Letter: U.S. can’t broker peace
Former secretary of state James Baker said of Israel’s immoral and illegal settlements, they’re “the first thing that Palestinians in the territories, whose situation is really quite desperate, the first thing they raise when we talk to them.” He continued, “I don’t think there is any greater obstacle to peace than settlement activity that continues not only unabated but at an advanced pace.”
Baker’s comments came in 1991, when there were 225,000 Israeli settlers transferred in violation of international law onto confiscated Palestinian land in East Jerusalem and other areas of the West Bank. Today there are 650,000. Israeli settlements and supporting infrastructure control 40 percent of the West Bank, dividing Palestinian communities into isolated enclaves.
Israel’s tyrannical colonialist regime is fragmenting Palestinian society by denying Palestinians their freedom and other basic human rights and services by preventing access to farmland, orchards and water resources and through stealing more land while indefensibly keeping Gaza’s 1.6 million mainly impoverished people under an oppressive blockade – criminality perpetrated by Israel with the complicity and assistance of the United States.
The U.S. government has for 46 bloody years aided Israel in its barbaric repression of Palestinian nationalism, won’t permit Israelis to be held accountable for the mass murder of civilians; subsidizes construction of illegitimate Israeli settlements; repeatedly rejects peace overtures from the Palestinians, refusing to negotiate with their democratically elected Hamas-led government; and behaves as “Israel’s lawyer.” It is incapable of brokering a just resolution of this conflict.
JOHN S. HANCOCK