The US has once again shown itself to be the enabler of Israel’s expansionist policies that have all but doomed the possibility of a two-state solution. As the Pakistani newspaper Dawn reported, the threat of a veto by the US scuttled a resolution in the UN Security Council to oppose the recent decision by the Netanyahu government to expand its settlement program around Jerusalem. Even the UK abandoned its ally on this one.
In a rare move on Wednesday, all but one of the 15 members of the UN Security Council made statements at the United Nations opposing Israeli plans to expand Jewish settlements around Jerusalem after the United States repeatedly blocked attempts to take stronger action.
India’s UN ambassador, Hardeep Singh Puri, described the four separate statements, made by the eight council members from the Non-Aligned Movement, the four European members, Russia and China – as a “Plan B” after it was clear the United States, was likely to veto a legally binding resolution on the issue.
As Juan Cole says the veto threat was not because the US did not agree with the views of the other 14. It did. But it did not want to give the UN resolution any legal standing to take action against Israel for violating international law. He points to the blatant hypocrisy of the US when one compares this pusillanimity with its aggressiveness with respect to Iran.
The bankruptcy of the US position on this matter is obvious if we consider that Washington has vigorously pressed the UNSC for sanctions on Iran, and has imposed its own draconian sanctions and financial blockade, even though it is not proved that Iran is actually in violation of international law. Iranian children are being deprived of medicine by the US vindictiveness and manipulation of the UN, but the Israeli officials all seem to be overweight from eating too well off the profits they make from exploiting the Palestinians’ resources, and Washington runs interference for their criminal activities.
When it comes to Iran, even the smallest thing is blown up by the compliant western media to make it seem like a huge threat, as was the recent alarmist report by the Associated Press about ‘evidence’ that Iran was working on a nuclear bomb that was immediately debunked by knowledgeable scientists.
Stephen R. Walt says that Iran can justifiably claim that a double standard is being applied to them.
They will ask why India and Pakistan can have nuclear weapons but Iran cannot. They will point out that other Non-Proliferation Treaty signatories are permitted to have enrichment capabilities but Iran is barred. They will remind the world and their fellow citizens that Japan has vast quantities of plutonium and is probably only a few months from a bomb if it ever wanted one, while Iran is treated as an international leper. And they will surely wonder why Israel gets U.S. protection and unconditional aid even though it is not signed the NPT and has a large nuclear weapons arsenal of its own.
As far as the media is concerned, Walt says that when it comes to analysis, they have the usual pro-Israel suspects providing commentary which is why the American public is so woefully ignorant about what exactly is going on in that part of the world. Walt helpfully provides them with a list of experts they could consult on the Middle East if they wanted a more balanced approach.
But that assumes that the major US media are willing to defy the Israel lobby and that is doubtful.