Draft Republican Platform Effectively Calls for Annexation of Area C of West Bank

by Chuck Spinney

The so-called two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in my opinion, has always been a distraction to buy time for the Israelis to formally annex most of the West Bank to Israel.  Much like Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights, annexation of this territory will be tangled up in the unexamined question of controlling access to scarce water resources.  

This posting builds on my posting of last April, “The Palestinian Question: Why the Two-State Solution is Kaput.”  My aim was to explain how the central and generally ignored goal of controlling access to the West Bank’s water resources water is shaping Israel’s long-term settlement policies.  That posting described how issues relating to control of these water resources go a long way toward explaining the “facts-on-the-ground” pattern of accelerating settlement growth in Area C of the now defunct Oslo Accord, which comprises about 60% or the West Bank.  Ensuring fair and equitable access to the water resources of the West Bank and the River Jordan’s watershed is a necessary although not a sufficient condition for an equitable solution to the complex Palestinian Question.  That is true regardless of whether that solution takes the form of a two state solution or a single-state bi-national solution.

However, the momentum of developments, in terms of the interaction between weak and vacillating US policies and the accelerating rate of Israel’s settlement growth in Area C, is leading inexorably to an Israeli annexation of Area C.  Annexation will necessarily be accompanied by a Gazification of the Palestinian enclaves making up Areas A and B, and a perpetually unfair access to the West Bank’s water resources.

Haaretz, Israel’s leading left-of-center newspaper, recently carried a report entitled, About Face on U.S. Foreign Policy: GOP Platform to Drop Support for Two State Solution. This report was first published in the Jewish Insider, and it informs the reader that the draft Republican platform rejects the “false notion” that Israel is occupying the West Bank. The draft language also includes,

Support for Israel is an expression of Americanism, and it is the responsibility of our government to advance policies that reflect Americans’ strong desire for a relationship with no daylight between America and Israel. 

And the language goes on to recognize that —

the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement (“BDS”) is anti-Semitic in nature and seeks to destroy Israel.”  It calls for federal legislation “to thwart actions that are intended to limit commercial relations with Israel, or persons or entities doing business in Israel or in Israeli-controlled territories, in a discriminatory manner.

Whether Donald Trump will buy into such a blatant subordination of American interests to those of Israel is as yet an unanswered question.  But the language puts Israel into political play in the 2016 presidential election.  This creates a potential for a bidding war that could land Ms. Clinton in an awkward position.

To date, a cynical political strength of Ms. Clinton’s campaign is that a large number of pro-Israeli Republican neo-cons in the national security establishment are flocking to her campaign.  This crossover creates an appearance if not the reality of bestowing on Ms. Clinton an enhanced national security gravitas, at least among the Beltway establishment and mainstream media.  Her control of the Democratic platform committee has already enabled Ms. Clinton to defeat platform language criticizing Israel’s occupation policies.  Watch this video; note particularly the reference to the BDS by a Clinton stalwart.

Despite the Democratic platform committee’s stuffing of the Palestinian Question, the draft Democratic platform says nothing comparable to the Republican language.  That silence may not go far enough to placate Hillary’s neocon crossovers.  So, Ms. Clinton may come under pressure to strengthen her already strong pro-Israel stance in an effort to outbid the Republicans in the war to win the anti-Trump Republican voters.

But in so doing, Clinton may drive Sanders’ supporters into throwing up their hands in disgust and staying home in November or voting for the Green or Libertarian candidates.

How this supposed “lessor of two evils” triangulates her way out of this cul de sac will be a fascinating spectacle in the Roman circus passing for a presidential election.

Photo: Donald Trump by Gage Skidmore via Flickr.

Franklin (Chuck) Spinney retired from the Defense Department in 2003 after a military-civilian career spanning 33 years. He is author of Defense Facts of Life: The Plans/Reality Mismatch (1985). His op-eds and essays have appeared in the TheWall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Challenge, CounterPunch, Proceedings Magazine of the U.S Naval Institute and the Marine Corps Gazette, among other places. Many of Chuck’s reports and essays can be found on his website.

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  1. Let’s face the truth; both parties and many sections of the U.S. government are controlled by the Israeli lobby and its agents (both Zionists and neocons). It’s not just the Republican Party.

    Hillary is bought and paid for by Haim Saban, the Israeli posing as an American. And Sheldon Adelson, another poser, has all the Republican candidates falling all over themselves trying to be more pro-Israel than the others. Most members of Congress tremble and get weak-kneed at the mention of AIPAC, the powerful agent of Israel, and will happily bob up and down on command when the war criminal, Netanyahoo, speaks.

    The neocon, Carl Gershman, who has headed the NED (a slush fund to overthrow foreign governments) since 1984, promoted the neocon goal of overthrowing the elected government of Ukraine.

    In the Treasury Department the position of Secretary of Terrorism and Financial intelligence and important position to impose sanctions on enemies of Israel seems to be reserved only for Zionists: David Cohen replaced by Stuart Levy replaced by Adam Szubin.

    On the video suggested by Spinney, we have Wendy Sherman, the U.S. negotiator on Iranian agreement who would “update” Israel on the status of negotiations before the U.S., is against Americans’ right to free speech by supporting BDS, a nonviolent action against a racist criminal government. Why does she want to restrict Americans rights in service of the goals of a foreign country?

    The two-state solution is a farce and every U.S. president since LBJ has had to bow before the power of this foreign lobby or pay the consequences (JFK?). The control of the MSM propaganda has been seriously weakened by the expanded access to the Internet and access to fact based information. The growth of support for BDS is just one indication that the truth is getting out and why the Israeli government and its agents are drafting American laws to make free speech illegal. When America finally wakes up to the hubris and treachery of these foreign agents the consequences will not be pretty.

  2. Good post, Chet, but the present is a time for optimism. You are correct about the unregistered and thus felonious domination of our Middle Eastern policies by AIPAC and the resultant supine nature of our relationship with Israel. We’ve lost an important slice of our national sovereignty but it can be recovered through enforcement of FARA. No President since Jack Kennedy has had the will, the political and moral courage if you prefer, to do it.

    For what one layman’s opinion may be worth, I’m convinced that the French Initiative is a very new and different departure in the endless struggle for a Palestinian State and peace in the region. It does not depend on a change of heart by the Israelis. It violates the taboo against putting pressure on them. If they don’t cooperate in making fair and equal valued adjustments, and if the deadline expires, the GREEN LINE becomes the border and the moment the UN Security Council passes the French initiative in the form of a formal Resolution it becomes a part of International Law.

    After the various deadlines run without cooperation the Resolution can be a legal basis for comprehensive economic sanctions against the Israeli economy. It will be the first time that this has been possible.

    The political genius of it is that it will be complete subject only to whether the U.S. vetoes it. Congress will have had no hand in it. And it will be impossible for AIPAC to block. Just the veto stands in the way; just one of those stroke-of-the-pen things and it’s over. And should the war hawk and neocon Ms. Clinton rush to Israel’s defence it can be only a futile gesture. It will already be International law and she will have no power to reverse it.

    Perhaps, you will say, “But the veto will be used; it always is.” Except that several months ago the Administration announced without fanfare that it was in the process of reconsidering the nature of our relationship with Israel and our use of the veto on her behalf in the UNSC. Nothing has been announced about the state of those deliberations. But there is a bit of evidence. When the French were putting their initiative together one of their spokesmen said that if we were just going to veto it they wouldn’t bother. Since then they have gone to a great deal of bother, what with the successful Europe-wide meeting of Foreign Ministers and the equally successful deliberations of the Quartet.

    So, as I said above, this is a time for optimism.

  3. Under International Law no belligerently occupied land may be annexed. This is just as useless a gesture now as it was when Israel purported to annex all of Jerusalem years ago.

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