Proposal: W should also stand up for UN res. on Israel

I don’t have a rabid opinion on this, but I’ll throw this out there:

Bush should show that he’s really serious about the UN not having any teeth with its resolutions by putting great pressure on Israel to withdraw from the occupied territories it still holds, in violation of UN resolutions.

War would not be necessary. Telling Sharon that maybe the American taxpayers would rather save their money would be a start. Oh, and you can’t have any more tanks or military supplies, including spare parts for those F-15s.


Once, when israel wouldn’t negotion with the PLO, the US witheld, (or maybe just threatened to withold), a few billion in loan guarantees. Israel ponied up to the negotiating table forthwith. IIRC it was sec stat James Baker who gets the credit for the deal. I’ve had the same thoughts myself several times.

Definately agree with you Cardinal…

In fact, if the US wanted too it could apply serious pressure on a lot of countries in breach of UN resolutions, without going to war. Of course it chooses not too and is unlikely to begin any time soon.

Slightly off topic but… Does anyone know why historically the US and Israel have had very good relations? Is it the fact that there is a fairly large jewish population (=votes) in the US?

Yes, the US should apply serious pressure to get Israel to comply to the UN resolutions and the 4th Geneva convention. Without US aid the illegal settlments in the occupied territories simply would not be viable as 50% of US economic aid to Israel is spent on supporting the settlements economically (this does not include the vast amount of money spent on defending the settlments).

Mooka, there is no simple answer to your question. There are just under 6 million Jews in the US (according to the Jewish virtual library), which makes it the country with the largest Jewish population in the world (even larger than Israel). In a country of about 250 million people this is not however a very large voting bloc. Some people will tell you that there is an all powerful and shady Jewish lobby (zog), who exert immense pressure on the US government, others will tell you that no such lobby exists. The truth is there is a reasonably powerful Zionist (Zionist and Jewish are not interchangable and the Zionist lobby is not exclusively Jewish) lobby (though nothing like as powerful as the oil, gun, big buisness, tobbacco, etc. lobbies), which lobbies politicians in the traditional manner and promotes their point of view in the US press.

Another factor that is nearly always overlooked by people who like to invoke the zog conspiracy are the dispensationalists. These are right-wing fundamentalist Christians (IIRC numbering about 70 million) who believe that the aliyah (Jewish return to Israel) is part of a biblical propehecy that signals the ‘end times’ (this idea was first formulated in England in the 19th century by the cult-like Plymouth Brethren). They make up a very powerful political force in the US as they will always vote along pro-Israeli lines (most Israelis themselves view these people as nutcases or even as antisemtic, though some US Jewish groups like the ADL have forged alliances with them).

There are of course other reasons for the US’s support of Israel and they were pretty well laid at by David Aaronovitch in his column in the Guardian (I’ve been trying to find an online version of his article, if anyone knows where one is please post it)

i think you should be looking in the Independent.

Do you mean, the US should do this right now, or that it would be a good thing to move toward after other issues work themselves out. I’m frankly a little more concerned with NK suggesting that any sanctions on them will be considered an act of war than if there are disputed territories between what are ostensible democracies.

Just MHO.

I’m thinking of the Syrian UN ambassador making the point that Israel is never called to task for being in violation of UN resolutions. They’ve been doing it for decades. Admittedly, it’s not the type of thing that scares half the world, like the thought of Saddam getting really mad while having WMD, but it’s still along the same lines in principle.

Wouldn’t this take the starch out of these kind of complaints? Wouldn’t W be seen in the Arab world as the US president who finally had the guts to not be “a lacky of the Zionists”?

I think that Israel’s point about still having the occupied territories is that they have some strategic importance for defense, so maybe it would be very reluctant to give them up, but isn’t there a work-around for that somehow?

Saudi Arabia had proposed that in return for recognition of the right of the state of Israel to exist by the other Arab countries, Israel withdraw from the 1967 borders.
I wonder what fell through with that?

What a great idea!!!

I think the first resolution we should focus on maintaining is S/RES/487, the resolution condemning Israel for bombing Iraq’s nuclear reactor. We should immediately demand that Israel make ammends for destroying the reactor by helping Saddam Hussein get his nuclear program back on track.

While we’re at it, I think we should condemn Israel for existing. Oops! It’s already been done.

Yes, a settled peace agreement from both sides and the recognition or a Palistinian and Isreali state by everyone. Wich is what the the US has put tremendous effort into.

Saying that the US should view both situations as the same is preposterous. What resolution suggests “very severe consequences” against Israel’s actions? At least one that the US has supported. And how many resloutions have sanctions against Israel?

The US is not obliged to unilaterally enforce resolutions against Israel with sanctions or the use of force. No more than France is obliged to unilaterally invade Iraq.

And no one has said that the only cause for the US intent towards Iraq is the UN’s credibility. That does not account for the damage it would do to the UN’s credibility if it moved to stop a member from enforcing it’s very specific resloutions.

Neither of these factors would have much significance were it not for the primary reasons most Americans support Israel, which have to do with the unique position of Israel in the Mideast - a democracy which has been a steadfast U.S. ally, and which, despite being massively outnumbered by its enemies, has fought off repeated assaults and created a success for itself. That some Israeli policies have more recently been wrong and self-destructive has not seriously affected that reservoir of goodwill - in fact terrorists acts against the U.S. seem to have drawn the two nations closer together.

That should give mooka a much more accurate picture than the citing of lobbyist boogeymen.

Jack - I take your point, but realistically, how well do you think Israel would have survived without the massive US military aid that it has always(?) had?

And casting lobby/conspiracy theories aside, how much do you really think the US just loves Israel because it’s a “fellow democracy”, and how much do you think it is because Israel is in an extremely convenient geographical position where the US is very happy to have a presence? Similar points could be made about Egypt, admittedly.

I just feel IMO that the amount of aid given to Israel by America has been hugely disproportionate than what would be expected for “just good friends.” I don’t have figures - I am sure you can supply them - but I cannot believe Israel would be here at all today without the US aid is has received. It is not (it has not had the chance to be, perhaps) a self-sustaining country. It is artificially maintained by the US.

This is not to say that this is a bad thing, and this is not at all to say that the US should withdraw aid and let Israel be overtaken (should that be the result). It is just to point out that Israel’s “success” is pretty much entirely America’s success. And also IMO, a country so reliant on international aid should frankly behave a damn sight better than Sharon’s administration has done. IIRC, Washington (under Bush) has criticised Israel on several occasions over the past year, but Sharon’s policies have continued apace.

I agree with Jackmannii. I think the average American views the place as simply The Jewish State, surrounded by hostile neighbors, that being the key to the massive amounts of aid. My hometown in fact is considered about 50% Jewish and so by extension they really are our friends and neighbors there - they just migrate back and forth. (Kind of like my family does with Florida.) So call it a familiarity thing too. Many, maybe most, people sympathize with the Palestinian plight and would like to see the US exert influence for a peaceful resolution, but support went down about 30% with the rise in suicide bombings, and I expect it to fall further now with more Palestinians identifying themselves as supporting Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the like.

Americans don’t understand the “recognizing Isreal’s right to exist” thing at all, as in something you can bargain with. It exists for us, period, and therefore must be preserved when threatened, period. I’m sure this is a disconnect with the Arab world that simply may not be resolved any time soon.

Glad to see the point was raised, though I didn’t see it reported in the UK. There have been over 100 resolutions passed at the UN over the past three decades, chiefly over the issue of the occupied territories, which are still illegally held.

It really is quite amaxing that Israel has the backing it has. Perhaps now the EU has dared to speak out against US foreign policy, we might develop one of our own and stop making pointless rhetorical gestures and actually put some real pressure on the Nation State of Israel.

Brian, you’re not the British guy who calls “A Messsage to the World”, are you?

The issue with the UN isn’t the UN general body resolutions, but the UN security council resolutions (you know, the ones that matter).

So, which UN security council resolutions has Israel violated, and how would we go about getting them to comply?

Being continually under armed external threat, it has certainly benefited greatly from U.S. military aid. I believe there is a certain amount of admiration for Israel in the U.S. based on its economic/agricultural/political/cultural achievements which certainly must be ascribed to a large degree to the energy and will of its citizens rather than just to U.S. aid.**

Egypt has made progress but demonstrably has a shaky commitment to democracy compared to Israel.


There would be much improvement if both sides could figure out how to stop killing each other’s children.

This is almost total bull, but a line very popular in Arab countries. Time to plug this face-saving modern urban myth.

While it is certainly true that the US has devoted a lot of money in military aid, almost all of it has been given post-1967.

Ironically, Israel’s greatest victories over various Arab armies occured before America begain providing any meaningful aid - in particular, the 1948 victory was quite completely home-grown, and in '67 Israel was buying munitions from France, not the US.

I quite understand why Arab commentators wish to believe otherwise - it softens the blow to their military pride to be defeated by the un-stoppable financial might of the US, as opposed to being thrashed repeatedly by tiny Israel - but that is no reason to believe them.

As for “self sustaining”, somehow Isreal managed to do just that up until the US decided to hand them cash.

You don’t understand. When UN resolutions aren’t what we want, they are unacceptable violations of our soverignty, even if we originally voted for them, and we can’t be held to them. When they’re what we want, then it’s simply unacceptable for others to interpret them differently than us or not be held by them, and they deserve severe sanctions and breaking off our military and industrial cooperation.