Friday, November 13, 2009

Aid, Settlements, and the Obama Administration

Time columnist Joe Klein, writing at the Swampland blog, calls for a freeze of aid to Israel:
"The Obama Administration may have to be a bit less "grandiose" in dealing with Netanyahu's irredentist government. It should start by putting a hold on all economic and military aid to Israel; the aid should not be discontinued, just held, for a nice long review until the Netanyahu government comes to understand that Jerusalem must be the capital of both Israel and Palestine, and that if you actually want peace, you don't build illegal settlement colonies in the Palestinian capital."
Meanwhile, Ha'aretz is reporting that U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William J. Burns that the Obama Administration does not consider a partial settlement freeze to be enough, despite recent statements by Secretary of State Clinton that such a move would be an "unprecedented" step. Click here to read the full article. Last week, US Campaign Steering Committee member Phyllis Bennis spoke to Radio Islam in Chicago on the topic of Secretary of State Clinton's recent remarks and other developments in U.S. policy and discourse to Israel/Palestine. Click here to listen to the program, which begins around 28:30. Will the Obama Administration tie military aid to Israel with a settlement freeze? Will it hold Israel accountable to violations of Palestinian human rights committed with U.S.-provided weapons? Certainly not without a lot of work on our part! Click here to sign up as a Congressional District Coordinator and to organize in your community against military aid to Israel. And click here to find out other actions you can take to work against settler violence and settlement expansion.