Obama’s contempt for international standards
The National Security Strategy of the Obama administration says: “if nations challenge or undermine an international order that is based upon rights and responsibilities, they must find themselves isolated.”
Israel is currently resisting international pressure to accept an international investigation into the circumstances in which at least nine Turkish civilians were killed by Israeli soldiers on board the Mavi Marmara while the ship was in international waters moving away from Israel.
The UN Security Council, under pressure from the Obama administration, watered down a call for an international investigation into the massacre by saying that such an inquiry should merely meet “international standards.”
When team Obama came up with that phrase — as they surely did — did they first consult with George Bush’s former ambassador to the UN, John Bolton? It’s his kind of language. It cynically gives a passing nod to the idea that an inquiry needs international legitimacy, yet leaves it to Israel — a state that views the international community with contempt — to determine how that requirement might be met.
The answer, as far a Benjamin Netanyahu is concerned, is to toss in a couple of international figures who can observe the workings of the Israeli commission — a three-man body whose members have an average age of 85.
One of the two internationals is David Trimble, former First Minister of Northern Ireland. Are his the eyes that can ensure this commission conducts “a prompt, impartial, credible and transparent investigation”?
On the day of the Israeli assault, the Jerusalem Post reported on the launch of the “Friends of Israel Initiative,” a new project in defense of Israel’s right to exist, led by Spain’s former prime minister Jose Maria Aznar. This group of international leaders includes none other than, David Trimble.
The initiative is being launched now, its sponsors said in a statement, because of their outrage and concern about the “unprecedented delegitimation campaign against Israel, driven by the enemies of the Jewish state and perversely assumed by numerous international authorities.”
So will a commission in which there is an international observer with a declared suspicion of international organizations, meet “international standards”?
The White House calls this “an important step forward” and says:
We believe that Israel, like any other nation, should be allowed to undertake an investigation into events that involve its national security. Israel has a military justice system that meets international standards and is capable of conducting a serious and credible investigation, and the structure and terms of reference of Israel’s proposed independent public commission can meet the standard of a prompt, impartial, credible, and transparent investigation.
Credible perhaps to an American president who serves at the pleasure of the Israel lobby, but on this matter Obama doesn’t even have the support of the New York Times.
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From the Archives
By Nahida the Exiled Palestinian | March 12, 2013
Gilad Atzmon argues that in order to best support Palestine we must cease to view the Palestinian struggle as “just another apartheid” or “just another colonial project”
What makes the occupation of Palestine “unique” is not the “specialness” of the suffering of Palestinians, nor is it the “uniqueness” of their tragedy or the “importance” of their cause.
What makes it “unique” is the fact that: those Jewish Zionists who occupy Palestine, those Jewish Zionists who support them, and even many of those Jewish anti-Zionists who oppose them view themselves as “unique”.
Many Jewish anti-Zionists view themselves as unique in the sense that they frantically hold on to the notion of the “uniqueness” of the “Jewish suffering” and the inevitability of future “multi-holocausts” due to an historic, intrinsic and incurable human-condition called “anti-Semitism” which is in their view a “special” case of racism, of inexplicable “hatred” for Jews.
With a considerable majority, whether hard-core Zionists, soft, liberal, or anti-Zionists, they have acquired a distorted image of themselves, their suffering, their history, their morality, and that of the world. … continue
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