Hillary Clinton's AIPAC Speach:Find the Glaring Contradiction /Prof.B.Rubin

When policymakers say things that are in blatant contradiction, there is something wrong with their world view and strategy. Yes, political leaders often say contradictory things--often they have to do so--but it is not supposed to be too obvious.

In her speech to AIPAC, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton criticized and equated two things. On one hand, there is the Palestinian “culture of hate” which spouts “incitement” to murder Jews. The other is Israeli settlement construction. These problems, Clinton adds, “undermines America ’s unique ability to play a role” in the peace process.

Have you found the glaring contradiction? You could say, if you wished, that one cannot equate "hate speech" (to use the common terms for such things nowadays) urging killing with building settlements. I am, however, willing to accept that equation from a U.S. policy standpoint.

What is unacceptable, however, is the point that every reporter and observer should be making: The United States, as we have seen recently, is willing to attack construction on settlements (even construction the administration has previously agreed to let happen!) at the highest level and in the loudest voice. It is willing to make this issue the number one issue in the world, a basis for pressuring Israel and verbally attacking it.

I have yet to hear a single word spoken by this administration on the subject of the bloodthirsty incitement to murder that goes on every day. For this incitement not only produces violence a lot more directly than construction on settlements (which also provides stability by employing thousands of Palestinian workers), it also prevents progress toward peace.

The Palestinian Authority's failure to undertake any educational or media campaign in 16 years to promote compromise with Israel has been almost completely ignored in the West. And while such an effort wouldn't be easy, only by building a public base of support for compromise and conciliation could the Palestinian Authority (even if it wanted to do so) make peace with Israel.

Bashing Israel over construction on settlements while doing absolutely nothing about Palestinian Authority incitement is not going to persuade Israelis of the administration's credibility or make any advance toward peace. Forget about asking this administration for a "pro-Israel" policy, how about just having a truly evenhanded policy?

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal.


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