Could US Foreign Policy in the Middle East Be Worse? Thanks Democrats.

Is it wrong to say that major elements of the US Congress, namely Nancy Pelosi and the House of Representatives, have appropriated an AIPAC view of the Middle East conflict, and that, as a consequence, Democrats are now formally supporting an extreme right wing Likud party perspective on Palestine? And is it safe to say that as Democrats, we support the funding of Israel’s quest for a Greater Israel that would nullifying a Palestine state? Are we Democrats abetting the creation of a new Apartheid nation in the world, Israel as the host of Palestinian bantustans?

Well, yes we are.

Stephen Zune, professor of politics and chair of Middle Eastern studies at the University of San Francisco, makes the case. He published this article on Friday 31 December 2010.

Outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other hawkish Democratic leaders have left their mark on the Middle East during their four years of leadership in Congress, namely support for militarism and repression, and punishment for moderation.

Most notably, Pelosi and other Democratic leaders refused calls from a variety of peace and human rights organizations for conditioning US military aid to Israel, Egypt, and other countries in the region on their adherence to internationally recognized human rights standards. In addition, in reaction to the United Nations Human Rights Council raising concerns about human rights abuses by Israel and other US allies in the region, Pelosi's continuing resolution on the Foreign Operations Appropriations bill bars the use of any US funds to be appropriated as part of the annual contribution of UN member states to support the council's work.

Also problematic is that - while Congressional Democrats formally dropped their longstanding opposition to Palestinian statehood in the 1990s - the Democratic-sponsored Foreign Operations Appropriations Act contains a series of measures which appear to be designed to prevent the emergence of a viable Palestinian state alongside Israel.

Reading on through the subheadings (copyright prevents further quotation), it is evident that the US Congress has appropriated a right wing Likud perspective in support of Israel and has taken a whatever-it-wants stance.

Fueling the Arms Race

Sabotaging a Palestinian Unity Government

Other Anti-Palestinian Provisions

Roadblocks for Palestinian Statehood

It is not just Netanyahu and his right wing government that is preventing peace between the Israelis and Palestinians, but the US Congress and Democratic leaders such as Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer.

While we are used to blaming the Republican party for its failure to support peace in the Middle East, it is really the Democratic leadership that is proactively following the Likud line of no Palestinian state, which is to say, many more years of conflict.

Please read the full article. Stephen Zune’s piece is truly an indictment of our Democratic leaders when it comes to the Middle East.

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To get an estimate of the depth of Pelosi's obsequeousness toward Israel...

Dean and Pelosi: Carter's Wrong on Israel

Democratic leaders are speaking out against former President Jimmy Carter’s controversial new book on Israel, titled “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.”

On Friday, DNC Chairman Howard Dean and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi both issued written statements, included below in their entirety.

Dean: “While I have tremendous respect for former President Carter, I fundamentally disagree and do not support his analysis of Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. On this issue President Carter speaks for himself, the opinions in his book are his own, they are not the views or position of the Democratic Party. I and other Democrats will continue to stand with Israel in its battle against terrorism and for a lasting peace with its neighbors.”

Pelosi: “With all due respect to former President Carter, he does not speak for the Democratic Party on Israel. Democrats have been steadfast in their support of Israel from its birth, in part because we recognize that to do so is in the national security interests of the United States. We stand with Israel now and we stand with Israel forever.

Read more:

The fear of the Israel Lobby is palpable.
by MainStreet 2011-01-04 05:36PM | 0 recs
A Nation article partially responded to Pelosi's genuflection to the Lobby.

Incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, among others, forcefully criticized (Carter's) book. "It is wrong," she declared, "to suggest that the Jewish people would support a government in Israel or anywhere else that institutionalizes ethnically based oppression, and Democrats reject that allegation vigorously."

Lieberman, however, embodies the pursuit of "ethnically based oppression." He has called for the execution of Arab Knesset members for meeting with Hamas leaders, and he regularly talks of removing from Israel many Arab Israelis in what can euphemistically be termed a land swap or "transfer," but in more plain-spoken English is a form of ethnic cleansing.

There is a dual system of law at work in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem--one for Jews and one for Palestinians. Additionally, Palestinians are confined to South Africa-like bantustans, while Palestinian refugees are refused permission to return to homes and land from which they were expelled by Israel. Meanwhile, Jews from around the world are welcomed under Israel's Law of Return.

Some members of the American Jewish community have tried to make the case for ending Israeli domination of the Palestinians, but most members of Congress still prefer to listen to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

(title: Dems Rebut Carter on Israeli 'Apartheid')

by MainStreet 2011-01-04 05:46PM | 0 recs


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