U.S./Israel “Special Relationship” on Ice
• Animosity grows between Israeli, U.S. leaders over criminal settlements policy of Zionist state.
By Richard Walker —
The signs were all there that President Barack Hussein Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu would one day have a major falling-out, but few expected it would be over Israel’s war crimes policy of stealing Palestinian land and settling a massive influx of Eastern European Jews on it. Those Jews have been used to expand Israel’s population and to shrink the land Palestinians had hoped would form their new state.
Obama had to know when he took office that Israel had for decades been flouting Geneva Conventions with its racist, apartheid policies and its land thefts. It now appears the settlement issue irked Obama enough for him to recently state that the illegal buildings will isolate Israel from the international community and its closest allies.
Planned settlements for East Jerusalem would “poison the atmosphere” and not only hurt any potential peace deal with Palestinians but would alienate Arab governments Netanyahu was courting, the president added.
Israel and its friends on Capitol Hill were shocked by Obama’s candid attack on Netanyahu. It came, ironically perhaps, at a time when the Israeli leader was busy knocking America’s negotiations with Iran over the nuclear issue, leading some to suspect Obama was retaliating.
Some have claimed that Obama had enough of “Bibi” traipsing through the corridors of power, including the White House, like he owned the place, lecturing the American president on foreign policy. The merit in that theory relies somewhat on the prickly relations between these leaders.
In 2009, Obama ran smack into Netanyahu when he gave his “A New Beginning” speech in Cairo trying to appeal to the Muslim world. In particular, Obama hit a nerve with Netanyahu when he condemned Israeli settlement building:
At the same time, Israelis must acknowledge that just as Israel’s right to exist cannot be denied, neither can Palestine’s. The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements. This construction violates previous agreements and undermines efforts to achieve peace. It is time for these settlements to stop.
A year later, Obama sent Vice President Joe Biden to Jerusalem with the same message further alienating Bibi. Then there was the now infamous meeting between Bibi and Obama in the White House in 2011 when Bibi lectured Obama in front of reporters for seven minutes. It was a torrid, if not unheard of, episode for a leader of a small nation to lecture an American president in front of the world’s cameras. The event undoubtedly sealed the enmity between them.
Had Obama taken advice from Bill Clinton, he would have learned at the outset of his presidency never to trust Bibi, whom Clinton once described as the most dishonest politician he had ever had dealings with.
Clinton never held back his disgust for the Israeli.
In 1996, after being lectured by Netanyahu on the Middle East, Clinton said:
“Who the fuck does he think he is? Who’s the fucking superpower here?”
Netanyahu’s arrogance is legendary.
In 2001, when asked if the United States would let him launch a large-scale attack on the Palestinian Authority, he said, apparently unaware that his words were being recorded:
But the more critical divide between the two could be Obama’s desire to seal his own legacy so it will not be tainted with the label “war criminal.” Obama has to know it is only a matter of time before Israel is denounced before the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague for war crimes over its colonizing and settlement policy. Obama may therefore be trying to redefine himself in the public mind as an opponent of the policy, though it could be too late in the day for him to achieve that.
Article 8.2(b)(viii) of the Rome Statute of the ICC states: “The transfer, directly or indirectly, by the Occupying Power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies, or the deportation or transfer of all or parts of the population of the occupied territory within or outside this territory” is a war crime.
By that article, Netanyahu is a war criminal. But so, too, according to the same Rome Protocols, are those who support Israel. That includes Obama, who signs off on an annual gift of more than $3 billion and provides weapons used to enslave and kill Palestinians on their own land.
Richard Walker is the pen name of a former N.Y. news producer.
Russians Looking to Develop Gas Fields Off Coast of Gaza
By John Tiffany
Palestine is rich in natural gas off the coast of Gaza, but there is a problem. Israel wants to steal it, although Israel has offshore gas of its own. Now, Russia is moving in on the action. A Russian energy company wants to develop Gaza’s sub-Mediterranean gas and share it with the suffering Gazan people.
Some people contend that Israel’s war on Gaza this summer was not about rockets hitting Israel or the dubious claim that three Israelis were kidnapped by Hamas, but access to Gaza’s natural gas.
Recently, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon announced that Israel intends to continue to bomb houses in Gaza and kill Palestinians in an expanding “campaign against Hamas.” Israel’s Operation Protective Edge has already caused the death of over 2,100 Palestinians and six Israeli civilians.
Meanwhile, a deposit of some 1.4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas was discovered off the Gaza coast—valued at $4 billion.
Israel has its own Leviathan field with an estimated 18 trillion cubic feet of gas—which could make Israel an energy-exporting nation, shipping gas to Europe—but it still wants to help itself illegally to the natural resources belonging to the Palestinians.
Much of the 122 trillion cubic feet of gas and 1.6 billion barrels of oil in what is called the Levant Basin Province lies in waters whose territoriality is disputed hotly among Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and Cyprus.
Palestine is effectively two nations under separate governments—Hamas rules Gaza while Fatah rules the West Bank as the Palestine Authority (PA). When negotiations were started between the PA and Israel in 2012, Hamas was excluded and consequently rejected the legitimacy of any deal.
The PA is also trying to get Russia’s Gazprom to develop the underwater Gazan gas field, and talks have gone on among Russia, Israel and Cyprus. It remains unclear how the PA expects to exert control over Gaza, ruled by the rival party Hamas.
Israel is trying to destroy Hamas, and thinks the way to do that is to exterminate the people of Gaza, the support base of Hamas. To Israel there is nothing immoral about this, since Gazans are only non-Jews and thus less than human in Talmudic eyes.
Why Russia chooses to deal with Fatah and not Hamas is not clear at this point. But this is not the first bid by Russia to establish a foothold in the region. In December 2013, Soyuzneftgaz, a Russian energy group, struck a deal with Syria to develop and produce oil and gas off the Syrian coast—an agreement covering 2,190 square kilometers at an initial cost of some $90 million, assumed by the Russian group.
John Tiffany is copy editor for AMERICAN FREE PRESS and assistant editor of THE BARNES REVIEW. He has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Michigan and has done postgraduate studies in law, biology and computer science. He is devoted to the truth and lets the chips fall where they may.