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The US and Israel: a short quiz on "rogue nation" status

By       Message Glenn Greenwald     Permalink

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Cross-posted from The Guardian

A series of events just from this week makes clear who is actually violating the consensus of the international community

A vote by the United Nations has called on Israel to open its nuclear programme to inspectors
A vote by the United Nations general assembly has called on Israel to open its nuclear programme to weapons inspectors. Photograph: Chip East/Reuters

The phrase "rogue nation" is one of the terms that get tossed around often in political discourse without much effort devoted to its actual meaning. Let's try to apply this term to a series of events just from the last week, beginning with this one:

"The 193-nation UN General Assembly on Thursday overwhelmingly approved the de facto recognition of a sovereign Palestinian state. ...There were 138 votes in favor, nine against and 41 abstentions. ...The assembly approved the upgrade despite threats by the United States and Israel to punish the Palestinians by withholding funds for the West Bank government. ...The Czech Republic was unique in Europe, joining the United States, Israel, Canada, Panama and tiny Pacific Island states likes Nauru, Palau and Micronesia in voting against the move."

In response, Israel announced it would "punish" the Palestinians for the UN vote by approving more settlements (which virtually the entire world deems illegal) and withholding tax revenue that was to pay employees of the Palestinian Authority; that behavior by Israel resulted in this:

"Australia and Brazil summoned their Israeli ambassadors on Tuesday to protest against Israel's decision to expand Jewish settlements in east Jerusalem and the West Bank and withhold tax revenue from the Palestinian Authority.

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"The moves followed similar actions in Europe including Spain, France, Britain, Sweden and Denmark in the wake of the Palestinians winning de facto UN recognition of statehood."

Meanwhile, it was reported today that "Britain and other European countries will consider 'further steps' if Israel refuses to reverse its plans for settlement expansion after a wave of diplomatic protests." And then finally, we have this, from Monday [emphasis added]:

"The UN general assembly has overwhelmingly approved a resolution calling on Israel to open its nuclear programme for inspection.

"The resolution, approved by a vote of 174 to six with six abstentions, calls on Israel to join the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) 'without further delay' and open its nuclear facilities to inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency. Those voting against were Israel, the US, Canada, Marshall Islands, Micronesia and Palau. ...

"The vote came as a sequel to the cancellation of a high-level conference aimed at banning nuclear weapons from the Middle East. All the Arab nations and Iran had planned to attend the summit in mid-December in Helsinki, Finland, but the US announced on 23 November that it would not take place, citing political turmoil in the region and Iran's defiant stance on non-proliferation. Iran and some Arab nations countered that the real reason for the cancellation was Israel's refusal to attend."

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So essentially, it's the entire planet on one side, versus the US, its new right-wing poodle to the north, Israel, and three tiny, bribed islands on the other side.

If you're a member in good standing of the Washington-based US foreign policy community, then the way you describe these matters is as follows: "the international community stands by Israel and supports its position" -- because, in that warped, self-affirming world, "international community" is a synonym for "US dictates."

But for those fortunate enough to reside outside of that realm of intense imperial propaganda: who is actually opposed to the consensus of the international community here? In other words, who are the real "rogue nations"?

 

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Glenn Greenwald is one of three co-founding editors of The Intercept. He is a journalist, constitutional lawyer, and author of four New York Times best-selling books on politics and law. His most recent book, No Place (more...)
 

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