Matlock, Grove, Walt, Gard, Others Sign UN Resolution Letter on Israeli Settlements

-

un-logo.jpgSince posting the letter that a variety of policy practitioners and commentators, former US government officials and academics sent to President Obama asking his support of a UN resolution that is consistent with his administration’s stated views on the illegality of Israeli settlements in Occupied Territory, others have signed on.
The full list is here.
Among those joining are former US Ambassador Brandon Grove who also served as Consul General in Jerusalem; former Labor Department solicitor and prominent Republican Arab-American attorney George Salem; retired Lt. General Robert Gard; former US Ambassador to Russia Jack Matlock; Northwestern University professor Jeffrey Winters; Harvard University professor and Foreign policy blogger Stephen Walt, and others.
More to come.
– Steve Clemons

Comments

20 comments on “Matlock, Grove, Walt, Gard, Others Sign UN Resolution Letter on Israeli Settlements

  1. Mark says:

    Steve,
    Fair point.
    I just find the standard, boilerplate responses rather boring. Let’s not address the issue. Let’s just adopt perpetual self-established victimization and label anyone who dares to challenge one of our policies and/or policy viewpoints with the same litany of slurs.

    Reply

  2. Carroll says:

    Despite the zionist outrage over comparisons of the Israeli occupation to the Nazis of Germany the comparison has been made and it has stuck.
    This is a fatal comparison for Israel, and ironic in that the zionist have done so much to make the nazis famous for their atrocities that nazis Germany has become synonymous with ultimate evil..and this is why Israel can’t last as it is.
    Yehuda Elkana, president of Central European U of Budapest, formerly a prof of history and philosophy of science at Hebrew U.
    A holocaust survivor, who came out of Nazi ( Auschwitz) concentration camps, Yehuda Elkana said that he is against Israel’s occupation of Palestine.
    “When I came out of the camp and settled in Israel I had decided that what happened in Nazi Germany should never happen to Jews again. At the same time, I wished that the same brutality should not be unleashed on others. And hence, I believe that Palestinians should be protected from Israel’s occupations as the violence is no less brutal than Nazi occupation,” said Elkana. According to him, Palestinian suicide bombers and Israeli occupants are born out of the same mould.”
    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/Varsity-curriculum-should-reflect-social-realities/articleshow/7316161.cms

    Reply

  3. Carroll says:

    It’s obvious a lot of hasbara activist are whistling thru the graveyard so to speak.
    The fact is 90% of the world and the majority of Americans are against Israel because of Israel’s own actions.
    The Jews, zionist, congress and the WH and whatever christian zionist can support Israel all the way down to it’s end..it doesn’t matter.
    Israel can not survive as it is, or as an apartheid state.
    Samuelburke’s recounting of Hoenlein remarks is
    accurate — up to that time. But imagine now– when resentment and outrage over Israel and of the US’s support of it’s aggressions in Palestine and Lebanon has grown to become part of American citizens resentments and complaints against our own government because of it’s support of Israel.
    Can congress, politicians and the Jewish organizations withstand the growing resentment and criticism?
    Maybe for a while longer, but not forever, with every Israeli crime, outrage and insult to the decent world they will lose more ground– and eventually they will go too far.
    There won’t be any world victim hood rallies for Israel, no billions in reparations and aid, no one to sue or blame or any come back for Israel or their supporters when they drop that last straw…it will be their own doing.
    You would think they would consider where they are headed, but I guess they are too blinded by hubris to see it.

    Reply

  4. Steve Clemons says:

    mark — let’s drop the baiting. not in the spirit of what this comment section should be about. make your own points — but i don’t want to see folks promoting flame outs or baiting each other.
    thanks, steve clemons

    Reply

  5. Mark says:

    Wiggy, nadine, Pearlman,
    You’re slipping. Between the three of you, a reader could find no mention of Goldstone. Or Goldstone akin to Walt. Or Walt akin to Goldstone.
    Lots of your usual responses, such as: “anti-Semitic”, “hates Israel”, “hates Jews”, some unknown figure somewhere “silencing (sic) Jews and/or Israeli Jews”, Obama bashing, weak and/or unpatriotic liberals and/or leftists, etc.
    But no Goldstone.
    C’mon, kids, you’re forgetting some of your best boilerplate material.
    I, for one, am most disappointed in the three of you. Most disappointed.
    Tsk tsk tsk

    Reply

  6. JohnH says:

    Yep: “There can be no doubt that Obama very much relishes opportunities to tell the left to stick it, and plans to tell the left to stick it over and over and over again during the next two years. He sees that tactic as his ticket to reelection. He might as well adopt, “Stick it, pinkos!” as his campaign slogan right now.”
    I won’t vote for Obama in 2012. And I encourage everyone to vote their consciences, not for those masquerading as the lesser of two evils. I’ve done it several times, and I never felt any remorse. In fact, it feels great.
    If enough people vote as I do, then a genuine people’s party (as opposed to capitalist’s party) will emerge.

    Reply

  7. nadine says:

    “There can be no doubt that Obama very much relishes opportunities to tell the left to stick it, and plans to tell the left to stick it over and over and over again during the next two years. He sees that tactic as his ticket to reelection. He might as well adopt, “Stick it, pinkos!” as his campaign slogan right now.” (Dan Kervick)
    Don’t be downhearted, Dan. That’s just Obama’s favorite look-at-me-dont-I-sound-moderate? pose. But his heart is with you guys, and he will try to push his whole Socialist program through the unconstitutional use of regulation and czars.
    “But this upcoming UN resolution can hardly be called a “far left” document. It is likely to gain the support of a substantial number of European governments, including some right and center-right governments.”
    If true, it’s just another sign how feckless and irresponsible Europe has become. “Let’s bash Israel some more, that will placate our local Muslims. The Mideast results are not our problem.”

    Reply

  8. Dan Kervick says:

    There can be no doubt that Obama very much relishes opportunities to tell the left to stick it, and plans to tell the left to stick it over and over and over again during the next two years. He sees that tactic as his ticket to reelection. He might as well adopt, “Stick it, pinkos!” as his campaign slogan right now.
    But this upcoming UN resolution can hardly be called a “far left” document. It is likely to gain the support of a substantial number of European governments, including some right and center-right governments.
    The resolution will also just state and insist upon things that have been official US Middle East policy for many years, under both parties, and the official policy of most US allies.
    Of course, it is also US policy to avoid, to the greatest extent possible, stating official US Middle East policy in public.
    US policy on the I/P conflict has been trending rightward, toward isolation and unilateralism, ever since Obama took office and revealed almost immediately that he had no intention of moving beyond lip service when it came to open hands and new directions and whatnot. Rubin would like to prod Obama to use this occasion to turn an unofficial US policy of feckless disregard of its official policy into a straightforward embrace of the right-wing and unilateralist policies it has been moving toward for two years anyway. That’s no surprise, because diplomatic isolation, anti-internationalism and unilateralism are still the linchpins of neoconservative foreign policy now, as they have ever been.

    Reply

  9. John Waring says:

    Steve,
    Thank you for THE LETTER. That some find it, and several of the signatories, apppalling, delights me even further.

    Reply

  10. non-hater says:

    I’m surprised by how much Team Hasbara is squealing over this letter. Maybe it’s more important than I originally thought. Still, I don’t see how it can change the fundamental dynamic. Too many zionists of various types have been afflicted with an all-consuming bigotry for the movement to be able to change itself before it destroys the Jewish ethnocracy it so fervently supports.

    Reply

  11. samuelburke says:

    Ashrawi in IHT: settlements are

    Reply

  12. samuelburke says:

    enjoy!
    NYRB blog: all that can save Israel is the new (non-Zionist) left
    by PHILIP WEISS on JANUARY 20, 2011

    Reply

  13. WigWag says:

    “Stephen Walt is one the most prominent scholars in the field of international relations. Chas Freeman is a highly-respected intelligence analyst…As for the anti-Semitism accusations against Andrew Sullivan, on what planet is The New Republic a “highly-respected” publication…” (Peter H)
    Whatever you may think of Steve Walt, Peter H, and whatever his reputation might be in the rarified and effete halls of academe, because of the book he wrote about the “Lobby” Walt is widely viewed as someone who hates Jews. You may think this is unfair and many of his academic colleagues may think this is unfair but Walt is now toxic. No member of the Administration and no member of Congress is going to associate with him in any way. Bring his name up to an Administration official and they will change the subject or harshly criticize Walt’s positions. Mention Walt to the average member of Congress and they will excoriate him. The idea that adding his name to this letter provides more credibility to its content amongst the actual people who get to participate in the decision about whether or not to veto the resolution is preposterous.
    The same is true of Chas Freeman. When his emails about the Chinese Communist’s behavior in Tiananmen Square was released and when his essays about Israel received public scrutiny, the Administration dropped his nomination so fast it made your head spin. Freeman couldn’t get anywhere near the White House now if he bought a ticket to a public tour. Whatever you may think of him and whatever Steve Clemons may think of him, if you

    Reply

  14. samuelburke says:

    sorry these statements were made in 07 at Herzliya.
    here is Dershowitz making a similar prediction that is now slowly
    coming to pass aleluyah.
    “All of these events point to statements that in the past wouldn

    Reply

  15. samuelburke says:

    Here is a prescient call by Malcolm Hoenlein. this goes back to
    his talk at Herzliya in 2005.
    it has been fun to watch this develop…it couldn’t have happened
    to a nicer bunch of the most arrogant bunch ever to come
    together in a foreign land.
    “Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of
    Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, addressed
    the fears head-on last week in an address to Israel’s prestigious
    Herzliya Conference. Lamenting what he called

    Reply

  16. Peter H says:

    WigWag,
    Stephen Walt is one the most prominent scholars in the field of international relations. Chas Freeman is a highly-respected intelligence analyast – he would not have been nominated to head the National Intelligence Council if he were just viewed as a “anti-semitic bomb thrower” As for the anti-semitism accusations against Andrew Sullivan, on what planet is The New Republic a “highly-respected” publication when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Everybody knows TNR is fanatically pro-Israel.
    As you yourself admit, the signatories include a number of highly-respected diplomats & government officials. I agree with you that the letter will probably be ignored by the Obama Administration, but that has nothing to do with the signatories and everything to do with staying in the good graces of AIPAC & the like.

    Reply

  17. nadine says:

    Jenifer Rubin reads the tea leaves, and concludes the new “centrist” Obama knows this is a good time to tell the hard left to take a hike, the better to appear moderate himself:
    What will Obama do at the U.N.?
    By Jennifer Rubin
    It takes a bit of detective work to figure out where President Obama is going on his Israel policy. Peace talks have stalled, but his secretary of state has rebuffed calls for an imposed peace and for unilateral declaration of the Palestinian state. Meanwhile, the Palestinians, fresh from walking out of peace talks and rejecting the idea that will they need to recognize a “Jewish state,” are preparing another condemnation of Israel for the U.N. Security Council. So what is Obama going to do — veto or go along?
    Clue #1: The usual crowd of Israel bashers has sent the president a letter urging him to go along with a U.N. resolution condemning Israel for its settlements. But, oddly, not a single signatory from the ever-anxious-to-bash Israel crowd at J Street. It’s a bit strange considering that the group itself has excoriated Israel for building not only in the West Bank but in its own capital. A perceptive observer reminds me that J Street, more than its left-wing agenda, has devoted itself to being Obama’s “blocking back.” In other words, J Street isn’t going to get on the opposite side of this issue from its beloved president.
    Clue #2: Sen. Kristen Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and sixteen Senate colleagues have also written to the president. They urge the opposite course:
    “We are very concerned about reports that the Palestinian Authority is drafting a resolution intended for consideration at the United Nations Security Council regarding issues that have been and should continue to be pursued through direct negotiations between the Palestinian Authority and Israel, namely borders and settlements. We believe such a move hurts the prospects for a peace agreement and is not in the interest of the United States.
    We strongly urge you to make clear that the United States will veto such a resolution if it is raised at the Council, and to clearly communicate United States’ intent to do so to other Security Council members. . . .
    Attempts to use a venue such as the United Nations, which you know has a long history of hostility toward Israel, to deal with just one issue in the negotiations, will not move the two sides closer to a two-state solution, but rather damage the fragile trust between them.”
    Now, do we think the signatories to Gillibrand’s letter, including prominent Democrats, would have taken this step without some clear indication from the administration as to which way it was leaning?
    Take it to the bank: Obama will veto the U.N. resolution, signaling once again that an American president cannot follow the agenda of the far-left (in this case joined by a hodge-podge of Republican Israel bashers who’ve been out of power for a generation) and expect to protect America’s vital interests.
    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/right-turn/2011/01/what_will_obama_do_at_the_un.html#more

    Reply

  18. JohnH says:

    The world is passing Wigwag by: “As of last week, 110 countries in the United Nations have extended diplomatic recognition to the State of Palestine. All recognize Palestine as including the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, essentially the borders as they existed prior to the June 1967 Six Day War. Nearly every country in Latin America, Asia, and Africa has recognized Palestinian statehood and there are indications that many European nations will soon follow suit. Which leaves the United States, yet again, on the wrong side of history.”
    http://original.antiwar.com/giraldi/2011/01/19/serving-up-palestine-one-slice-at-a-time/
    Momentum is against Israel. US policy doesn’t count for a whole lot any more in the Middle East, because it offers nothing constructive, only the Zionist driven status quo.

    Reply

  19. JohnH says:

    The world is passing Wigwag by: “As of last week, 110 countries in the United Nations have extended diplomatic recognition to the State of Palestine. All recognize Palestine as including the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, essentially the borders as they existed prior to the June 1967 Six Day War. Nearly every country in Latin America, Asia, and Africa has recognized Palestinian statehood and there are indications that many European nations will soon follow suit. Which leaves the United States, yet again, on the wrong side of history.”
    Momentum is against Israel. US policy doesn’t count for a whole lot any more in the Middle East, because it offers nothing constructive, only the Zionist driven status quo.

    Reply

  20. WigWag says:

    This provides even more evidence that the authors of this letter have no interest in having it taken seriously by policy makers. Regardless of what anyone thinks about the suggestion that the Administration should not veto a UN Resolution that castigates the settlements, it is now clearer than ever that the letter is little more than an exercise in vanity or an effort to provide grist for the blogosphere mill.
    Had the authors actually aspired to have their views considered by the Administration or members of Congress (who will surely weigh in forcefully on what the Administration should do in the matter) seriously, they would have limited the signers to the more prestigious and well-respected former diplomats whose names grace the letter.
    It is a sign of lack of seriousness to have people like Steve Walt, Chas Freeman or Andrew Sullivan as signatories.
    Chas Freeman and Steve Walt are now widely considered in Washington to be anti-Semitic bomb throwers. Regardless of what anyone thinks of the validity of that characterization, their names are poison in Congress and no one in the Administration wants to be associated with them. Adding their names to the letter makes it far less influential, not more influential. The same can be said about Andrew Sullivan; he is widely viewed as an entertainer who produces a popular blog; no one in government takes him seriously as a respectable expert on foreign policy. Just a few short months ago highly respected newsmagazines and other journalistic enterprises were engaged in a serious debate about whether he had a special dislike for Jews. Whatever anyone thinks about the fairness of that debate, adding him as a signatory to the letter doesn’t add to the credibility or influence of what the authors are proposing, it detracts from the letter’s credibility and influence.
    Surely the authors of this letter are smart enough to know that; which naturally leads to the question of what they thought they would accomplish. Blogs require copy, if their goal was to give bloggers something to write about, I assume they succeeded. If their goal was to flatter themselves by seeing their names in print, perhaps they succeeded at that as well. If their goal was to have any influence at all on the people who will make the decision about whether or not to veto the resolution they’ve failed, in large part because of the people they asked to participate as signatories.
    Of course, if the goal was merely to preach to the choir, well they’ve been doing that successfully for years.
    Their problem is that no one else cares.

    Reply

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *