>> Login Sostenitori :              | 

RSS 2.0
TUTTI |0-9 |A |B |C |D |E |F |G |H |I |J |K |L |M |N |O |P |Q |R |S |T |U |V |W |X |Y |Z

Archivio Articoli Copia di Worldwide

Israel's choke-hold in America loosens
  Text size
One of the important, even historic, changes taking place in the United States these days is the slow but steady erosion of the once absolute taboo to speak about the excessive influence of pro-Israeli groups in the United States. Pro-Israeli forces in politics and the mass media can still destroy a public career, especially for a politician, but the stranglehold on discussing this phenomenon is slowly loosening.

I witnessed one example of this earlier this week when I participated in the second annual symposium on Gaza, jointly organized by and hosted at two outstanding universities, Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Equally noteworthy was that it was sponsored by mainstream units at the universities, including MIT's Center for International Studies and the Program on Human Rights and Justice, and Harvard's Middle East Initiative at the Kennedy School, the Center for Middle East Studies, and the Human Rights Program at the Harvard Law School.

A respected member of Congress who had recently visited Gaza, Brian Baird from Washington State, made the opening comments, which were strongly critical of Israeli actions in Gaza - especially the excessive and disproportionate use of force - and of the American position supporting Israel.

Most of the speakers criticized Israel and supported Palestinian rights, pointing out the importance of the "resistance" of the Palestinians in Gaza who refused to be removed from history or from their land by the force of Israeli settler-colonialist violence. Boston University Political Science professor Irene Grendzier suggested that two phenomena have defined events in the Middle East in recent years - the problem of weapons of mass destruction, but also the problem of "weapons of mass deception" in the United States public arena.

The deliberate deception of the American people about realities on the ground in Israel and Palestine was one reason the US government and public could take a position of "overwhelming silence" on the recent Israeli assault on Gaza, and its continuing strangulation of that society.

"The deception is breaking down slowly, however" she said, because of the availability of alternative sources of news available to anyone who sought it out on the internet or non-American television services. This meant that "we are witnessing the public beheading of Israeli myths on events in Palestine."

Other speakers - Arabs, Americans, Israelis, Europeans - made similar points that emphasized how the gravity and often the criminality of Israeli actions in Gaza were at once facilitated and exacerbated by American and other foreign policies. Oxford University lecturer Karma Nabulsi said that a consistent aim of American-Israeli policies was to deny the Palestinians the right to represent themselves, and then also to deny them the right to resist when faced with occupation and assault.

One of the new dangers represented by Israeli policies, according to University of California Hastings College of Law George Bisharat, is the "brutalization of international law that may long outlive the events of Gaza."

For example, Israel has sought to sideline the pertinence of established International Humanitarian Law that governs the responsibilities of an occupying power, and instead seeks to define its encounters with Palestinian civilians in terms of the rules governing the law of armed conflict, i.e., it can shoot to kill at will, if it views all Palestinians as enemy combatants. Israel also tries to convince the world that it no longer occupies Gaza, while in fact it now "operates remote but effective control of Gaza," by controlling all borders, waters and air space, and reserving the right to enter or attack Gaza at will - which is considered an occupation in international law that is based on the principle of "effective control."

He touched on a theme that recurred often at the symposium, and that dominates most discussions on the US and the Middle East: What will the Obama administration do in the face of continuing Israeli excesses, such as expansion of settlements? Bisharat thought that Obama's de-emphasis of George W. Bush's "global war on terror" and the desire to recover American credibility around the world might spur Washington to refocus on the rule of law as a guiding global principle for the conduct of all states - without making an exception for Israel.

While most of these positions are not new, it is a sign of change that such views can be expressed in a public symposium at two of the leading American universities. It means that Israel's excessive actions against Palestinians can be discussed more openly, and rebuked if necessary. This is noteworthy but not decisive, though, until it touches on the conduct of Congress and the White House.

The early signs are clear nevertheless. The strict taboos that pro-Israeli zealots and political thugs imposed on the American public are slowly cracking, which can only be in the long-term best interest of the US, Israel and the entire Middle East.

by Rami G. Khouri

Source >
  The Daily Star | Apr 01

Home  >  Worldwide                                                                                        Back to top


Libreria Ritorno al Reale

La libreria on-line di EFFEDIEFFE: una selezione di oltre 1300 testi, molti introvabili, in linea con lo spirito editoriale che ci contraddistingue.

Servizi online EFFEDIEFFE.com

Archivio EFFEDIEFFE : Cerca nell'archivio
EFFEDIEFFE tutti i nostri articoli dal
2004 in poi.

Lettere alla redazione : Scrivi a

Iscriviti alla Newsletter : Resta
aggiornato con gli eventi e le novita'
editorali EFFEDIEFFE

Chi Siamo : Per conoscere la nostra missione, la fede e gli ideali che animano il nostro lavoro.

Redazione : Conoscete tutti i collaboratori EFFEDIEFFE.com

Contatta EFFEDIEFFE : Come
raggiungerci e come contattarci
per telefono e email.

RSS : Rimani aggiornato con i nostri Web feeds

effedieffe Il sito www.effedieffe.com.non è un "prodotto editoriale diffuso al pubblico con periodicità regolare e contraddistinto da una testata", come richiede la legge numero 62 del 7 marzo 2001. Gli aggiornamenti vengono effettuati senza alcuna scadenza fissa e/o periodicità