Israel and the US punish the Palestinians for seeking statehood

Submitted by AWL on 8 November, 2011 - 10:55

By Sacha Ismail

The Palestinian bid for recognition of an independent state at the United Nations will hit the headlines again soon, as the UN Security Council prepares to publish an initial report on the Palestinians’ application.

Already Israel and its US protector are punishing the Palestinians for their campaign.

Following the overwhelming vote at Unesco, the UN organisation for education, science and culture, to admit Palestine as a full member, the US cut off all funding to the organisation, removing more than a fifth of its budget. (There is a decades old law requiring the US government to do this, but given that the Obama administration says it will veto a Security Council vote in favour of the Palestinians, the US’s political stance is clear.)

If the Palestinians seek membership of other UN bodies – for instance the International Atomic Energy Agency – this issue could become even bigger.

The US has also temporarily frozen its funding for the Palestinian Authority.

Meanwhile Israel has announced plans to accelerate the building of 2,000 housing units for Jewish settlers in the Occupied Territories, and has suspended the transfer of the tax and customs revenue it collects on behalf of the PA. Together with the US funding freeze, this is potentially disastrous for the PA.

It is hard to see why Israel and the US would not step up this punishment if the Palestinians persist with their UN bid. So while the Palestinian campaign is putting their opponents under massive pressure, the results so far are also harming them.

On the other hand, what is this oppressed nation, cut off from every avenue of liberation, supposed to do? The Palestinian struggle demands the support of all socialists, and all democrats; the response from Israel and the US demands condemnation.

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