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Friday, 28 September 2012

Romney's gaffe blows lid on the myth of US neutrality over Israel_palestine

Mr Romney: "And I look at the Palestinians not wanting to see peace anyway, for political purposes, committed to the destruction and elimination of Israel, and these thorny issues, and I say there's just no way. And so what you do is you say you move things along the best way you can. You hope for some degree of stability, but you recognize that it's going to remain an unsolved problem. I mean, we look at that in China and Taiwan. All right, we have a potentially volatile situation, but we sort of live with it. And we kick the ball down the field and hope that ultimately, somehow, something will happen and resolve. We don't go to war to try and resolve it."

Republican candidate for the White House, Mitt Romney, on Israel-Palestine. The irony is that Romney actually let spill an unspeakable truth in this 'post-truth' politics age: that the US is not and has not been a neutral in the 'peace process' and, indeed, favours Israel in the most strident terms and condemns the hapless Palestinians as aggressive and war-like.

Some facts:
According to Amnesty International: "Israel's military blockade of Gaza... left more than 1.4 million Palestinian men, women and children trapped in the Gaza Strip, an area of land just 40 kilometres long and 9.5 kilometres wide.

"Mass unemployment, extreme poverty and food price rises caused by shortages have left four in five Gazans dependent on humanitarian aid. As a form of collective punishment, Israel’s... blockade of Gaza is a flagrant violation of international law."

During its 2008/9 war on Gaza, "The Israeli army used white phosphorus, a weapon with a highly incendiary effect, in densely populated civilian residential areas of Gaza City, according to indisputable evidence found by an Amnesty International fact-finding team...

"When white phosphorus lands on skin it burns deeply through muscle and into the bone, continuing to burn until deprived of oxygen." The white phosphorous was supplied by US arms firms.

White phosphorous is not illegal under international law but was condemned when deployed by Saddam Hussein against the Kurds in 1991; but was then used in 2004, bu US troops in Fallujah, Iraq.

Illegal Settlements: No foreign government, including the US, recognises Israel's settlements in Sinai, the West Bank or the Golan Heights, nor in East Jerusalem. Yet, Israel continues to defy the International Court of Justice, the UN and the Oslo Accords.

Nuclear weapons:
Despite the attention to Iran's nuclear programmes, Israel has long possessed nuclear weapons and long range intercontinental ballistic missiles. It also has refused to sign the nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty, citing "national security".

President Obama also pledged undying support for Israel, the only power with nuclear weapons in the region and which has violated UN resolutions for decades with American support. Israel continues to build illegal settlements on the West Bank; meanwhile Obama signed off Bush's $30 billion aid package to Israel and continues to sell weapons systems to Israel far superior to such aid and sales to US' Arab allies in the region - to maintain Israel's qualitative military edge. To the Palestinians he urged moderation and non-violence.

The 'Palestine Papers' published by The Guardian and other media showed quite clearly the double standards of the US and Israel in the peace process: the Palestine Authority offered practically everything Israel demanded. Like Israel, Obama refuses to recognise Hamas, despite its victory in democratic elections.

Romney's gaffe shows that little changes in US policy towards Israel from one administration to another.