Thursday, September 18, 2003

Israel humiliates US over forced veto: "By deciding 'in principle' to remove Mr Arafat, Israel has unleashed a series of events that runs against its own policy of isolating the Palestinian leader. In the process, say officials in Washington, it has dragged the US administration down a path it had tried to avoid. On Tuesday the administration was forced to veto a resolution that it essentially agreed with, thereby undermining the image that President George W. Bush has spent months cultivating, as an honest broker in the region."

The myth of the US as an 'independent broker', which was effectively exploded for ever by Chomsky's 1983 book Fateful Triangle, was further undercut by this veto and the fact that it was shown on both SBS and ABC TV news last night, the visual including a lonely US UN Ambassador John Negroponte raising his hand against a motion condemning Israel's decision to remove or harm Arafat. 11 voted in favour, including France, Russia and China. Britain, Germany and Bulgaria abstained. Germany may have abstained as part of a policy not to be seen to criticise Israel. But even Blair's Britain could not bring themselves to back the US on this one.

Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat appeared in an interview on SBS TV last night and made one of his most effective and impassioned presentations, putting the blame on Israel for deliberately wrecking the prospects for peace, ridiculing the incessant demand from the Israeli military colossus that the bombed and ruined Palestinian Authority 'dismantle the infrastructure of terror', and accusing Israel of having no real desire whatever to end the occupation and recognise a viable Palestinian state.

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