by Nadene Goldfoot
Unlike past presidents, Obama is demanding tht Israel prevent its citizens from building onto their homes and communities in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria which is something we all do at one time or another to our own homes in the states. Sometimes there is a need for an additional rumpus room or bedroom when we can't afford to buy another home. We try to improve on what we have.
Obama goes along with Arab philosophy by calling "settlements" illigitimate. Joining him in this chorus are Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the Middle East envoy of Obama, George Mitchell, who never liked Israel to begin with from what I've noted in the past.
Obama says that Israel "has obligations under the road map." Let's look at that map.
Israel has never taken a legal obligation to ban such building. Israel never signed an agreement that describes any Jewish community as "illegal." Ariel Sharon's chief of staff Dov Weisglass and Bush's deputy adviser Elliott Abrams both stated that Sharon's decision to curtail Jewish building in Judea and Samaria was based on explicit understandings with Bush's administration describing Jewish building that they would maintain for the duration of the peace process. There were agreements and the prime minister of Israel relied on them.." The road map was approved as a cabinet decision-not an international agreement. The Netanyahu government is under no legality to follow it. It can even abrogate Israel's accepting the document by calling for another vote. The road map lacks the seal of international law. It was not adopted as an internationally binding document under Chapter Vii of the UN charter. Israel has no international legal obligation to end Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria or Jerusalem.
Israel is on board for the 1976 International Convention for Civil and Political Rights, which prohibits all forms of discrimination against people on the basis of religion and nationality. The USA signed that one, too. According to that, Israel would be most discriminating if it followed the dictates of Obama, so by international law would not even be able to push such a law that is against the law. The road map is calling for a breach of international law!
What bothers me is that here we have a group of people who will not accept Israel's state of being and will not recognize Israel, and yet so many are on board to punish Israel and reward the bullies. What kind of world is this? Here we also have Iran, who has threatened Israel repeatedly with death and destruction, doing this to their own people and yet our administration has been reticent about saying anything to upset their regime. I note that they are not shy about demanding something from Israel that is completely wrong and unfair and only serves to reward the people who want to see the demise of Israel. All I can say on retrospect is that our Democrats certainly have changed course in mid-stream. I seem to remember a lot of promises pouring out of Clinton and Obama when pleading for votes. Of course, I never believed a word. Politicians. They're becoming more and more like snake-oil salesmen.