In times of grave economic crisis, progressive groups have historically found an opening. This time, over the past five years, liberals and leftists have been left flailing away while the far right moved in to cause a seismic shift in American politics. I explore some whys and wherefores of this at Souciant this week.
Posts Tagged ‘Bill Clinton’
Posted in Iran, Israel, Palestine, United States, tagged Barack Obama, Benjamin Netanyahu, Bill Clinton, Hassan Rouhani, Iran, Israel, Mahmoud Abbas, Michael Corleone, Middle east, Occupied Palestinian Territories, Occupied Territories, Oslo Accords, Palestine, The Godfather, United Nations, United States, West Bank, Yasir Arafat on September 27, 2013 | Leave a Comment »
The various UN General Assembly speeches this week, along with some other recent developments in Israel, Iran and the Occupied Palestinian Territories indicate some shifts in the US approach to the Middle East. Among other things, these events have certainly shown that the “pivot to Asia” has moved far to the back burner. I explore where things are going with regard to Iran, Israel-Palestine and the United States in this week’s column at Souciant.
Posted in Settlements, United States, tagged AP, Barack Obama, Benjamin Netanyahu, Bill Clinton, Carter administration, Gaza, Geneva Conventions, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, Green Line, international law, Israeli Settlements, Jen Psaki, Jerusalem, Jimmy Carter, John Kerry, Matt Lee, Matthew Lee, Netanyahu, Ronald Reagan, State Department, US Policy on Israeli Settlements, West Bank, White House on August 18, 2013 | 4 Comments »
This article originally appeared at LobeLog. There is an indispensable wealth of material there on recent events in Israel/Palestine, Iran, Egypt and others. I urge you to check it out.
Some days, it must be really difficult to be the State Department’s spokesperson. It doesn’t seem like a bad job to have at all, but on certain questions it’s impossible to not look like an idiot. A lot of those questions are connected to de facto policies which differ from de jure ones.
And there is no better example of that than US policy on Israeli settlements.
Back in the early years after the 1967 war, the United States made it clear that the settlements were illegal according to international law. As recently as 1978, the State Department legal adviser confirmed that all Israeli settlements beyond the Green Line are illegal, and through the Carter administration, this was explicit US policy. That policy has never been explicitly revoked, but beginning with the Reagan administration, de facto policy has been ambiguous. Reagan began the trend when he stated that while the settlements were ill-advised, provocative and that further settlement was not necessary for Israel’s security “I disagreed when, the previous Administration refereed to them as illegal, they’re not illegal. Not under the U.N. resolution that leaves the West Bank open to all people—Arab and Israeli alike, Christian alike.”
The problematic nature of Reagan’s statement — implying that “Arab” equals “Muslim” and “Israeli” equals “Jew”, and more importantly, citing the “U.N. Resolution”, which is not the basis for the illegality of the settlements (the Fourth Geneva Convention is) — notwithstanding, this was the beginning of the US’ refusal to label settlements illegal, terming them instead, at most, “illegitimate.” (more…)
Posted in Peace Plans, tagged AIPAC, Americans for Peace Now, Benjamin Netanyahu, Bill Clinton, Camp David II, Danny Danon, Dennis Ross, intifada, J Street, John Kerry, Mahmoud Abbas, Martin Indyk, New Israel Fund, Palestinian prisoners, Settlements, Stephen Walt, WINEP on July 30, 2013 | Leave a Comment »