The New Observer Uncategorized US double-speak on the Palestine-Israeli conflict

US double-speak on the Palestine-Israeli conflict

I don’t generally comment on politics. I tend to prefer to critique the media. But this one stands out for me. The clip is from a UK based media outlet called ‘Middle East Eye’, which seems to be sympathetic to the Palestinian cause.

The State Department spokesman’s argument is that we should not dwell on the grievances of the past. We should look to the future. His second argument is that Hamas is preventing a peace settlement with their violence.

The first argument is bankrupt and hypocritical. Only this week Israel has announced thousands more homes in the West Bank. This is in contravention of international law. All the signs are that the future will be like the past. Israel will continue to expand in the West Bank at the expense of the Palestinians. And the US will continue to say; let’s not look at the past. Let’s look at the future. This game has been going on for decades. It is absurd.

The second distortion here is that the spokesman focusses only on the violence of Hamas. Undoubtedly Hamas is committed to violence as a means of achieving their political goals. Hamas does not recognize the State of Israel. If we are talking about a two-state solution, these are major obstacles. But this is only half the picture. All of the following are instances of violence as well: Israeli settlement expansion in the West Bank; rogue settlers terrorising Palestinian communities; [1] the blockade of Gaza (which was brought in in 2007 after Hamas won the election in Gaza) [2], the relentless killing of children in the West Bank by the Israeli army and settlers [3]; the routine oppression of Palestinians in the West Bank, checkpoints, administrative detentions (detention without trial) [4] and so on. If the US was sincere they would of course balance their criticism of Hamas’s violence with criticism of Israel’s. But they won’t. Because, for some reason, the US Administration is absolutely tied to Israel. No matter what they do.