Netanyahu and Obama make up in Washington meeting
On July 6, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netnyahu visited Washington and met with US President Barack Obama. The two discussed the Israel-Palestine peace process, Iran and the US-Israel relationship.
This visit was supposed to happen earlier but was delayed due to the Freedom Flotilla incident. Despite months of alleged tension between the US and Israel, both leaders insisted the relationship remains strong.
“It’s a pretty syndical exploitation of a photo-op by Obama because the upcoming congressional elections. It’s been said that some of the some of the major Jewish donors are holding back money because of the recent tensions in the US-Israeli relation,” said Norman Finkelstein, the author of “Farewell to Israel”.
Finkelstein further argued that it is unlikely anything substantial will come from their meeting and that the peace process, Gaza and Iran are not really on the agenda, even though they were mentioned.
He argued that the "Israeli occupation" has continued for 43 years and that since then there were efforts towards a peace process, however nothing has been seen.
“There’s plainly been no peace process. What has occurred over the past 43 years is an annexation process. Israel has now approximately 500,000 illegal settlers in the occupied West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem. Israel is not trying to resolve the conflict with the Palestinians,” said Finkelstein.
A resolution, he argued, is obvious; a full withdrawal by Israel out of occupied territories and a resolution of the Palestinian refugee question.
“I don’t think we should play the games of the US administration or Israel by pretending there’s a peace process. There is no peace process,” said Finkelstein.
Finkelstein argued that Israel is an aggressive nuclear state, whereas Iran is far less aggressive in the Middle East in terms of war and doesn’t have nuclear weapons. A solution would be to make the Middle East a weapon of mass destruction free zone, Israel however refuses.
“Israel is acting like a reckless state, its acting like a lunatic state,” said Finkelstein.