Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Hillary Clinton speaks out about Israel's demolition of Arab houses

The Guardian tends to employ stronger verbs (like "condemns") than do the US mainstream media when it comes to criticizing Israel,

Hillary Clinton condemns Israel's demolition of Arab East Jerusalem homes | World news |

but Hillary Clinton's statements about Israel's barbarous practice of demolishing Palestinian Arabs' houses on flimsy legal pretexts are indeed stronger than anything we've heard over the past 8 years from any State Department official - including either Condi Rice or Colin Powell - and they are likely to draw some fire from the AIPAC crowd, the Israel-firsters in Congress, Rush Limbaugh, and dozens of literalist-fundamentalist rabbis and Sunday preachers all over the US.

Bear in mind, by the way, that we are at about the sixth anniversary of the killing of Rachel Corrie, the young American who was run over and killed by an IDF bulldozer in Rafah while she tried to stand in the way to prevent the demolition of a house. The entire act was recorded on camera, but the operator incurred no serious prosecution; our brave leaders in Congress refused to criticize the action or censure Israel in any fashion; and in the years to follow, attempts to dramatize and remember her life in theatrical productions in New York city were vilified and closed down. Her parents have worked tirelessly to keep her case in the public eye and to have our government pursue some appropriate legal or diplomatic action, but have for all intents and purposes been cold-shouldered.

Back to Hillary. She's set a very different tone in US-Israel relations from that of her predecessor, in some ways, and it's also encouraging that she's reaching out to Syria. But the Obama people continue to waste valuable time by (1) refusing to deal with Hamas as a legitimate political representative of the Palestinians, and (2) continuing to try to bolster PA president Mahmoud Abbas. The Guardian runs a warm and fuzzy photo of him with Hillary today. For the last two and a half years, the US tried to inflate some credibility into him (like a patched-up bicycle tire) by having him appear in countless photo opps with Ehud Olmert, Condi Rice and even W himself. Yet all the picture-taking, phony shmoozing, and pointless talking got Mr. Abbas absolutely zilch in terms of justice for his people from the Israeli government. And the Palestinian people know that, and see him for the laughing stock he's become.

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