'US continues to back Israeli crimes'
Wed Aug 31, 2011 3:12PM
Interview with Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies and an associate professor of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Oklahoma
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has condemned Israel's killing of ten civilian protesters on Lebanon's border on Nakba Day on May 15, which marked the 63rd anniversary of Israel's occupation of Palestinian lands.
A total of 25 protesters were killed in southern Lebanon, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and Syria's occupied Golan heights by Israeli forces on that day.
The Council also condemned the May 27 and July 26 roadside bomb attacks in southern Lebanon which left six Italian troops and six French soldiers wounded.
Press TV has conducted an interview with Joshua Landis, the director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, who says Israel, with the help of the US, gets off scoff-free with the atrocities is it committing against Palestinian people.
Press TV: These killings happened on May 15. At least 10 civilians were killed by Israel on that day, why would it take the UN three months to react?
Landis: Well, I am not sure why it took that long to react, obviously there were renewing the UNIFL mandate and they have put forward a bunch of UNIFL statements so perhaps it all comes as a bundle.
Press TV: The question always in such cases is what makes Israel exempt from international law, why is it that Tel Aviv is shown leniency by the United Nations?
Landis: The US has been a big supporter of Israel since it was founded. It was the first to recognize it and pushed for its existence and it has defended it steadily in all the wars and it has vetoed dozens of UN Security Council measures condemning Israeli actions. So it helps Israel a great deal within the context of the Middle East. Many Arab states still don't recognize it fully and haven't made peace agreements with it. Of course the borders of Israel are still undefined around the West Bank and that causes constant grievances.
Press TV:The UN has condemned Israel, but will the condemnation be enough to prevent the repeat of the atrocity?
Landis: I am not sure they will. Israel is very strong and as we know the Arab world is now going through a period of great chaos and division. The Arab Spring has brought revolution to Syria, to Egypt, to much of North African countries and this has weakened most of its neighbors.
So Israel is in a very strong position today, the US has defended it condemnation for the Palestinian cause, even though it has asked for the stopping of the settlement expansion. Israel has been able to thumb its nose at the US and the world and get a pass on this. In September comes before the UN a resolution to recognize a Palestinian state in the West Bank and that will be undoubtedly be vetoed by the US and it is still unclear how that is going to unfold.