The US as enabler of Israel and punisher of Iran

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.


  1. machintelligence says

    I am a bit puzzled by this. Why not pass the resolution and let the US veto it. This would leave the US ambassador with some explaining to do, and possibly with some egg on the face, which would not be a bad thing.

  2. says

    Why not pass the resolution and let the US veto it

    That would entail the UN actually having a spine – something it was carefully constructed to be incapable of forming.

  3. Jumwa says

    I know it’s popular to rail on the UN, and I’m as outraged as most people over the US blocking any attempts to see justice for the Palestinians. However, as outrageous and unjust as it is, it was setup this way because it’s basically the only realistic way the UN could have operated.

    If the great powers could be thwarted so directly through the UN, then they’d simply leave and ignore it, and the institution would lose all ability to influence anything.

    The UN operates effectively then as an organ for powerful states to control the behaviour of weaker states while themselves being immune thanks to the veto. The flipside of that is that smaller states do get a voice and some influence they don’t have otherwise. I mean, why else was it such a victory for Palestine to merely get recognized by the UN, not as a member, but simply as a state at all?

    It’s not a pretty system, we can do better, but it was born out of pragmatism and our crappy, unjust world. It at least makes things mildly better in some ways.

  4. priscilla parker says

    Great post and thanks for linking to the article about resources for people to read. One of the problems that I have noticed (and again this is just one) is available resources. If the average person in the US wants to read up on this and they.go to a local bookstore (say B&N) they see booms by Alan Dersgowitz and who are not only ardent supporters of the state of Israel. Even if they are exposed to individuals opposed to the state their criticism of Israel’s terrorist activities is.overshadowed by the media and academical in the US. Loom what Dershowitz did to Norm Finkelstein. How many people ate familiar with what Israel did to one of their own scientists that worked the Negev Nuclear Facility and ended up exposing Israel for what it was doing (Mordecai Venunu.) I think the good thing about what the UNSC did was that it exposed the US and its refusal to condemn terrorism if it’s in their best interest not to do so. But just as you pointed out it’s not likely the media will address this. They’re more interested in writing about fiscal cliffs or even how atheists are being persecuted (vomits in own mouth.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *