Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Obama Admin. Catalogues Effort to Protect Israeli Occupation/Apartheid at UN

It will come as no surprise to readers of this blog that the Obama Administration has repeatedly taken decisive measures in the United Nations to protect Israeli occupation and apartheid toward the Palestinians and to prevent the international community from holding Israel accountable for its numerous violations of human rights and international law.

We've seen this over and over again.  From undermining UN fact-finding missions on "Operation Cast Lead" and the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, to vetoing a mild condemnatory resolution in the Security Council about Israel's illegal settlements, to scotching Palestine's UN membership bid, the Obama Administration has doggedly worked to prevent the UN from protecting or advancing Palestinian human rights.

For anyone who doubts this to be the case or was perhaps unaware of this, the Obama Administration has now usefully encapsulated its myriad efforts to protect Israeli occupation and apartheid in the UN.

On April 24, Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs Esther Brimmer--a key player in the Obama Administration's effort to protect Israeli occupation and apartheid in the UN--delivered a speech to the American Jewish Community of Greater Miami and Broward in which she enumerated all of the ways in which the Obama Administration shields Israel from accountability in the UN.

According to Brimmer, "We have opposed unbalanced, one-sided resolutions, at the UN General Assembly, the Security Council, UNESCO, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN Human Rights Council and elsewhere."

Brimmer rightfully notes that "Over the past several months, we have engaged in a global diplomatic marathon to oppose the Palestinian membership bid in New York and elsewhere in the UN system."

Not for the first time does Brimmer equate Palestinian efforts to secure their long-denied human and national rights through the UN as undermining Israel.  In her zero-sum mentality, "we vehemently reject [these] attempts to de-legitimize the State of Israel."

For an Administration that came to office supposedly rejecting the us versus them foreign policy dichotomy of its predecessor, it is distressing to see the Obama Administration adopt this same type of rhetoric when it comes to its approach toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: any advance in Palestinian rights is a diminution of Israel's legitimacy. Is the Obama Administration also then willing to argue the converse?  Namely, that Israel's "legitimacy" can only be predicated on the continual denial of Palestinian rights.  That seems a bit illogical.

Well, even if Brimmer failed to clarify how advancing Palestinian rights "delegitimizes Israel," at least she put in one succinct place all of the Obama Administration's efforts to protect Israeli occupation and apartheid.