Muslim Press has conducted an interview with Staughton Lynd, a long-time activist, to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Regarding the latest UN resolution that condemns Israel over illegal settlements, Mr. Lynd said, “The US has on some previous occasions abstained when the Security Council passed a resolution condemning Israeli settlements.”
He noted that the Israeli government continues its settlement policy despite such resolutions.
“The US has also attempted to bribe Israel to seek security by means other than abandoning its settlement policy,” he said, adding, “This is dramatically the case at the present moment, as the Obama administration has just concluded a multi-year, multi-billion dollar arrangement for giving Israel new military aid.”
He added that “US law requires the Congress not to provide military assistance to a government practicing a pattern of gross violations of human rights. Yet Obama and Kerry support such aid.”
Mr. Lynd also said “US abstention on this occasion is made more significant by Kerry's speech. Kerry says that the two-state solution is fast becoming impossible, because the settlements are located so as to divide the West Bank into a pattern of Bantustans inconsistent with a single, sovereign nation.”
Referring to the Israeli community, he said “There is a growing division of the Jewish community both in the US and Israel. Witness the magazine Tikkun, organizations like Jewish Voice for Peace, lobbies like J Street. The day after Kerry's speech, a long NY Times editorial and an Op Ed on the Times by Thomas Friedman strongly condemned Israeli policy.”
“Sam Bahour, co-editor with my wife and myself of Homeland: Oral Histories of Palestine and Palestinians, thinks recognition of Palestine as an independent sovereign state is the most important next step for the US.”
He further said that the UN resolution supports actions that distinguish between the State of Israel before the 1967 war, and the land Israel occupied in that war, adding, “It thus leaves the door open for actions such as BDS.”
Staughton Craig Lynd is an American conscientious objector, Quaker, peace activist and civil rights activist, tax resister, historian, professor, author and lawyer. His involvement in social justice causes has brought him into contact with some of the nation's most influential activists, including Howard Zinn, Tom Hayden and Daniel Berrigan.