Friday, March 26, 2021

  • Friday, March 26, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon

We can learn a lot about the Biden administration position in Palestinian issue from what US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield said at the UN Security Council yesterday.

From the UN summary:

The representative of the United States, Council President for March, spoke in her national capacity, expressing Washington, D.C.’s, support for Israel.  The Biden Administration stands by Israel, particularly when that country was singled out.  Each month the Security Council meets to discuss this issue, but there are other issues of threats to international peace and security that deserve the organ’s attention.  Warning against anti-Semitic rhetoric, she said her delegation will vigorously oppose one-sided arguments.  Her country is also committed to finding a mutually agreed two-State solution to the conflict, with Israelis living in safety and security and Palestinians establishing a viable, independent State.  Both sides should take concrete steps towards the two-State formula and avoid unilateral actions, including settlement, demolition, violence and incitement.  The United States is taking steps to reopen diplomatic channels that were halted during the country’s previous administration.  On economic and humanitarian assistance, she said Israel’s vaccination of Palestinian workers is encouraging, urging it to continue such cooperation, announcing her country’s contribution of $15 million in humanitarian aid to the West Bank and Gaza.  “This aid is one piece of our renewed commitment to the Palestinian people,” she said.
The Jerusalem Post has some direct quotes and details. The humanitarian aid will come through USAID to Catholic Relief Services and other NGOs.

The US would “take steps to re-open diplomatic channels of communication that were halted during the last administration,” Thomas-Greenfield said.
Any “progress toward peace must be based on active consultations with both sides.”
Thomas-Greenfield called on both Israel and the PA to refrain from unilateral action, including settlement activity and IDF demolitions of Palestinian structures. She also spoke against the PA policy of providing monthly financial stipends to terrorists jailed by Israel as well as to their families.
“We call for an end to all acts of violence, including acts of terrorism, as well as incitement to violence and acts of provocation and destruction,” Thomas-Greenfield said.
In her brief speech Thomas-Greenfield said that her country would stand by Israel, “especially when it is unfairly singled out by one-sided resolutions and actions in international bodies.”
To often, she said, criticism of Israel “veers dangerously into antisemitism. Antisemitism, as with all forms of hate, works directly against the cause of peace,” Thomas-Greenfield said.
The good:
- She essentially said that the UN's focus on Israel is effectively antisemitic. This is an important message when the anti-Israel nations and groups insist that their hate has nothing to do with antisemitism.
- She called out Pay for Slay.

The interesting:
- USAID has generally been good in ensuring that its aid is audited and cannot go towards terrorism. The aid is not being paid to the Palestinian Authority. I have no problem with USAID support for needy Palestinians in line with what the organization does worldwide.

The not-so-good:
- The US push for a Palestinian state has traditionally come at the expense of Israel's security. The one viable plan that does not is Trump's Peace to Prosperity plan, but the US seems to have dropped that and gone back to the failed Oslo formula.
- Practically all "settlement" activity is in existing blocs that would become part of Israel in any theoretical peace plan. Lumping all of them together means that the US doesn't want any natural growth in existing settlements, which is the kind of unrealistic expectation that the Trump administration jettisoned. 
- The idea that some areas of the world are off limits to Jews is abhorrent.


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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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