Josef Avesar
Josef Avesar

When it comes to Palestine/Israel, the US abandons its values

Imagine you are overweight with high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. Your doctor tells his other patients with similar conditions to lose weight, improve their eating habits, exercise and he prescribes them medications but he ignores your eating habits, does not recommend working out and fails to prescribe medications because he thinks you would not follow his recommendations.

America strives to be a secular and open democratic society, a constitutional republic, with separation between church and state, seeking equality, justice and the pursuit of happiness.  The U.S. is a union of 50 states with over 330 million people with different cultures religions and ethnicities under one federal system. The American flag proudly displays 50 stars for 50 states united together. American children recite the pledge of allegiance “…to the flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, under God indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” America rejects segregation, discrimination and is proud of its policy allowing free movement of people. Every American policymaker in the State Department, the White House and other federal institutions pledges loyalty to the Constitution as a prerequisite to employment or elected position. America grants full birthright citizenship to every person born in the United States.

However, when it comes to Israel/Palestine, America pursues contradictory values. Instead of a secular democracy that separates religion from government, the U.S supports a Jewish state based on religious rights without a constitution, ignoring its own prized value of separation of church and state. Instead of rejecting segregation, the U.S encourages it by insisting on a “two State solution” to separate and dislocate people based on ethnicity and religious criteria. Instead of supporting a federal system as a solution to the conflict, the U.S has never suggested a common Federal system for the Palestinian and Israelis as a method of reducing friction.  Instead of insisting that Palestinians and Israelis be afforded equal protection under the law, the U.S supports Israel, which subjects Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza to administrative laws under military occupation. Instead of insisting that Palestinians who were born in Palestine be given the right to vote for the government which controls them the U.S supports the Israeli occupation which fails to give the native-born Palestinians full citizenship.

Ambassador Dennis Ross played a leading role in shaping U. S involvement in the Middle East under several presidents. The book “The Missing Peace “describes his failure to negotiate a Two-State solution which he continues to advocate.

On September 5, 2021, in an Israeli Palestinian peace simulation (full link below) I asked him, why do you not accept the principle of separation of church and state for Israel and Palestine but would accept it for the U.S?

He replied that “they are not the U.S.” but would love to see separation of church and state in Israel Palestine, pointed out that Hamas is an Islamic organization which he doubts will agree to that principle. He also doubted that the P.A would be willing to commit to separation of church and state and claimed that the U.S does not like to impose its values on other nations.

Apparently, Ambassador Ross does not consider supplying advanced weapons to Israel and giving it political cover as imposition of its values. However, he does see the pursuit of U.S values of Democracy in the region   as an imposition.

Link to the simulation with Ambassador Dennis Ross.

About the Author
Josef Avesar is founder of the Israeli Palestinian Confederation, which advocates for a mutual third government for Israelis and Palestinians. An American-Israeli of Iraqi background, he practices law in the U.S., but travels frequently to Israel and Palestine.