News Release

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: * U.S. Veto and Election * One State? * On the Ground in Gaza


A fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, Bennis is author of the book Before and After: U.S. Foreign Policy and the September 11th Crisis as well as the article “Veto” about the U.S. government’s repeated use of its veto of U.N. Security Council resolutions critical of Israel. She said today: “The U.S. veto yesterday is only the latest example of a long history of U.S. protection of Israel’s occupation and Israeli violations of international law and UN resolutions. During the vice-presidential debate, it was clear that both Cheney and Edwards, and their respective parties, are trying to out-do each other in embracing Sharon’s expansionist goals. While Israel has the right to protect its own civilian population on its own territory, it does not have the right to impose collective punishment on the entire Palestinian people. As the occupying power in an illegal occupation, Israel has the obligation to protect the Palestinian civilian population — and sending Israeli forces into Palestinian territory to kill Palestinians, including many children, demolishing houses, imposing curfews and closures on whole towns, cities and refugee camps, is completely illegal. The U.S. should pressure Israel to stop the attacks and to end the occupation. But instead the U.S. remains complicit in Israel’s violations — not only by extending diplomatic protection to Israel through use of its Security Council veto, but also by providing Israel with the Apache helicopter gun-ships, the Hellfire missiles, the armored Caterpillar bulldozers Israel uses against Palestinians in the occupied territories. Paid for with the billions of dollars in U.S. economic and military aid to Israel, sending those weapons violates the U.S. Arms Export Control Act.”
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In a New York Times oped on Monday, PLO legal adviser Michael Tarazi proposed solving the deadlocked Palestinian-Israeli conflict through “a one-state solution in which citizens of all faiths and ethnicities live together as equals.”
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Author of the book The Obstruction of Peace, Aruri is chancellor professor emeritus of political science at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth. He said today: “Washington has never predicted, nor even contemplated that its own policies, subsumed under the misleading title ‘peace process,’ might someday prove to have been a contributory agent to a single state in [the area of] pre-1948 Palestine. U.S. accommodation of Israeli settlement policies and creeping annexation over several decades has created facts and conditions that could initially make a bi-national, multi-ethnic state (leading hopefully to a secular democracy) the only viable resolution, should apartheid and ethnic cleansing be deemed unacceptable options in the 21st century.”

Aruri added: “The derailment of the two-state solution was accomplished through the accumulated effect of fruitless diplomatic efforts carried out by numerous U.S. presidents from Nixon to Clinton and Bush II. Between the signing of Oslo in 1993 and the present, the two strategic allies, Israel and the U.S., succeeded in creating their own rules of diplomatic engagement, which removed the Palestinians from the negotiating table and transformed the ‘honest broker’ to co-belligerent. Similarly, they created their own jurisprudence for an Israeli-Palestinian deal, which arbitrarily bestowed the West Bank on Israel, leaving Bush’s vision of a sovereign, contiguous Palestinian state a mere rhetorical exercise, a fact that has been confirmed by Sharon’s senior adviser, Dov Weisglass, in today’s Ha’aretz.”
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Hani Abu Nahla works with the Palestinian Center for Human Rights in Gaza. He lives in Rafah. The Center has recently issued the statement “Israeli Occupying Troops Expand Their Offensive on the Northern Gaza Strip: Excessive and Disproportionate Use of Force Resulted in 60 Palestinian Deaths and at Least 280 Injuries” and a report entitled “Four Years of Israeli Aggression on the Occupied Palestinian Territories.” Both are available at the above web page.
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167