Friday, April 16, 2010

Nadia Hijab: "Make the costs of occupation clear"

US Campaign Advisory Board member Nadia Hijab writes at Agence Global that the Obama Administration's best way forward is to clarify its position on international law and settlements and to make the costs of violating that position clear:
"For starters, Obama could dust off that 1979 State Department ruling that Israeli settlements are “inconsistent with international law.” Never revoked, it peeps through the verbiage every now and then. Now it needs to be rearticulated forcefully. Further, the Administration should begin public investigations of how much of its own aid -- and that of U.S. non-profits -- supports settlement activity, with a view to stemming that flow. This will send the clearest message yet to the Israeli government -- and to the settlers -- to stop settlements and begin to pull back. Buying property there will become unattractive while supporting settlements would be a risky enterprise for law-abiding Americans. Concurrently, the Obama administration should continue the steady if unglamorous task of pushing for a final and comprehensive agreement, albeit at a much, much faster pace and backed by clear costs for Israel for not ending its occupation. And it should call on Europe -- Israel’s largest trading partner -- to help make the costs of occupation clear. This will lessen the heat on the Administration and present Israel with a determined united front that says: Yes, to security for the citizens of Israel, No to occupation, injustice, and inequality."