Tuesday, August 4, 2009

As Israel Dispossesses West Bank Arabs, AIPAC Slams Obama

Rev. Gary Burge at the Electronic Intifada posts a compelling eye-witness account of how the Israeli government continues to strangle Arab villages (demolished houses, dilapidated schools, non-functioning water and sewage) in the West Bank while neighboring Jewish settlements are provided with all the amenities of a US gated community. Meanwhile, a new Israeli poll reveals that 77 percent of Russian immigrants to Israel favor pressuring Israel's Arabs to leave the country. (h/t Mondoweiss).

Meanwhile, both the US and Sweden have summoned their respective Israeli ambassadors for a dressing-down over Israel's eviction of Arab families from East Jerusalem. The Israelis have retaliated against Obama via AIPAC, the Anti-Defamation League, and the Zionist Organization of America, all of which today blasted the president for his decision to award former president of Ireland Mary Robinson with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Israel is angry because Ms. Robinson, as chair of the UN's Human Rights Commission, was highly critical of Israeli policies towards Palestinian Arabs. (see cogent comments from Mondoweiss and M. J. Rosenberg of the Israel Policy Forum).

(Oh, by the way, the other recipients this year: US civil rights leader Joseph Lowery, South African civil rights leader Desmond Tutu (who likewise is not beloved of the Israel lobby), and slain San Francisco mayor Harvey Milk.)

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