using face recognition software, apps, drones and CCTV cameras to enforce quarantines.

Domestic police forces in Europe are adopting measures that would have been unthinkable in democratic societies a few months ago. The U.K. plans to give police new authority to detain people and place them in isolation. Police in Madrid, Spain are deploying drones with cameras and loudspeakers to order people in parks and on the streets to go home.

“We will not hesitate to use all the means at our disposal to ensure your security and that of everyone,” Madrid’s Police Force tweeted. “Although some still make it difficult for us.”

Amid talks that the Trump administration is seeking location data from tech giants like Google and Facebook, democratic governments around the world are balancing citizens’ civil liberties and public health.

“Israel is a democracy — we must uphold the balance between the rights of individuals and the public needs. And we are doing this,” said Netanyahu.

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Trump’s “win-win” plan hands everything to Israel | The Electronic Intifada

Posted by M. C. on January 31, 2020

Palestinians don’t go entirely empty-handed. Their overlords have granted them “statehood.” Over more than twice as much land as they currently control.

That at least is the breathless reporting that infected initial
reports on the plan’s announcement, though no one stopped to ask the
obvious: two times nothing is?

https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/omar-karmi/trumps-win-win-plan-hands-everything-israel

After much anticipation and with great ceremony, on Tuesday US President Donald Trump presented his plan for Middle East peace.

It’s “a great plan,” Trump had already said a few days ago, though he may just have been humoring his son-in-law Jared Kushner, its chief architect.

On Tuesday, he called the plan “win-win,” though to whom the second win goes is hard to say.

The first is undoubtedly Israel’s, of whom the only thing that is being asked is a four-year settlement freeze while Palestinian statehood is negotiated.

Outside this exhausting demand to do less, Israel gets: all (or near enough) its settlements, all of Jerusalem, control over borders, uncontested military control over the whole area of historic Palestine, some one-third of the West Bank and the removal of any possibility that Palestinians who were expelled in 1948 could ever claim a right of return or even compensation for the lands and homes and years that were stolen from them.

It is little wonder that a beaming Benjamin Netanyahu, the incumbent Israeli prime minister who stood next to Trump as he presented the plan, looked more smug than ever.

“For too long,” Netanyahu said in his remarks after Trump had delivered (boy, did he deliver), “the very heart of the land of Israel, where our patriarchs prayed, our prophets preached and our kings ruled has been outrageously branded as illegally occupied territory. Well today, Mr. President, you are puncturing this big lie.”

Indeed. No one could sum up better than Netanyahu how much is wrong with the plan. It has precisely nothing to do with the Palestinians, who have been reduced to the kind of bit players their status – in the eyes of those who came up with and support this plan – as second-class people restricts them to.

The other “win”

Palestinians don’t go entirely empty-handed. Their overlords have granted them “statehood.” Over more than twice as much land as they currently control.

That at least is the breathless reporting that infected initial reports on the plan’s announcement, though no one stopped to ask the obvious: two times nothing is?

According to the plan, the issue of territory was worked out “in the spirit of UN [Security Council Resolution] 242.” But that would suggest some kind of adherence to 1967 boundaries. Judging by the “conceptual maps” of the plan’s appendix, it is hard to see that the 1967 boundaries were even considered.

Indeed, the priority, as the plan makes clear, is Israel’s security. Hence Palestinians get no control over borders in and out of the West Bank…

Much of the presentation of the plan sounded like a threat against Palestinians.

Thus, the “difficulty” in creating a contiguous Palestinian state, given the spread of settlements, was used by an administration official as the reason for Palestinians to accept it.

“… [I]f we don’t do this freeze now I think that their chance to ever have a state basically goes away.”

What this official doesn’t seem to have stopped to consider is this: So what?

So what if that chance goes away. Israel still has to live with six million Palestinians.

Here is the eye-opening fact that eludes those who seem to think that power is all that matters: This is all over only when Palestinians say it is. Not a minute before.

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Middle East foreign policy.

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Pompeo Gives Away the Palestinian West Bank, by Philip Giraldi – The Unz Review

Posted by M. C. on November 27, 2019

The decades long building of Israeli settlements on Palestinian homelands, with nothing but silence from Washington, should have made plain to anyone more paying attention that a 2 state solution was never in the cards.

http://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/pompeo-gives-away-the-palestinian-west-bank/

A story has been circulating suggesting that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will soon be resigning because he needs to focus on planning for his campaign to become a Senator from Kansas in 2020. This is good news for the United States, as Senator Lindsey Graham has had no one he is able to talk to about exporting democracy by blowing up the planet since Joe Lieberman retired and John McCain died. And the tale even has a bit of palace intrigue built into it, with an interesting back story as Pompeo is apparently considering his move because he fears that staying in harness with Donald Trump for too long might damage his reputation. There are also reports that he has been traveling to Kansas frequently on the State Department’s dime to test the waters, a violation of the Hatch Act which prohibits most government officials from engaging in self-promotional political activities unrelated to their actual jobs.

If one is seeking evidence to suggest that Pompeo, a man who lies with a fluency that takes one’s breath away, is delusional, it would certainly have to include his self-assessment that he has a reputation to protect. It is possible to cite many instances in which Pompeo has asserted something that is absolutely contrary to the truth, though one might also have to concede that he could often be saying what his factually challenged boss wants to hear. When Pompeo was Director of the CIA he even joked openly about how “We lied, we cheated, we stole.”

Mike Pompeo’s latest concession to the war criminals in charge of Israel, clearly intended to boost the electoral chances of Benjamin Netanyahu, is only the most recent dose of the Secretary of State’s falsehood piled on fiction. It is generally assumed that the move to help Bibi by interfering in Israeli politics has been made in an effort to have Tel Aviv reciprocate by putting pressure on its many American fellow travelers in the media and congress to go easier on Trump in the impeachment saga…

The Trump Administration’s gifts to Israel are unprecedented, including moving the capital to Jerusalem and acknowledging the annexation of the Syrian Golan Heights. Pompeo, driven by his Christian Zionist beliefs, has been the point man on many of those moves, ably assisted by a U.S. Ambassador David Friedman, ex-bankruptcy lawyer, who has served as a consistent advocate and apologist for Israel with little or no concern for actual American interests. One might also observe that if Pompeo is truly interested in running for the Senate a little help and cash from Israel and its many friends might be very welcome.

The Pompeo gift to Bibi was announced early last week. He said that the Trump Administration is now rejecting the 1978 State Department Hansell Memorandum legal opinion that the creation of civilian settlements in occupied territories is indeed “inconsistent with international law.” In a sense, he was giving something away to Israel that neither he nor the Israelis legally possess. He said that he was “accepting realities on the ground” and elaborated on his view that the White House believes legal questions about settlements should be dealt with in Israeli courts, meaning that the hapless Palestinians would have no voice in developments that would deprive them of their homes...

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Arab League warns against Israel’s West Bank settlements ...

 

 

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Pompeo: Israeli Settlements in West Bank Don’t Violate International Law – News From Antiwar.com

Posted by M. C. on November 19, 2019

This position further encourages the Israeli government to take steps to make the occupation permanent, secure in the knowledge that the US government is prepared to ignore international law.

The only people who believed in a two state solution were the unwashed masses duped by the presstitute media.

https://news.antiwar.com/2019/11/18/pompeo-israeli-settlements-in-west-bank-dont-violate-international-law/

In a move seen as a further blow to Palestinian hopes for statehood, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has announced that the US is repudiating the 1978 State Department legal opinion that the Israeli settlements in occupied Palestine are in violation of international law.

The Fourth Geneva Convention is very clear about settlements being illegal, as it explicitly bars an occupying power from transferring its own civilian population into occupied territory.

Pompeo’s position is that the US stance on West Bank settlements is based on “unique facts.” While not necessarily trying to reinterpret international law, the State Department will now argue that international law doesn’t advance the cause of peace and therefore should be ignored.

Instead, Pompeo will argue that any legal questions on Israel building settlements in occupied Palestine should be handled within Israeli courts. He added that he did not intend to prejudge the status of the Wes Bank in any peace deal.

This position further encourages the Israeli government to take steps to make the occupation permanent, secure in the knowledge that the US government is prepared to ignore international law. It also seemingly encourages them to block Palestinian statehood to allow for more settlements in the future.

In bolstering the Israeli far-right’s annexation position, the new US stance is likely intended to bolster Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, at a time when his survival as premier is in doubt. Trump has expressed a preference for Netanyahu.

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Lindsey Graham’s Blank Check. Why a Defense Agreement With Israel Would Be a Disaster for Americans — Strategic Culture

Posted by M. C. on August 23, 2019

Two world wars began because of unconditional pledges made by one country to come to assistance of another.

I am sure Israel would come to our aid if we were attacked by say…Saudi Arabia.

Remember the Liberty.

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/08/22/lindsey-grahams-blank-check-why-a-defense-agreement-with-israel-would-disaster-for-americans/

Philip Giraldi

 

Two world wars began because of unconditional pledges made by one country to come to assistance of another. On July 5, 1914, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany pledged his country’s complete support for whatever response Austria-Hungary would choose to make against Serbia after the June 28th assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria by a Serbian nationalist during an official visit to Sarajevo, Bosnia. This fatal error went down in history as Germany’s carte blanche or “blank check,” assurance to Austria that led directly to WW I.

In September 1939, World War II began when Great Britain and France came to the assistance of Poland after the German Army invaded, fulfilling a “guarantee” made in March of that year. What was a regional war, and one that might have been resolved through diplomacy, became global.

One would think that after such commitments were assessed by historians as the immediate causes of two world wars, no one would ever consider going down that road again. But that would be reckoning without Republican Senator Lindsey Graham who has been calling for a “defense treaty” with Israel since last April. In his most recent foray, Graham announced late in July that he is seeking bipartisan support for providing “blank check” assurances to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and is hoping to be able to push a complete defense treaty through the Senate by next year.

In making his several announcements on the subject, Graham has been acting as a front man for both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and also for The Jewish Institute for the National Security of America (JINSA), which wrote the basic document that is being used to promote the treaty and then enlisted Graham to obtain congressional support.

Speaking to the press on a JINSA conference call, Graham said the proposed agreement would be a treaty that would protect Israel in case of an attack that constituted an “existential threat”. Citing Iran as an example, Graham said the pact would be an attempt to deter hostile neighbors like the Iranians who might use weapons of mass destruction against Israel. JINSA President Michael Makovsky elaborated on this, saying, “A mutual defense pact has a value in not only deterring but might also mitigate a retaliatory strike by an adversary of Israel, so it might mitigate an Iranian response (to an attack on its nuclear facilities).”

JINSA director of foreign policy Jonathan Ruhe added that “An Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear program would not activate this pact, but a major Iranian retaliation might. – An Israeli unilateral attack is not what the treaty covers, but rather massive Iranian retaliation is what we are addressing.”

Israel has long been reluctant to enter into any actual treaty arrangement with the United States because it might limit its options and restrain its aggressive pattern of military incursions. In that regard, the Graham-JINSA proposal is particularly dangerous as it effectively permits Israel to be interventionist with a guarantee that Washington will not seek to limit Netanyahu’s “options.” And, even though the treaty is reciprocal, there is no chance that Israel will ever be called upon to do anything to defend the United States, so it is as one-sided as most arrangements with the Jewish state tend to be.

As the agreement between the two countries would be a treaty ratified by the Senate, it would be much more difficult to scrap by subsequent administrations than was the Iran nuclear deal, which was an executive action by President Obama. And clearly the statements by Graham, Makovsky and Ruhe reveal this treaty would serve as a green light for an Israeli attack on Iran, should they opt to do so, while also serving as a red light to Tehran vis-à-vis an ironclad US commitment to “defend” Israel that would serve to discourage any serious Iranian retaliation. Given that dynamic, the treaty would be little more than a one-way security guarantee from Washington to Jerusalem.

Furthermore, in outlining what circumstances would trigger US intervention on Israel’s behalf, the JINSA/Graham document cites, inter alia, “the threat or use of weapons of mass destruction.” It also allows Netanyahu to call for assistance after defining as threatening any incident or development “that gives rise to an urgent request from the Government of Israel.” It appears then that Netanyahu could demand that the US attack Iran should he only perceive a threat, however vague that threat might in reality be.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been claiming Iran is “three to five years” and “possibly weeks” away from a nuclear weapons capability since 1992 and pushing Washington to attack Iran so he obviously would welcome such a treaty for strategic reasons as well as to shore up his upcoming re-election bid. President Trump, with whom Graham has discussed how the agreement would work, has a similar interest in appearing strong for Israel to help his own campaign in 2020.

It is worth noting that in 2010 Netanyahu ordered the Israel Defense Force (IDF) to prepare to strike Iran but ‘Israel’s security chiefs refused: Gabi Ashkenazi, the head of the IDF, and Meir Dagan, the head of the Mossad at the time, believed that Netanyahu and the Defense Minister Ehud Barak were trying to “steal a war” and the order was not carried out. The attacks were also rejected by two ministers, Moshe Yaalon and Yuval Steinitz, which left Netanyahu without the necessary majority to proceed.

Ashkenazi claimed in a 2012 interview about the episode that he was convinced that an attack would be have been a major strategic mistake. Meir Dagan said in 2012, after leaving his role as Mossad chief, that a strike would be “a stupid thing” as the entire region would undoubtedly be destabilized, requiring repeated Israeli and American interventions.

And there are other issues arising from a “defense treaty.” Defense means just that and treaties are generally designed to protect a country within its own borders. Israel has no defined borders as it is both expansionistic and illegally occupying Palestinian land, so the United States would in effect be obligated to defend space that Israel defines as its own. That could mean almost anything. Israel is currently bombing Syria almost daily even though it is not at war with Damascus. If Syria were to strike back and Graham’s treaty were in place, Washington would technically be obligated to come to Israel’s assistance. A similar situation prevails with Lebanon and there are also reports that Israel is bombing alleged Iranian supply lines in Iraq, where the US has 5,000 troops stationed.

The real problem is that the Trump administration is obsessed with regime change in Iran, but it has so far been unable to provoke Iran into starting a conflict. Graham’s proposed treaty just might be part of a White House plan to end-run Congress and public opinion by enabling Israel to start the desired war, whereupon the US would quickly follow in to “defend Israel,” obliged by treaty to do so. What could possibly go wrong? The correct answer is “everything.”

 

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It’s Time To Admit That The US Is Signing The Checks For Greater Israel

Posted by M. C. on July 3, 2019

I am tired of the pandering to Israel and the fake news about them or anyone else caring about a two state solution.

Ain’t happenin’

https://outline.com/yaj4D3

Saeb Erekat

As part of their alleged plan for the Middle East, the Trump administration held what they called an economic “workshop” in Manama. It was an utter failure.

The plan presented was nothing more than a real-estate brochure, and its revelation in Bahrain a poorly attended affair. What Trump’s team, led by his son-in-law Jared Kushner, referred to as the “opportunity of the century” was nothing more than a plan to normalize the occupation of Palestine.

 

For peace to prevail and prosperity to thrive, Israel must end its occupation and stop obstructing the national, political and human rights of the people of Palestine, including freedom and sovereign control over our own economy. This very message was repeatedly echoed, even by many of the participants in Manama.

But Manama was not about supporting the economy of a thriving, free and independent Palestinian State. It was about the perpetuation of Israel’s occupation and colonial-settlement enterprise…

Kushner, along with Ambassador David Friedman — himself a supporter of the settler movement — and Special Envoy Jason Greenblatt have exposed a clear goal of eliminating the Palestinian national project, to the benefit of those who advocate for “Greater Israel.”

No wonder Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised his voters that he would annex more of the occupied territory of Palestine during the previous election cycle.

Now that this plot, which has been clear to us Palestinians all along, has been so clearly exposed to the rest of the world, the question is: What are you going to do about it? Those who attended Manama have an opportunity and a responsibility to make clear that their presence at the summit did not amount to supporting Kushner’s efforts to propagate Israel’s expansionist enterprise and desired apartheid in a Greater Israel in which Palestinians have no rights…

Our allies must speak up. A new political reality requires world leaders to act firmly, starting with the recognition of the State of Palestine on the 1967 border, with East Jerusalem as its capital. This will at least serve as a diplomatic barrier against US and Israeli attempts to erase the political rights of the Palestinian people.

It’s equally urgent to take action against the Israeli occupation. The international community must ban Israeli settlement products, divest from companies involved in the systematic violation of international law in Palestine, set guidelines to prevent international involvement with the occupation, and prevent Israeli settlements and settlers from benefiting from agreements signed with Israel…

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