The U.S. government and corporate media rebuked Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas after he announced on Tuesday that he is seeking to join 15 UN bodies — most of which set international standards for human rights — including the Geneva and Vienna conventions.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry even took the step of canceling a planned Wednesday return to Israel/Palestine to engage in "peace talks" with Abbas. And several U.S. media outlets slammed Abbas for allegedly torpedoing negotiations by seeking statehood through other means. This included a New York Times headline entitled, "Abbas Takes Defiant Step, and Mideast Talks Falter."
Yet, Mike Coogan of the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation told Common Dreams, "I think it says a lot about a peace process if it has supposedly been imperiled by Palestinians signing international treaties, most of which protect human rights, not by Israel's colonization and killing.
He added, "Since this so-called peace process started, Israel has increased construction of settlements--which are illegal under international law; continued destruction of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Israel itself; confiscated Palestinian land; and responded to weekly protests against these things with violent measures."
A report released in late February by Amnesty International finds that in the past year alone, Israeli forces killed at least 22 Palestinian civilians—four of who were children and 14 of whom were killed at protests. The findings were made public just days after the release of a report by UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories Richard Falk charging that Israel's "systematic oppression" of the Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza appears to constitute the "inhuman" and "degrading" practice of "apartheid."
"It's disingenuous for the U.S. to place blame on Palestinians when, according to its own former negotiators, the U.S. is acting like Israel's lawyer and providing Israel with $3.1 billion in weapons that are being used against Palestinians," said Coogan.
Said Middle East scholar Stephen Zunes, "The Orwellian world view of Obama's foreign policy team (and NYT headline writers) continues to amaze me."