No 1791 Posted by fw, October 3, 2016
In an interview recorded in September and broadcast today on the Real News Network, Ajamu Baraka, VP of the US Green Party, explains how his party would approach foreign policy on Israel, Palestine, Syria, and Saudi Arabia.
Below is an embedded video of the 17:37-minute interview followed by my paraphrased transcript of the opening 7:36 minutes during which Ajamu talks about the Green’s policy towards Israel.
Will the pro-Israel lobby groups in the US go ballistic over Baraka’s remarks? Will the VP be intimidated and forced to retract his candid comments?
The pro-Israeli lobbyist certainly went ballistic here. Green leader Elizabeth May was bombarded with thousands of bullying emails when the Green Party of Canada’s members were asked to vote on two resolutions, one against the Jewish National Fund and the other supporting BDS.
It will be interesting to see what reaction or discussion, if any, Canada’s Greens will have to VP Baraka’s straight talk about the US Green’s policy towards Israel. At a special meeting in December, Canada’s Green’s will revisit, and perhaps repeal, the controversial adoption of a pro-BDS resolution.
The following linked title will take you to the You Tube video. The Real News video is available here but without its usual transcript.
Sharmini Peries (SP) host // Ajamu Baraka (AB) guest
SP – One of the key things that has unfolded this week is that the president Barack Obama’s administration has signed a new MOU [Memorandum of Understanding] with Israel guaranteeing it over 40 billion dollars worth of aid over the next ten years. What do you make of this policy towards Israel?
AB—It is bizarre. Unjustifiable. Obama made a perfunctory comment about a two-state solution, pretending to show concern for this ongoing horror of the occupation of Palestine, now going on for 67 years. There’s no moral or political justification for the uncritical support given to the Israeli state. The Israeli government appears to have no concern for the rights of the Palestinians and no concern for territorial integrity with the continued rapid, aggressive expansion of Israeli settlements. Where is the leverage if the US was really concerned about finally solving this problem? This is a ruse. It demonstrates the contempt for the intelligence of Americans that this charade will continue after all these years.
SP – What would be the Green Party’s policy towards Israel?
AB – We would say very clearly that we have to have a resolution of the occupation. That recognizes the rights of Palestinians to self-determination. That settlement expansion must halt immediately. That there must be a pullback of those settlements.
If there’s resistance, it will become clear to everybody that the only real solution is a one-state solution in which every person has equal rights, and there’s no special positions based on any ethnic concerns or religious membership. So a secular state in which human rights becomes the grounding principles for how that state operates.
SP – One of the arguments that has been made is that as long as the Syrian conflict is going on the focus of the superpowers, the US and Russia and other parties involved in this proxy war, will be what is happening in Syria, allowing Israel to continue to do what it is doing in the Golan Heights and in Palestine. How would you interfere or disrupt that kind of positioning on the part of Israel?
AB – Israel has its own agenda, which sometimes dovetails with the US agenda. We say the conflict is Syria has to be resolved. We will use the power of the state to bring about some kind of national reconciliation of the war in Syria. But the issue with Israel is that there are powerful forces in the US that still believe that Israel has a role to play in support for US dominance in that region. So the justification for its continued support is that Israel is facing some kind of existential threat from its neighbours. But if you look at the configuration of forces now in the Middle East, one has to ask the question – Threat from who?
The Saudis have come on board in our vassals of the US and have reconciled themselves to the existence of Israel. And in fact collaborate with them on a number of issues. The Iraqi state doesn’t have the ability to be a threat to Israel. There’s no state in the region except the argument that the Iranians have threatened to do away with Israel. But that conflict can also be reconciled.
The threat to Israel is a false narrative. But it has been embraced by so many people in the US that Israel is allowed to continue with its criminal behaviour in that region. That has to stop if there is going to be real stability in that region. So, ending the conflict in Syria, withdrawing support from any state in the region that continues to violate the rights of its citizens, including the Saudis and Israel, imposing a real commitment to resolving these various conflicts has to be the centerpiece of any administration that’s serious about trying to bring about real stability in that region.
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