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U.S. Vetoes Settlement Resolution

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Message Sally McMillan
The opposite of courage is cowardice.   The U.S. veto of the Security Council resolution opposing Israeli settlements is a good example of   political cowardice.   I have no doubt that President Obama, the State Department, and the U.S. Congress understand that this vote is damaging to the U.S. reputation, notwithstanding the words used by Ambassador Susan Rice to explain it.   Actions speak louder than words, and any effort to convince that the U.N. is not the place to deal with Israeli settlements is patently ridiculous.   The UN is the exact place where this problem should be dealt with.   

The UN established the state of Israel in 1947 and bears responsibility for the fate of Palestinians displaced and oppressed by this decision.   Israeli settlements are illegal under international law. Consequently, nations which have signed the UN  charter are obliged to uphold it and other expressions of international law, such as the Geneva Conventions and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Current attempts to negotiate a solution to the Israeli/Palestinian problem, in which the U .S. called on Israel to end their settlement expansion, have been rejected and ignored  by Israel.  

U.S. vetoes of resolutions critical of Israel in the U.N and U.S. military support for Israel have contributed to the ongoing situation.   By not holding Israel responsible for its occupation of Palestinian territories and for its inhumane treatment of Palestinians as well as its expansionist efforts, the U.S. and the world have allowed Israel to be a disruptive influence in the Middle East and a major contributor to the rise of terrorism directed at the West and the U.S. in particular. It's a disturbing reality that people in our Administration and in Congress are putting the interests of Israel ahead of U.S. interests.  

It's time that we broke the cords of this relationship and allowed justice to prevail. The truth is that the U.S. special relationship with Israel has allowed Israel to act with impunity, and it disqualifies us to be arbitrator of this conflict.  Negotiations with Israel have been tried for a period of at least 40 years, and have failed.   It should be obvious by now that Israel will not depart from its goal to control the entire area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.   This is the root cause of failure in negotiations. It's the Palestinians who do not have a peace partner.  

  It's time that the U.S. admitted that it requires world pressure to establish an independent sovereign state for the Palestinians, and it's time that we cooperated with world opinion in the United Nations.  If we truly want peace in this area, for Israel and for Palestine, we must face this reality.   Not only are we hindering a solution, but we are also undermining the effectiveness of the United Nations.

Our President has fine words, but he has shown a lack of courage to stand up against the immense political pressure and do what is right.   Leadership requires courage.

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Sally McMillan is a mother, a grandmother, an activist and a writer. She's from Philadelphia, Iowa, and now Albuquerque. She has four children and 12 grandchildren.

She is a graduate of Chestnut Hill College, Philadelphia PA (more...)

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