Obama, can you focus on your hypocrisy long enough to count to 1,712?

by Yaniv Reich on March 9, 2010

After nearly six months of pleading with Abbas and the PA to talk to the Israelis while they continue the settler colonization of their future state…

After months of pressuring the Arab League to provide a way for Abbas to sit down to said talks without losing the final shred of credibility he (arguably) has left…

After Mitchell and VP Biden fly to Israel to try and jump-start these “indirect proximity talks”…

They get off the plane to find out that Israel has approved 112 new settlement apartments in the illegal settlement, Beitar Illit, near occupied Beit Jala. The world is informed this settlement was necessary to fill a “dangerous gap” of 40 meters between two buildings. Israel, the country whose supreme technological prowess is the subject of constant praise, is absolutely stifled by the challenge of a gap between buildings such that it simply has no choice but to build something new—and illegal and politically explosive—in between. As Helena Cobban comments, “I understand that there are still a few other places in the West Bank where there are gaps between one settlement building and another…. Or—even more dangerous!—gaps between one settlement and another!”

Biden responded to this issue (read: another issue) by saying: “Bibi, you heard me say before: progress occurs in the Middle East when everyone knows there is simply no space between the United States and Israel.” An effective diplomatic reiteration of Israel’s latest settlement building excuse/strategy.

Despite Biden’s comments, the State Dept was a bit embarrassed and was forced to issue a statement. The statement reads: “Both sides should be cautious about actions that might be either misperceived within the region or that might be exploited by those who want to create obstacles to further progress.”

You got that? The outright theft of Palestinian land so that Jews only can live on it reflects, in the US government’s formulation, either: (1) misperception, or (2) an argument that Palestinians could use to create further obstacles to peace because clearly this is what they do best. Above all, the message the US is conveying is that, in the context of absolutely no “terror” attacks and ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestine, let “both sides” please be cautious.

This whole line of moral and political thinking can—and should—be dismissed with a big “fuck you and everything you stand for.”

But that’s yesterday’s news.

Today, the Israeli Interior Ministry approves an additional 1,600 homes in occupied East Jerusalem. One thousand, six hundred new and illegal units, in contravention of stated US policy, the Fourth Geneva Convention, and a couple dozen UN Security Council Resolutions.

Obama, Biden, American Jews, Israelis: Can you focus on your hypocrisy long enough to count to so high a number?

When Israel becomes a binational state by constitution and not only by unilateral Jewish force, Israelis and Jews, who are against this conflict resolution framework, will have only themselves to blame.

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