Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Post-Imperium Pax Americana: a desperate Israel scours for allies

The recent lopsided vote in the UN General Assembly to admit Palestine as a non-member state observer is a sure indication that in a post-imperial American world, Israel’s ability to secure allies is becoming more difficult. With the decreasing diplomatic and economic clout of the United States, those who govern from Jerusalem and Tel Aviv found it more difficult than ever to cajole, browbeat, or woo nations to vote against the Palestine statehood resolution.

In the end, all Israel could muster in the way of «No» votes on Palestine were the Czech Republic, the foreign policy of which is in the hands of a royal pretender to a non-existent throne who pines for the days of monarchical Europe where European serfs had the same political rights that Palestinians have today, that is, none and a Canadian government that has as its political base an odd combination of Christian Right extremists and affluent homosexuals in Toronto and Ottawa. Also supporting Israel was a corrupt president of Panama who believes Israel is the «Guardian of the Holy Land,» three former UN «trust territories» – Micronesia, Marshall Islands, and Palau -- that are in «compacts of free association» with the United States and have no more actual independence from Washington than the Cold War-era Ukrainian and Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republics had from the Kremlin; and Nauru, a dot in the Pacific Ocean that markets its UN vote to the highest bidder. And, of course, as usual, the United States voted «no» along with Israel, an unsurprising move when one considers the two political bases for President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton – Chicago and New York – are in the hands of ardent Zionist mayors, Rahm Emanuel and Michael Bloomberg, who can both cause political trouble for the incumbent president and an aspirant president if they even as much thought about a U.S. abstention on Palestine.

Israel tried to prevent a total rout, where only it and the United States would have voted «no» on Palestine, by calling on some foreign leaders who have been carefully cultivated by Israel and Jewish lobbies. In seven cases, these friends of Israel ensured that their nations voted to reject the Palestinian status upgrade resolution. In others, the Israeli allies could only muster an abstention on the resolution…

Perhaps no one was as more forceful, even arrogant, on Israel’s behalf than Canadian External Affairs Minister John Baird.

Baird is the most pro-Israeli member of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s already fervently pro-Israeli Conservative Party cabinet. Baird is a self-proclaimed supporter of Zionism, having told the Jewish National Fund banquet in Ottawa a little over a week from the vote on Palestine: «After 2,000 years of bitter exile, Zionism — the national expression of the Jewish people gave voice and shape to a dream that never left the Jewish conscience: the return of world Jewry to its ancestral homeland . . . It is quite simply breathtaking to behold what people like Theodor Herzl, Eliezer Ben- Yehuda and Chaim Weizmann accomplished against all odds. It's simply a miracle to behold." Baird flew to New York so he could personally cast Canada’s «no» vote on Palestine. Israeli Prime Minister Binyamn Netanyahu called Harper to thank him for Canada’s support. More

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