[Marxism] Is Israel already reaping rewards from Iran deal at Palestinian expense?

Michael Karadjis mkaradjis at gmail.com
Tue Dec 3 23:10:25 MST 2013

Is Israel already reaping rewards from Iran deal at Palestinian expense?

Submitted by Ali Abunimah on Tue, 12/03/2013 - 15:36
At last month's Palestine Center conference, both Osamah Khalil and I 
warned against any euphoria that escalating US-Israeli tensions over the 
interim nuclear deal with Iran would lead the US to shift toward a less 
anti-Palestinian policy on the "peace process" front.

Rather, we predicted, the US would move to appease Israeli anger with 
concessions at the expense of the Palestinians. It now appears this is 
already coming to pass.

Yesterday, US ambassador to the UN Samantha Power celebrated a 
US-supported decision to admit Israel into the Western European and 
Others Group (WEOG) at the UN in Geneva from 1 January.

This, she said in a statement, provides "Israel membership into one of 
the regional bodies that shape policy and determine leadership posts in 
UN fora."

"As President Obama has made clear, the United States opposes effort to 
undermine Israel's legitimacy as a full and equal member of the 
community of nations, and will continue to work vigorously to end 
structural discrimination against Israel throughout the UN system."

The decision came on a day when Israeli occupation forces demolished the 
homes of 50 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank's Jordan Valley - 
part of an escalating campaign of Israeli destruction and land theft 
recently condemned by Human Rights Watch.

Key forum
The UN in Geneva is the headquarters of the United Nations Human Rights 
Council, which is the forum whose efforts to hold Israel accountable for 
various crimes have been constantly frustrated by the US and other 
sponsors of Israel.

Israel has not become a member of the Human Rights Council itself, but 
as a member of WEOG it is now eligible to be a candidate and to 
participate in various negotiations and decisions, among other benefits.

Such influence could be key to Israel's fight against Palestinian 

The UN Human Rights Council commissioned the Goldstone report into the 
2008-2009 Gaza massacre which Power's predecessor, Ambassador Susan 
Rice, proudly helped bury and block.

It also commissioned an investigation into Israel's 2010 attack on the 
Mavi Marmara in international waters, killing nine persons.

Earlier this year, in collusion with the Palestinian Authority, European 
countries helped block action in the Human Rights Council that could 
have led to sanctions against Israel for its relentless theft and 
colonization of occupied Palestinian land.

The American Jewish Committee (AJC), a major pro-Israel lobby group, 
welcomed the decision and claimed that its lobbying efforts had been 

"AJC conducted a multi-year campaign to secure that result, engaging in 
scores of private meetings with the leaders of WEOG member states, as it 
has in the more recent effort focused on Geneva," the group said in a 
press release.

Is accountability now "anti-Semitism"?
US Secretary of State John Kerry also welcomed Israel's inclusion in 

"It goes without saying that at a time when the scourge of global 
anti-Semitism is on the rise, it is more important than ever for Israel 
to have a strong voice that can be heard everywhere," Kerry said.

"This is a particularly welcome development as we work to end 
anti-Israel bias in the UN system."

Kerry's tying of Israel's inclusion in WEOG to alleged "anti-Semitism" 
would seem to be an implicit suggestion that efforts to hold Israel 
accountable, end its impunity and obtain a measure of justice for its 
victims, are driven by bias.

Singling out Israel?
Israel and its apologists often complain that Israel is "singled out" 
for ill-treatment at the UN. This is obviously false. While dozens of 
other countries have faced sanctions, Israel has never faced any 
concrete consequences despite its refusal to comply with dozens of UN 

Indeed it is Israel's objection to lifting sanctions on Iran that is at 
the root of its dispute with the US.

In fact, Israel is rewarded for its defiance. On 30 November, JTA 
reported that "The European states had agreed to welcome Israel into 
their midst [in WEOG] in exchange for the Jewish state's return to the 
council and its participation in its Universal Periodic Human Rights 
Review process."

But participation in the council's periodic human rights reviews is 
obligatory. Israel - with American and European support - managed to 
extract a reward merely for doing what every other country already does.

Strengthening impunity
While US officials celebrate a diplomatic development that can only 
bolster Israel's impunity, Israel prepares to carry out a new atrocity 
in addition to all its other ongoing abuses which the UN has failed to 
check for decades.

On 1 December, thousands protested the Prawer Plan, Israel's racist 
scheme to ethnically cleanse tens of thousands of Palestinian Bedouins, 
steal their land, and replace them with Jews.

Israel reacted to the protests with its habitual brutality. Kerry and 
Power are too busy congratulating Israel and themselves to say a word 
about that.

Samantha Power, in her Twitter profile, describes herself as a "human 
rights defender."

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