Chomsky urges US to adhere to its laws for Palestine

American philosopher and political activist Noam Chomsky commended the British parliamentary vote to recognise Palestine, but stressed that the US held the keys to a Palestinian state.

Chomsky urges US to adhere to its laws for Palestine

World Bulletin/News Desk

The U.S. must live up to its own laws if it wants to help the Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts, renowned American thinker Noam Chomsky told a U.N. committee Tuesday.

"Of course it would be nice if it lived up to international law, but maybe that is too much to ask," Chomsky told a packed audience at a meeting of the U.N. Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.

Speaking on the occasion of the "International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People," he said one of the U.S. laws that Washington must follow is the "Leahy Law," which bars sending weapons to any military unit that is involved in constant human rights violations.

"There isn't the slightest doubt that the Israeli army was involved in massive human rights violations, which means that all U.S. arms to Israel is in violation of U.S. law," he said.

Israel has traditionally been a close ally of the U.S., and has been assisted throughout the years with substantial amounts of American financial and military aid.

The U.S. should be called upon by its own citizens to adhere to its laws, Chomsky said.

Regarding the future of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he warned that the "realistic" outcome of a two-state solution, which envisages an independent Palestinian state alongside the state of Israel, is that "Israel will continue doing exactly what it is doing right now, with U.S. support, which is visible."

He said one of the actions the United Nations could take to support the two-state solution is to recognize the state of Palestine, adding that, "in real world," the U.N. could act as far as the dominating powers, including the U.S. and its strong allies, allowed.

The roots of the Israel-Palestine conflict date back to 1917, when the British government, in the now-famous "Balfour Declaration," called for "the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people."

Israel occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank during the 1967 Middle East War. It later annexed the holy city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the self-proclaimed Jewish state – a move never recognized by the international community.

Palestinians want a state of their own in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, with East Jerusalem, currently occupied by Israel, as its capital.

Considered among the key figures of the post-war American philosophy, Chomsky said the analogy of the Palestinians' situation to apartheid-era South Africa was "misleading.”

He said South Africa relied on its black people, that was 85 percent of the population, and they were the country's workforce.

As for Israel's position towards the Palestinians, he said, "They don't want to do anything to do with them. If they live, that's fine; if they die, that's fine."

The apartheid policy governed the relations between South Africa’s white minority and black majority. It authorized racial segregation and political and economic discrimination against nonwhites.

Chomsky said Israel's policies regarding Palestine began to show colonial undertones.

"In the standard neo-colonial pattern, Israel is permitting the establishment of a center of Palestinian elites in Ramalah, with nice restaurants, theatres and zones. Every third world country under the colonial system had something like that. That is the picture which is emerging, taking shape before the eyes. It has so far worked very well," he said.

 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 15 Ekim 2014, 12:32
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