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News, December 2016
Obama Allows UNSC to Criticize Israeli Theft of Palestinian Lands But Gives Israel $38 Billion to Continue the Theft!
By Hassan El-Najjar
December 24, 2016
During the last few months of the Obama administration, the Israeli occupation government was given $38 billion in military and economic assistance to allow it to maintain its occupation of the Palestinian territories indefinitely, and to maintain its hegemonic status in the entire Middle Eastern region.
On December 23, 2016, the Obama administration allowed the UN Security Council to pass a resolution criticizing Israeli theft of the Palestinian lands, known as illegal settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories.
So, on the one hand the US and other world powers provide the Israeli occupation apartheid regime with all military and economic aid it needs to maintain its subjugation of the Palestinian people and the usurpation of their lands. On the other hand, a lip service is allowed to criticize the illegal Israeli settlement activities!
If the Obama administration was really against the Israeli illegal settlement activities, it could have stopped the annual flow of billions of dollars to the apartheid Israeli regime in military and economic aid.
Most likely, Zionists may force the UNSC to rescind its anti-Israeli settlement resolution, during the coming Trump administration, as the did before to a UNGA resolution, which equated Zionism with racism.
On November 10, 1975, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution equating Zionism with racism. On December 16, 1991, the Bush administration forced the UN General Assembly to rescind its resolution, for the first time in its history.
Zionists have been capable to do so because of their control over the legislative and executive branches of the US government, partly through their control over the media and the campaign financing of the presidential and congressional elections.
Netanyahu refuses to abide by the UNSC anti-settlement resolution
December 24, 2016
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)
Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu has condemned the UN Security Council resolution on settlement construction in the occupied Palestinian territories, expressing no intention of abiding by its terms.
“Israel rejects the contemptible anti-Israel UN resolution and will not subordinate itself to it,” a statement released late Friday by Netanyahu’s office said.
Netanyahu defended the settlement expansion in Jerusalem and the West Bank by claiming that “the Security Council does nothing to stop the slaughter of half a million people in Syria.”
He also described his apartheid and racist regime as “the one true democracy in the Middle East.”
The premier launched a scathing attack on outgoing US president Barack Obama for not using the veto power against the resolution.
"The Obama administration not only failed to protect Israel against this gang-up at the UN, it colluded with it behind the scenes," he said.
"Israel looks forward to working with president-elect Trump and with all our friends in Congress, Republicans and Democrats alike, to negate the harmful effects of this absurd resolution," he added.
Defying pressure from right-winger Trump and furious lobbying by Israel, the Obama administration refused to use its veto power on Friday and allowed the UN Security Council to adopt a resolution that condemned Israeli settlement construction.
The administration’s decision not to veto the measure reflected its accumulated frustration over Israel’s persistence in expanding settlements.
Its vote abstention also broke a longstanding policy of shielding Israel from action at the UN that described the settlements as illegal.
UN Security Council votes against the Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories
NEW YORK, (PIC)
The UN Security Council has voted in favor of a resolution demanding an immediate halt to Israel’s settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories with the US remarkably abstaining.
The resolution was put forward at the 15-member council for a vote on Friday, December 23, 2016, by New Zealand, Malaysia, Venezuela and Senegal one day after Egypt delayed it and then withdrew it under pressure from Israel and US president-elect Donald Trump.
The US ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, raised her hand to abstain in the chamber when the resolution was put to a vote.
The resolution was adopted with 14 votes in favor and there was enthusiastic applause in the chamber following the vote.
The Israeli occupation apartheid government premier, Benjamin Netanyahu, and Trump had called on the outgoing US administration to veto the measure.
"This is a day of victory for international law, a victory for civilized language and negotiation and a total rejection of extremist forces in Israel," chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat told Reuters news agency yesterday.
"The international community has told the people of Israel that the way to security and peace is not going to be done through occupation ... but rather through peace, ending the occupation and establishing a Palestinian state to live side by side with the state of Israel on the 1967 borderline," Erekat said.
For his part, US secretary of state John Kerry said in a statement following the vote that "the United States acted with one primary objective in mind, to preserve the possibility of the two-state solution, which every US administration for decades has agreed is the only way to achieve a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians."
The resolution angered Netanyahu who threatened to flout it. "Israel rejects this shameful anti-Israel resolution at the UN and will not abide by its terms," a statement from his office said.
As for Trump, he threatened in a tweet: "As to the UN, things will be different after Jan 20th."
The US abstention was the biggest admonition in recent history to Israel, enabling the Security Council to denounce its ongoing settlement construction on Palestinian lands as a "flagrant violation" of the international law.
The resolution said Israel's settlements on Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, including east Jerusalem, have "no legal validity.”
It demanded an immediate halt to "all Israeli settlement activities", affirming this "is essential for salvaging the two-state solution.”
Egyptian president Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi had backtracked on the move to condemn Israel's settlement policy on Thursday after receiving phone calls from Netanyahu and Trump.
Trump is likely to be the staunchest supporter of Israel’s aggressive and colonialist policies in American history. He appointed a hardline pro-Israel ambassador and vowed to move his embassy from Tel Aviv to Occupied Jerusalem.
Israeli settlements are seen as a major stumbling block to peace efforts as they are built on land that has to be part of the Palestinian people’s future state.
The UN maintains that settlements are illegal, and its officials have reported a surge in settlement construction over the past months.
U.S., Israel sign $38 billion military aid package
Netanyahu thanks U.S. for record aid deal
Thu Sep 15, 2016 | 5:22am EDT
By Matt Spetalnick | WASHINGTON
The United States will give Israel $38 billion in military assistance over the next decade, the largest such aid package in U.S. history, under a landmark agreement signed on Wednesday.
The deal, whose details were reported by Reuters earlier, will allow Washington's chief Middle East ally to upgrade most of its fighter aircraft, improve its ground forces' mobility and strengthen its missile defense systems, a senior U.S. official said.
While the package constitutes the most U.S. military aid ever given to any country, it entails concessions by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to officials on both sides.
Those include Israel’s promise not to seek additional funds from Congress beyond what will be guaranteed annually in the new package, and to phase out a special arrangement that has allowed Israel to spend part of its U.S. aid on its own defense industry instead of on American-made weapons, the officials said.
Nearly 10 months of drawn-out aid negotiations underscored continuing friction between President Barack Obama and Netanyahu over last year's U.S.-led nuclear deal with Israel's arch-foe Iran, an accord the Israeli leader opposed. The United States and Israel have also been at odds over the Palestinians.
But the right-wing Netanyahu decided it would be best to forge a new arrangement with Obama, who leaves office in January, rather than hoping for better terms from the next U.S. administration, according to officials on both sides.
A new pact now allows him to avoid uncertainties surrounding the next president, whether Democrat Hillary Clinton or Republican Donald Trump, and to give Israel’s defense establishment the ability to plan ahead.
U.S. President Barack Obama meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval office of the White House in Washington November 9, 2015. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Obama's aides wanted a new deal before his presidency ends, seeing it as an important part of his legacy. Republican critics accuse him of not being attentive enough to Israel's security, which the White House strongly denies, and of taking too hard of a line with the Israeli leader.
The $38 billion memorandum of understanding covers U.S. fiscal years 2019-2028 and succeeds the current $30 billion MOU signed in 2007, which expires at the end of fiscal 2018.
"Prime Minister Netanyahu and I are confident that the new MOU will make a significant contribution to Israel’s security in what remains a dangerous neighborhood," Obama said in a written statement.
The agreement was signed at the State Department by U.S. Undersecretary of State Thomas Shannon and by Jacob Nagel, acting head of Netanyahu’s national security council.
According to a White House "fact sheet," the deal includes:
-annual payments of $3.3 billion in so-called foreign military financing
-$500 million a year for Israeli missile defense funding, the first time this has been formally built into the aid pact.
-A phasing-out of a special arrangement that for decades has allowed Israel to use 26.3 percent of the U.S. aid on its own defense industry instead of on American-made weapons.
-Elimination of a longstanding provision that has allowed Israel to use about 13 percent of the U.S. aid to buy military fuel.
-The funding will allow Israel to update "the lion's share" of its fighter aircraft, including purchasing additional F-35 Joint Strike Fighters. Israel is scheduled to receive 33 F-35 aircraft, the first two of which will be delivered in December.
(Reporting by Matt Spetalnick and Arshad Mohammed; Editing by Susan Heavey and Howard Goller)
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