'Time to place sanctions on Israel'
“Obama is still going on with the same perspective that Israel needs to be bribed, flattered, and given more privileges and support in order to reach peace, rather than placing pressure on Israel and placing sanctions on Israel to make it adhere to international law” said Kopty.
Obama has been supporting Israel diplomatically and economically, she said, adding that he has already been named “the most pro-Israeli US president in history.”
RT: What is the feeling in Palestine following Barack Obama’s visit?
Abir Kopty: I think Obama proved to be a very good speaker. He gave great speech yesterday. But again Palestinians do not expect words, they expect actions. And in terms of action Obama has been the most pro-Israeli US president in history. The American administration kept supporting Israeli military, diplomatically, economically. And the Palestinian question is “How can a president who wants to promise peace take one side and stand on the side of an oppressor and keep granting full support, unconditional support to Israel, while ignoring the Palestinian plight?” He indeed mentioned some of the injustices Palestinians face, but at the same time he is the one who is totally complicit and responsible in creating those injustices and in maintaining those injustices.
RT: Obama reiterated his commitment to the two-state solution. But do you think there will be any real movement on this issue following his visit?
AK: If President Obama came to promise us - and that's actually what we all expected - if he came to promise us another 20 years of negotiations, endless affair of negotiations, this is of course something the Palestinians will reject. And they rejected and many of them took to the streets to say no to Obama's administration policy towards the Middle East and to say no to another round of negotiations. Twenty years of negotiations have given nothing to the Palestinians, have changed totally the reality on the ground. The number of settlers in the West Bank tripled in those 20 years and continuous repression of the Palestinian people, land grab, confiscation, house demolition, displacement of people continued and actually I invite anyone to come and see the reality on the ground.
The two-state solution Obama is applauding to all the time is dead, is declared dead. There is no way to reach two-state solution. Israel has worked intensively to create facts on the ground. It is going on with impunity all its violations, faced with silence all around the world, especially from the American administration - not only silence, but also backing the Israeli continuous violation of international law. Palestinians who live here and see the reality on the ground will not buy Obama's word about peace and justice in the Middle East.
RT: But Obama did condemn the Israeli settlement expansion, he did call it ‘counter-productive’. I thought his position did seem more restrained than before, he didn’t call for the construction to freeze. Why do you think that was?
AK: First when he talked about settlements he used the word that they are “not reconstructive.” I think it’s beyond - they are against international law. Refraining from this he understands that Israel is never going to freeze settlements. I think Obama is still going on with the same perspective that Israel needs to be bribed, flattered, and given more privileges and support in order to reach peace, rather than placing pressure on Israel and placing sanctions on Israel to make it adhere to international law.
That is the problem with the American administration and many international leaders, who think that they should give more privileges to Israel. They have actually tried this method for decades – it did not work. What we say as Palestinians is that serious need for taking concrete actions, for placing sanctions on Israel. Placing concrete and serious pressure on Israel, not treating Israel like an abnormal country that deserves privileges from different governments around the world. There is a need for sanctions and boycott, for isolating the regime of apartheid and occupation.