Monday, December 26, 2016

NEVER ENDING WAR - Israel vs Palestine

As I have said many, many times before.  The Palestine/Israel conflict will, and cannot, be solved by outsiders.  It can hopefully be solved when the citizens of Palestine AND the citizens of Israel tell their respective governments to STOP.  Issues like Palestine support of Gaza Strip and Israel settlements in Palestine, are just two problems that must be solved.

Also, to paraphrase, "Friends don't let friends drive drunk" even when they are 'drunk' on ideology.  Israel is drunk on their religious ideology.

"Why didn't the U.S. veto the UN's rebuke of Israel?" PBS NewsHour 12/23/2016


SUMMARY:  The United States has broken with decades of diplomacy by abstaining on a U.N. rebuke of Israel, rather than vetoing it in support of its longtime ally.  The Security Council voted 14 to 0 that Israel is committing a “flagrant violation” of international law by building settlements on land Palestinians want.  Judy Woodruff speaks with Ben Rhodes, deputy national security adviser, about the decision.

JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  So, why did the Obama administration today abstain from voting on the United Nations Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem?

We ask Ben Rhodes, deputy national security adviser for strategic communications to the President.

Ben Rhodes, welcome.

It is the case that the U.S. has long opposed these Israeli settlements but, at the same time, it has protected Israel in the U.N. against these condemning resolutions.  Why the shift?

BEN RHODES, Deputy National Security Adviser:  Well, look, first of all, it's bipartisan tradition to opposed settlements, as you mentioned.  There have been many resolutions in the past under bipartisan administrations that address the Arab-Israeli conflict.  The fact of the matter is, we vetoed a resolution that addressed settlements in 2011, and look what's happened since.  We've had failed peace processes after failed peace process, and the pace of settlement construction has accelerated significantly.  And just recently, you had the Israeli prime minister saying that this is the most pro-settlement in administration in Israeli history, the Israeli government that is currently in place.

We believe that at this pace, a two-state solution could be put at risk.  We believe that would be profoundly bad for Israel and its security.  And so, that's why the president took the position that he did.

JUDY WOODRUFF:  It comes across, though, Ben Rhodes, though, as a parting shot at Israel on the part of President Obama.

BEN RHODES:  Well, look, we have a record that we'll put up next to anybody in terms of support for Israel.  In fact, we just concluded a $38 billion ten year MOU with respect to their security assistance from the United States.

The fact of the matter is, though, I think if you look at the map of the West Bank, if you look at the future of the two-state solution, these settlements are encroaching further and further beyond the separation barrier that the Israelis themselves built, thousands of new settlements are being constructed and, frankly, if these trends continue, it will be impossible to realize a two-state solution.

And the fact of the matter is, we can't just have a peace process or a two-state solution as an empty talking point.  If we really want to be able to have a prospect for peace, we have to be clear about what we're against and that includes the type of settlements and I'd say as the resolution points out, the type of incitement to violence on the Palestinian side that have been obstacles to peace.

JUDY WOODRUFF:  Well, let me just read you what — among other things the comments from Prime Minister Netanyahu after this happened.  He said, “The National Security Council has disgracefully ganged up on the one democracy in the Middle East.”  The Israeli government is saying this was a shameful resolution, they're not going to abide by it.

I mean, is the President — are you comfortable with what is now a really raw opening, a sore spot in the relationship with Israel as this President leaves office?

BEN RHODES:  Look, we've taken a lot of criticism from the Israeli government over the years.  If you look at our record, unprecedented military intelligence cooperation, a significant security assistance upgrades.

But again, let's talk about what the resolution addressed — the settlement construction.  That's the conversation that the Israeli government is not having.  And, in fact, you had this prime minister say this is the most pro-settlement Israeli government in history.  Frankly, that statement is entirely inconsistent with the two-state solution that the Israeli government in the past has said they supported, that many members of Congress support.

At a certain point, we all just have to stop and look at the map and look at the facts and say, if these settlements continue, is the two-state solution impossible?  And that clearly is the trend line.  It's evident for everybody to see, and that's what we should be talking about.

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