Amid the controversy around Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu’s speech to the US Congress, the Obama administration’s National Security Council (NSC) recently published “five key facts you need to know about the US-Israel relationship under President Obama.” Here are some relevant facts it neglected to mention:
NSC: Since 2009, the US has provided Israel with more than $20.5 billion in foreign military financing.
Since Prime Minister Netanyahu came to office in 2009, Israeli security forces have demolished the homes of more than 4,450 Palestinians in the West Bank. Israel claimed the demolitions were justified because the buildings lacked Israeli building permits – yet Israel blocks virtually all such Palestinian permit applications. Demolitions intended to drive Palestinians from their communities in occupied territory are war crimes under the 1949 Geneva Conventions. The US should take all practical steps to ensure it is not contributing to such unlawful policies and practices by the Israeli military.
NSC: In 2014, the US voted against 18 United Nations General Assembly resolutions and was the only “no” vote against 5 UN Human Rights Council resolutions that were critical of Israel.
The Obama administration justifies these votes because of the UN’s excessive focus on Israel, but it almost never finds Israeli conduct worthy of criticism in UN fora despite its persistent illegal settlement expansion and, most recently in 2014, its unlawful attacks in Gaza, such as its deliberate attacks on the family homes of Hamas fighters and its attacks on schools used as shelters by displaced civilians.
– Read more: 5 Things Official Washington won’t Tell You about Netanyahu’s Israel – Bill Van Esveld – Human Rights Watch