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US becomes isolationist because of Israel

Mohammad Amjad Hossain *

It is really amazing to note that United States which claims to be superpower, is being isolated from international arena as a result of illogically supporting state of Israel without rhyme or reason. That has been reflected in deciding to withdraw from United Nations Human Rights council on 20 June of 2018 following its High Commissioner blatantly criticized United States over President Trump’s immigration policies, especially separating children from families of illegal immigrants at US-Mexico border. But the United States decided to pull out of UN body citing criticism of State of Israel for violation of human rights. By now ten Democrat Senators have sent a letter to Republican Chairman of Senate Judiciary committee urging to have an immediate oversight hearing on Trump administration’s children separation policy.

The UN Human Rights council was established promoting and protecting human rights across the globe as well as investigating alleged human rights violations. It is 47-member states selected by the UN General Assembly. The European Union said the decision risks undermining the role of US as a champion and supporter of democracy on the world stage while British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson called the move regrettable.

The timing could not be more perfect in exposing US for being one ginormous human rights violator. An important thing to note that Trump’s decision is the logical conclusion of Republican leadership since George Bush refused to become a member of the council at its establishment in 2006.It seems interesting to note President Trump did not criticize North Korean leader at summit meeting in Singapore on 12 June for gross violation of human rights.

Similarly, the United States has withdrawn from United Nations Scientific and cultural organization (UNESCO) from 31 December of 2018, citing financial consideration, the need for reform and the organization’s continuing anti-Israel bias. The Israel government promptly followed suit. In July of 2018 UNESCO has decided designating the old city of Hebron and the Tomb of the Patriarchs as part of Palestinian territory.

Another glaring example is established in December of 2017 when General Assembly of the United Nations with the exception of 9 votes unanimously criticized US decision to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem by US President Trump in spite of status of Jerusalem is disputed in both International law and diplomatic practice. As a matter of fact, State of Israel does not exist until resolution 181 adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations which called partition plan of Palestine into Arab and Jewish states with Jerusalem being established as a corpus separatism with special legal and political status.

This is for the first-time relations between US and Israel has seen blooming at the cost of losing closet allies of US. During reign of President Eisenhower Israel was forced to withdraw forces from Sinai Peninsula in 1956, but Israel again succeeded to occupy Sinai Peninsula, Golan heights and the West Bank during war with Arab countries in 1967 because of stupid strategy of Arab countries and Israel consolidated its relations with United States especially under the leadership of National Security adviser and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger who served from 1969 to 1975. Henry Kissinger is Jew and was ardent supporter of Israeli retention of occupied territories. Since then US administration have done little to challenge Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and the Golan Heights.

During the reign of President George Walker Bush of the Republican Party relations between US and Israel had deteriorated to some extent. President Bush had stopped the loan to Israel as long as Israel continue settlements of the Jewish in occupied territories. The President agreed to a loan package in August,1992 on condition that Israel should not start building construction of settlements or infrastructure in occupied territories. Having agreed President Bush is on record saying,” I am lonely guy up against some powerful political forces made up of a thousand lobbyists on the hill” (means house of the Congress). His comment triggered a spate of anti-Semitic letters and comments for which the President Bush later apologized. In March,1990 President George Walker Bush expressed objection to new settlements in the West Bank or in East Jerusalem. His reference to eastern Jerusalem interpreted as that it was not a sovereign part of Israel which also created furor.

Madrid conference on peace talks for settlements of Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories was held under the initiative of President George Walker Bush, Senior and President Gorbachev of the Soviet Union from 30 October to 1st November,1991. Bush administration was of the opinion that a window of opportunity was opened to use political gain following defeat of Saddam Hussein of Iraq in Gulf war to pursue peace process in the Middle East. Positive activities of George Walker Bush were misinterpreted by Jewish community in the United States of America. As a result, George Walker Bush did not receive more than 12 percent votes from Jewish community in US in his second term contest against Democrat candidate Bill Clinton whereas George Walker Bush received 35 percent vote of Jewish community in US in first presidential election in 1988.

As a result of Madrid conference President George Bush, Junior proposed road map for peace which called for security and reform from the Palestinians, and freezing settlements and a withdrawal from the territories occupied by Israel. The Palestinians and Israel, both accepted the idea but US did not follow it up somehow or other. When President Barack Obama took office in January,2009 he has begun to revive peace process with earnestness. In June,2009, President Obama in a speech in Cairo called for the creation of Independent Palestine state and said, US does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements. It is time for these settlements to stop. Settlements of Jewish in occupied territories has become non-starter as of now. President Obama pledged to aggressively seek peace process in the Middle East and sent out a special envoy in the person of former Senator George Mitchell who happened to resolve Irish crisis. George Mitchell was successful negotiator in resolving crisis in Northern Ireland in 1995 as Special envoy of President Bill Clinton. The Belfast agreement negotiated by George Mitchell was signed by conflicting parties in Northern Ireland.Special envoy George Mitchell was critical of settlements of Jewish in occupied territories.

The present Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu, hawkish, also has difference with President Obama on the issue of negotiation with Iran whom he describes as enemy of Israel. Israeli Prime Minister has cast negative attitude for the formation of Palestine State. During election campaign in March Benjamin Netanyahu declared that there would not Palestine state under his watch and pledged to continue settlements of Jewish in occupied territories. This has caused anger in the White house as has been reflected in the comments by President Obama. In an interview to Huffington Post on 20 March of 2015 President said” Israel Prime Minister’s pre-election opinion on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestine conflict makes it harder to move a path toward serious negotiation to resolve it. I did indicate to him that we continue to believe that a two-state solution is the only way for the long-term security of Israeli it wants to stay, both as Jewish state and democratic”, said President Obama.

While addressing left-leaning Israeli advocacy group on March 23 James Baker, former Secretary of State under George Walker Bush, criticized Israeli Prime Minister for an insufficient commitment to peace and an absolutist opposition to the Iranian nuclear talks. James Baker held the opinion that Israeli Prime Minister had personalized and politicized of the disputes between the governments in Washington and Israel which makes danger now.

The present regime in the United States of America under presidency of Donald Trump is making crisis in the Middle East more complicated with no sign to resolve Palestine and Israeli conflict in sight at the cost of isolationist policy.

*Mohammad Amjad Hossain, retired diplomat from Bangladesh and former President of Nova chapter of Toastmaster International club of America, writes from Virginia

Arab –Iran conflict overshadowed peace process in the Middle East

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