‘Israel practices a policy of flagrant anti-Semitism’
RT:Palestine has demanded through the UN a two-year deadline for Israel to withdraw its troops from the occupied territories. As we know the US is Israeli’s close ally, however, Palestinian representatives will try today to convince the US not to use its veto power against Palestine’s UN bid. So what is the further scenario here in your opinion?
James Petras: There is absolutely no question that Israeli’s policies over the last few decades have been to expropriate Palestinian land and establish Jews only settlements in the occupied territories. In recent times, Israel has accelerated the building of colonial settlements and has engaged in a number of wars particularly with Gaza, largely destroying Palestinian property and undermining the possibilities of a viable economy. The key factor in Israel’s ability to carry on these aggressive policies which postpone or nullify the capacity of Palestinians to create a state, is the fact the Israel has an effective lobby in the United States made up principally of the 52 presidents of the major American Jewish organizations, who yield enormous power among the two parties and Congress, and have an effective voice in the executive branch. This is a known fact. Most experts have noted in recent years how the US Congress has voted unanimously or near unanimously in favor of each and every Israeli aggression. That has been the denounced by the United Nations.
The fact is that US politics with regard to Israel and Palestine is totally dominated by Israel and its lobbies in the US. Secretary of State [John] Kerry is no exception. I don’t expect the Secretary of State to support the motion which the Palestinians and the Arab League have put forward which would in affect set a deadline for Israel to agree to a two-state solution two years down the road. Israel has already issued orders to its supporters in the US to go all out to pressure the Obama administration to veto the measure if it comes to the Security Council. Washington does not want to be embarrassed so they are putting pressure on the Palestinian Authority today and tomorrow so that they withdraw that motion.
Otherwise it is very clear that Washington will once again, as it has 40 times previously, veto the resolution demanding that Israel withdraw from the occupied territories and negotiate a two-state solution. Israel is adamant in rejecting the role of the United Nations and third parties in mediating and imposing a settlement contrary to what the Israeli government has stated in the past. Even in Israel today some top officials including [those] who are in the intelligence agencies and Israel, has condemned [Benjamin] Netanyahu as an extremist and a person who is not sincerely negotiating with Palestinians.
I think one can expect the US to go into the UN National Security Council and act as Israel’s client. I say that very carefully. Washington does not have the capacity to maintain an independent position of leadership for the great majority of the UN membership on this issue, and in the past it was the same story.
RT:What do you think will be Israel’s action? Will they try to prevent the UN to set a deadline on occupation somehow?
JP: Israel will oppose any role for the UN. Israel will reject any attempt by the UN to set a deadline on its occupation. Israel is counting on the US to follow its lead. As Netanyahu said over the past 47 years the US has obeyed Israeli orders and vetoed legislation which condemns Israel’s wars in Lebanon, its attacks on Gaza, it’s bombing of Syria. Every and each aggression by Israel which has been condemned by the majority in the UN and including the Security Council has been vetoed by Washington at the behest of Israel’s’ 5th column’ in the US.
RT:What might be the US reaction this time? Is it possible that like many other Western states it will recognize the state of Palestine, or will the US take the Israeli side again?
JP: It is not impossible; it requires that the political class in the US begins to think in terms of US national interests instead of following the lead of Israel. The US has to face the fact that over one billion Muslims are in favor of the two-state solution. The US is sacrificing its sympathies in the Arab world even among conservative Arab governments. The US has lost its sympathy of the great majority of people in Europe. Even in the US there’s growing feelings of animosity to Israel because of this illegal occupation of Palestinian land and the segregation of its policies which it implements. We don’t like in the US the fact that Israel establishes facilities, roads, houses, schools in the West Bank for Jews only. If we want to do that in the US to minorities like the Jews we would be accused of anti-Semitism. Israel practices a policy of anti-Semitism on a very flagrant scale considering the fact that Arabs themselves are Semitic people.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.