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America, stop sucking up to Israel

There is no denying that when push comes to shove, the US just cannot help itself in going to bat for Israel 150%. Just witness the turn around in the last 24 hours of the US with respect to the ongoing building of no less than 3000 settlements in the Israeli occupied territories and East Jerusalem, when only a few months ago it was said by the Americans to be a no-no.

Al Jazeera reports on the state of play here. In effect, any settlement negotiations appear to be now dead in the water - again!

Meanwhile, Gideon Levy writing in Haaretz "America, stop sucking up to Israel" makes a powerful case for the US taking a stand against Israel's policies:

"Before no other country on the planet does the United States kneel and plead like this. In other trouble spots, America takes a different tone. It bombs in Afghanistan, invades Iraq and threatens sanctions against Iran and North Korea. Did anyone in Washington consider begging Saddam Hussein to withdraw from occupied territory in Kuwait?

But Israel the occupier, the stubborn contrarian that continues to mock America and the world by building settlements and abusing the Palestinians, receives different treatment. Another massage to the national ego in one video, more embarrassing praise in another.

Now is the time to say to the United States: Enough flattery. If you don't change the tone, nothing will change. As long as Israel feels the United States is in its pocket, and that America's automatic veto will save it from condemnations and sanctions, that it will receive massive aid unconditionally, and that it can continue waging punitive, lethal campaigns without a word from Washington, killing, destroying and imprisoning without the world's policeman making a sound, it will continue in its ways.

Illegal acts like the occupation and settlement expansion, and offensives that may have involved war crimes, as in Gaza, deserve a different approach. If America and the world had issued condemnations after Operation Summer Rains in 2006 - which left 400 Palestinians dead and severe infrastructure damage in the first major operation in Gaza since the disengagement - then Operation Cast Lead never would have been launched."

If proof was ever needed how much the US Administration and Congress are captive to the Israel Lobby - yes, Walt and Mearsheimer were dead right! - then the fact that the US Congress has before it a resolution to condemn the Goldstone Report says it all. See a Washington Post report here. Of course how the Palestinians and Arab countries will view all of this can be easily imagined.

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