Thursday, May 15, 2014

"Things Fall Apart" - The Al-Aqsa Intifada - CPT - III

This is another passage from the book "In Harm's Way: A History of Christian Peacemaker Teams".

Issues Arising from West Bank Work
Culpability of the United States in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

   The predominant grievance the Arab/Muslim world holds against the United States is its default and overt support of Israel. Although the U.S. State Department has given lip service to the principle that settlement expansion is detrimental to peace, the government has continued to send massive amounts of aid to Israel that have enabled it to continue building settlements and confiscating land.
   Jeff Halper, the director of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, has said that the U.S. Congress is the institution most responsible for keeping the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza in place. U.S. presidents and the U.S. State Department have understood that Israeli settlements are the primary obstacle to peace in the region. More than half of the Israeli electorate thinks that Israel should get out of the West Bank and Gaza. However, the political power of the right-wing partisans of Israel is enormous. Congressional representatives who have dared to criticize Israel for its abuses of human rights or ask that it abide by United Nations resolutions and pull out of the Occupied Territories have lost their seats due to the power of the Israeli lobby.
  Hebron team members have watched the American participation in the 1995 Oslo II accords, the 1997 Hebron Protocol, the 1998 Wye River Memorandum, the 1999 Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum, the 2000 Camp David II negotiations, the 2001 Taba talks and Mitchell Report, and the 2003 "Roadmap to Peace" proposed by the "Quartet" of the European Union, Russia, U.S., and United Nations. None of these negotiations really addressed Israel's determination to hold on to settlements in the West Bank.
  Likewise, when Arabs see U.S.-built Apache and Blackhawk helicopters killing Palestinian civilians and U.S.-built Caterpillar bulldozers demolishing Palestinian homes, U.S. advocacy for "peace" negotiations rings hollow.

(Pages 206 and 207)

No comments: