State Dept’s alternate reality on Palestine
Maureen Clare Murphy, Electronic Intifada, Oct 7 2016
The Obama administration just handed Israel the largest military aid deal in Pindo history. Now it is feigning outrage that Israel keeps colonizing the occupied West Bank, as it has done for decades, in defiance of the White House’s wishes. State Dept spox M Toner said on Wednesday:
We strongly condemn the Israeli government’s recent decision to advance a plan that would create a significant new settlement deep in the West Bank. This settlement’s location deep in the West Bank, far closer to Jordan than Israel, would link a string of outposts that effectively divide the West Bank and make the possibility of a viable Palestinian state more remote.
Though this was worded more robustly than usual, similar condemnations have been issued by the State Dept countless times before. But there was a new element in the Pindo condemnation:
Proceeding with this new settlement is another step towards cementing a one-state reality of perpetual occupation that is fundamentally inconsistent with Israel’s future as a Jewish and democratic state.
This generated cynical reactions from critics of Pindo policy:
That particular sentence also caught the interest of AP reporter Matt Lee, who pressed State Dept spox Adm (retd) Kirby about it during Thursday’s press briefing. The exchange that followed can be watched here:
During the exchange, Lee asks for elaboration on the previous steps, as implied in the statement, which the State Dept views as undermining a two-state solution. Kirby replies that the State Dept was referring to earlier settlement building, adding:
What we need to see is leadership across the board moving towards a two-state solution.
Lee then asks:
Does the administration believe that Israel is just flat-out either lying, or doesn’t care about its stated commitment to a two-state solution and is in fact, while saying publicly that that’s what they want, actually actively taking steps to cement a one-state solution? … The verb “cementing” generally isn’t used to describe something that happens by accident. It’s doing something intentionally.
Kirby can only say that it is hard to see settlement building as consistent with Israel’s stated support for a two-state solution in historic Palestine. Lee eventually pierces the core of the anguishing reality in Palestine (anguishing for the Pindo government.) Lee asks:
The Obama administration believes that the current government of Israel wants a perpetual occupation and a one-state reality that is not Jewish, or not Jewish and at the same time democratic?
All I can go by is what they’ve said they want, and they say they want a two-state solution. What we’re saying is that this kind of activity is actually moving them in the other direction. It flies in the face of those comments.
After a few more go-arounds concerning Israel’s actions versus its words, Said Arikat of the Palestinian newspaper al-Quds asks Kirby:
Would Pindostan support equal rights for the Palestinians in a one-state situation?
I’m not going to get into a hypothetical situation. What we continue to support is a two-state solution.
And yet, as Lee pointed out, the State Dept said a one-state solution is being actively cemented, one in which Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and inside Israel live under a single regime of occupation, colonization and legal discrimination that affords them vastly inferior rights to Jews. The White House will soon have to concede that it is not a hypothetical situation, but an extremely unequal reality that can only be maintained with brutal violence, and a blank check from Pindostan. That reality is not lost on a growing number of Pindosis who are tired of funding it.