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Can the US Support UN Resolution on Israeli Settlements? Yes We Can!

Can the US Support UN Resolution on Israeli Settlements? Yes We Can! by Robert Naiman

A key resolution on the Israel-Palestine conflict is now before the UN Security Council. Largely echoing stated US policy, the resolution embraces negotiations, endorses the creation of a Palestinian state, and demands an immediate halt to Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. But even though the resolution echoes US policy, President Obama is under pressure to veto the UN resolution from forces in Washington who want to protect the Israeli occupation of the West Bank.

Can President Obama say no to this pressure? Yes, he can! Urge him to do so.

Prominent former US government officials, including Ambassador Thomas Pickering and Ambassador James Dobbins, have written to President Obama, urging him to instruct our Ambassador to the United Nations to vote yes on this initiative, noting that it echoes US policy.

It's not an immutable law of the universe that the U.S. has to veto U.N. resolutions critical of Israeli settlement expansion in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Indeed, last year, the U.S. promised the Palestinians to "consider allowing UN Security Council condemnation of any significant new Israeli settlement activity," the Guardian reported.

Some DC conventional wisdom suggests that there is no way politically that President Obama can fail to comply with any demand from the "Israel lobby" to veto the UN resolution.

But there are reasons in this case to doubt whether this conventional wisdom must necessarily be right.

JFP 1/20: US blocks Aristide's return; Pickering urges US yes on UN settlements resln

Just Foreign Policy News
January 20, 2011

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*Action: Urge Obama to Freeze Assets Linked to Ben Ali Clan
France, Switzerland, and Germany have announced that they have frozen assets linked to the deposed President of Tunisia. A Tunisian prosecutor is investigating these assets. But the US is silent. Urge President Obama to support the freeze and the Tunisian investigation.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/freezetunisianassets

Background:
Europeans Freeze Assets Linked to Deposed Tunisian President; What About US?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-naiman/europeans-freeze-assets-l_b_811811.html

Summary:
U.S./Top News

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Europeans Freeze Assets Linked to Deposed Tunisian President. What About US?

Last Friday, popular protests over unemployment and corruption forced Tunisian President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali to resign after 23 years in power. A Tunisian prosecutor has opened an investigation into the overseas assets of Ben Ali and his family, much of which are widely believed to be the fruit of corruption, and some of which the Tunisian government may try to recover. France, Switzerland, and Germany have all announced the freezing of assets linked to the Ben Ali clan; the European Union is considering doing so.

But the U.S. has made no such announcement, and the issue of U.S. support for Tunisian efforts to track and possibly recover these assets hasn't, to my knowledge - and I've been searching for it, and asking reporters and others about it - even been mentioned in the press. Shouldn't the US also move to freeze any assets in the U.S. linked to the Ben Ali clan, and indicate its full support for Tunisian efforts to recover stolen assets?

On Wednesday, the Tunisian prosecutor's office moved to investigate overseas bank accounts, real estate and other assets held by Ben Ali, his wife Leila Trabelsi and other relatives, while Switzerland froze assets linked to Ben Ali and 40 people in his entourage. On Saturday, France announced that it was blocking "suspicious financial movements concerning Tunisian assets." Germany has also announced moves to freeze the assets of Ben Ali's family.

JFP 1/19: Aristide wants to return home; Afghans blame US for Iran fuel cutoff

Just Foreign Policy News
January 19, 2011

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Juan Cole: Tunisia Uprising led by Labor Movements, Internet Activists
Talking to Democracy Now, Juan Cole speculates on reasons US corporate media "blew off" the Tunisian revolution: it was led by workers' organizations; it was largely secular, not Islamist.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBmL_OqaS_I&

Center for Economic and Policy Research: Analysis of the OAS Mission's Draft Final Report on Haiti's Election
CEPR finds that the OAS Mission did not establish any legal, statistical, or other logical basis for its conclusion that candidate Michel Martelly finished second and Jude Celestin third.
http://www.cepr.net/index.php/press-releases/press-releases/cepr-examines-oas-report-on-haitis-election-finds-it-qinconclusive-statistically-flawed-and-indefensibleq

Robert Wright: Sharing the Burden of Peace
In his last "opinionator" column for the New York Times, Robert Wright argues that the logic of the U.S. "playing global cop" is dangerously circular: "A big reason that some nations view us so warily is that we assume the role of global cop - or, as they see it, of global bully… The cost of being global cop isn't confined to money; there's also the ill will that gets generated by the policing."

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JFP 1/18: Ministers quit Tunisia govt; Lebanon protests US meddling

Just Foreign Policy News
January 18, 2011

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Al Jazeera Video: Tunisian anger at 'unity govt'
Protesters are angry at how many members of the previous government have been allowed to keep key posts, including the ministers of defense, finance, the interior and foreign affairs.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXvbiTMXfkc

Center for Economic and Policy Research: Analysis of the OAS Mission's Draft Final Report on Haiti's Election
CEPR finds that the OAS Mission did not establish any legal, statistical, or other logical basis for its conclusion that candidate Michel Martelly finished second and Jude Celestin third.
http://www.cepr.net/index.php/publications/reports/analysis-of-the-oas-missions-draft-final-report-on-haitis-election

Jeff Cohen and Norman Solomon: A Time for Action - Not Servility
Cohen and Solomon announce the formation of "Roots Action."
http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/01/18-0

Summary:
U.S./Top News

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JFP 1/17: Tunisia puts focus on West-Arab security ties

Just Foreign Policy News
January 17, 2011

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Center for Economic and Policy Research: Analysis of the OAS Mission's Draft Final Report on Haiti's Election
CEPR finds that the OAS Mission did not establish any legal, statistical, or other logical basis for its conclusion that candidate Michel Martelly finished second and Jude Celestin third.
http://www.scribd.com/doc/47037329/Analysis-of-the-OAS-Mission%E2%80%99s-Draft-Final-Report-on-Haiti%E2%80%99s-Election

Center for Constitutional Rights: Support the Call for Fair Elections in Haiti

Ask the State Department to support fair elections in Haiti. 3076 have signed the petition.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/haitinewelection

Tunisian Protests Move Hillary's Line on Democratic Reform
As Hillary Clinton was delivering a "scalding critique" on the need for reform to Arab leaders, the New York Times noted that protests demanding that the President of Tunisia resign "echoed loudly in the background." Could Clinton's remarks mean a shift in U.S. policy? "Revolution by the Have-Nots has a way of inducing a moral revelation among the Haves," Saul Alinsky said, as Secretary Clinton may have noted when she was researching her senior thesis on Alinsky.

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draft OAS team report on Haitian elections

Attached is a leaked copy of the controversial draft report of the OAS team on the Haiti elections.

The Center for Economic and Policy Research analyzes the draft report here.

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JFP 1/14: Obama Supports Tunisian Protesters - After They Win

Just Foreign Policy News
January 14, 2011

*Action: Center for Constitutional Rights: Support the Call for Fair Elections in Haiti
Ask the State Department to support fair elections in Haiti.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/haitinewelection

Tunisian Protests Move Hillary's Line on Democratic Reform
As Secretary of State Clinton was delivering "scalding critique" on the need for reform to Arab leaders at a conference in Qatar, the New York Times notes that protests successfully demanding that the President of Tunisia resign "echoed loudly in the background." Could Clinton's remarks presage a shift in U.S. policy? "Revolution by the Have-Nots has a way of inducing a moral revelation among the Haves," Saul Alinsky said, as Secretary Clinton may have noted when she was researching her senior thesis on Alinsky.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-naiman/tunisian-protests-move-hi_b_809314.html

Jesuit Refugee Service: Deporting Haitians into Peril - a Disturbing Policy
The recent decision by the U.S. government to resume the deportation of Haitians is wrong, and will put lives at risk while creating an additional problem for the maintenance of public order in Haiti, the Jesuit Refugee Service says.
http://jrsusa.org/news_detail?TN=NEWS-20110107091154

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Tunisian Protests Move Hillary's Line on Democratic Reform

Back in 1969, when Secretary of State Clinton was writing her senior thesis at Wellesley on Chicago community organizer Saul Alinsky, she must have come across this line on page 9 of Alinksy's book "Rules for Radicals":

 

"Revolution by the Have-Nots has a way of inducing a moral revelation among the Haves."

Thursday, Secretary Clinton delivered what the New York Times called a "scalding critique" to Arab leaders at a conference in Qatar.

"The region's foundations are sinking into the sand," Clinton said, calling for "political reforms that will create the space young people are demanding, to participate in public affairs and have a meaningful role in the decisions that shape their lives." Those who would "prey on desperation and poverty are already out there," Clinton warned, "appealing for allegiance and competing for influence."

As Secretary Clinton made her remarks, the Times noted, "unrest in Tunisia that threatened its government while serving to buttress her arguments" was among the events that "echoed loudly in the background."

Friday, Tunisian president Ben Ali has reportedly fled the country and the Tunisian prime minister says he is now in charge.

Popular protest can bring down the government in an Arab country. Who knew?

JFP 1/13: Conservatives, Tea Partiers worried re cost of Afghanistan war

Just Foreign Policy News
January 13, 2011

*Action: Center for Constitutional Rights: Support the Call for Fair Elections in Haiti
Ask the State Department to support fair elections in Haiti.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/haitinewelection

Maxine Waters Calls for New Elections in Haiti
Rep. Waters has called for the results of the disputed November presidential election in Haiti to be set aside and for new elections to be held. She writes: "I call upon the Government of Haiti to set aside the flawed November 28th elections and organize new elections that will be free, fair and accessible to all Haitian voters." The electoral data from 2010 and 2006 strongly suggest that the call for new elections reflects the opinions and interests of the majority of Haitians.
http://www.truth-out.org/maxine-waters-calls-new-elections-haiti66807

Glenn Greenwald: Media Lying About WikiLeaks and Zimbabwe
Several papers - including the Guardian - ran pieces trashing WikiLeaks for publishing a cable about Zimbabwe, when in fact it was the Guardian that published the cable. Efforts to correct the record have been spectacularly modest.
http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2011/01/12/propaganda/index.html

PDA: January Brown Bag Lunch Vigils to Bring the Troops Home
PDA and others gather at local Congressional offices. Check to see if there is a vigil near you.
http://pdamerica.org/articles/misc/2009-11-13-12-49-50-misc.php

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