Stephen Zunes : Israel and Palestine


Democrats Ignore Shocking Findings of Atrocities in Gaza War
13 October 2009

On October 1, the Obama administration successfully pressured the Palestinian delegation to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva to drop its proposal to recommend that the UN Security Council endorse the findings of the Goldstone Commission report. The report, authored by renowned South African jurist Richard Goldstone, detailed the results of the UNHRC’s fact-finding mission on the Gaza conflict. These findings included the recommendation that both Hamas and the Israeli government bring to justice those responsible for war crimes during the three weeks of fighting in late December and early January. If they don’t, the report urges that the case be referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for possible prosecution.


The Goldstone Report: Killing the Messenger
7 October 2009

On October 1, the Obama administration successfully pressured the Palestinian delegation to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva to drop its proposal to recommend that the UN Security Council endorse the findings of the Goldstone Commission report. The report, authored by renowned South African jurist Richard Goldstone, detailed the results of the UNHRC’s fact-finding mission on the Gaza conflict. These findings included the recommendation that both Hamas and the Israeli government bring to justice those responsible for war crimes during the three weeks of fighting in late December and early January. If they don’t, the report urges that the case be referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for possible prosecution.


How Clinton and the Democrats Made Possible Israel’s Settlements Expansion
15 June 2009

President Barack Obama has inherited a difficult challenge in pushing Israel to end the expansion of its illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank. With the right-wing Israeli government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu categorically rejecting the idea of a freeze and with Democratic-controlled Congress ruling out using the billions of dollars of U.S. military aid to Israel as leverage, the situation remains deadlocked.


WIll Democrats Finally End their Support for West Bank Settlements? (Part Two)
9 June 2009

Recent calls by President Barack Obama for the government of Israel to freeze the expansion of Jewish settlements in the Israeli-occupied West Bank marks a sharp reversal from Democratic Party policy toward the Israeli colonization of Palestinian land….


As Obama Tries to Shift the Debate, Will Democrats Continue to Endorse Israel’s Colonization of the West Bank
6 June 2009

Obama has inherited a difficult challenge in pushing Israel to end the expansion of its illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank.


Defending Israeli War Crimes
28 May 2009

In response to a series of reports by human rights organizations and international legal scholars documenting serious large-scale violations of international humanitarian law by Israeli armed forces in its recent war on the Gaza Strip, 10 U.S. state attorneys general sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton defending the Israeli action. It is […]


Pelosi the Hawk
27 April 2009

Reports by international human rights groups and from within Israel in recent weeks have revealed the massive scale of war-crimes and other violations of international humanitarian law, committed by Israeli forces during their three-week offensive against the Gaza Strip earlier this year. Despite this, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has steadfastly stood by her insistence that the U.S.-backed Israeli government has no legal or moral responsibility for the tragic consequence of the war….


The Budget’s Foreign Policy Handcuffs
20 March 2009

Hopes that a Democratic administration with an expanded Democratic congressional majority might lead to a more ethical, rational, and progressive foreign policy were challenged with last week’s passage of the 2009 omnibus budget bill, which included many troubling provisions regarding the State Department and related diplomatic functions. In the House of Representatives, all but two […]


Obama and Israel’s Military: Still Arm-in-Arm
4 March 2009

In the wake of Israel’s massive assault on heavily populated civilian areas of the Gaza Strip earlier this year, Amnesty International called for the United States to suspend military aid to Israel on human rights grounds. Amnesty has also called for the United Nations to impose a mandatory arms embargo on both Hamas and the Israeli government. Unfortunately, it appears that President Barack Obama won’t be heeding Amnesty’s call….


Congressional Support for Israel’s War on Gaza Shows Bipartisan Hostility toward International Law
21 February 2009

Last month’s decision by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, backed by an overwhelming majority of her Democratic colleagues, to go on record in support of Israel’s war on the Gaza Strip does not give much hope that the expanded Democratic majority will be much more sensitive to human rights than we have seen after years of Republican rule….