cajoling and arms twisting against Palestine independence

Six eastern European members of the European Union, which have not decided on how to vote on Palestinian sovereignty, are due to be visited by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Lieberman. The countries are Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria. Netanyahu and Lieberman will undoubtedly play the "Holocaust card," stressing that these nations "owe" Israel for Nazi crimes committed on their soil during the Second World War. Lieberman is also expected to visit Croatia and Macedonia where he will also likely play the "Holocaust card."

By Wayne Madsen

Like the "Wandering Jew" of Christian folklore, doomed to wander the earth for taunting Jesus on his way to the crucifixion, modern-day Israeli diplomats are being forced to wander the globe to pressure member states of the United Nations, large and small, to vote against Palestine's bid for recognition by the UN General Assembly in September.

Obviously, the pressure being exerted by Israel's Foreign Ministry, led by Jewish anti-Arab racist Avigdor Lieberman, ruffled some feathers among some of Israel's more seasoned diplomats. Key elements of Israel's strategy to derail Palestine's bid for recognition, contained in classified cables to Israeli overseas posts, were recently leaked to the Israeli paper Haaretz.

Six eastern European members of the European Union, which have not decided on how to vote on Palestinian sovereignty, are due to be visited by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Lieberman. The countries are Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria. Netanyahu and Lieberman will undoubtedly play the "Holocaust card," stressing that these nations "owe" Israel for Nazi crimes committed on their soil during the Second World War. Lieberman is also expected to visit Croatia and Macedonia where he will also likely play the "Holocaust card."

The use of the "Holocaust card" is a quintessential Netanyahu ploy as evidenced by his past use of it before the UN General Assembly two years ago to criticize Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's remarks before the assembly and the failure of some members to boycott the Iranian leader's speech.

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Israel has also used Holocaust guilt to pressure Germany and Italy, the two top European Axis powers in World War II, into opposing the Palestine recognition bid. In European countries that generally favor the Palestinian cause, particularly Ireland, Portugal, Sweden, Belgium, and Portugal, Israel is relying on local and other European Jewish businessmen and politicians, including the super-elite Rothschild family, to advocate against a "yes" vote for Palestinian sovereignty. Ireland, Portugal, and Belgium, seeing a drastic collapse of their economies, are particularly vulnerable to pressure from international banking cartels over their UN votes concerning Palestine.

Another Israeli effort is targeting the nations of the former USSR to vote "no" on the Palestine resolution. These include a number of predominantly Muslim nations, including Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan, in addition to Armenia, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Moldova, in addition to Mongolia, a former member of the Soviet bloc. The Israelis are also playing the "Holocaust card" in nations like Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, and Ukraine.

Israel's strategy is to prevent a two-thirds majority in the UN General Assembly, in accordance with the Cold War-era U.S.-contrived "Uniting for Peace" proviso, that would trump an expected U.S. veto of Palestine's sovereignty recognition by the UN Security Council, where a single "no" vote by a permanent member, would derail Palestine's bid for UN membership. By invoking Uniting for Peace, Palestine's supporters can pass a non-binding UN General Assembly resolution recognizing Palestine's sovereignty within 1967 borders and call for sanctions against Israel for violating Palestine's sovereignty.

Israel's goal is to prevent Palestine from achieving the two-thirds, 128 votes, either by a "no" vote or an abstention or non-vote, required for passage of the Uniting for Peace resolution. Even Europe's smallest states — Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Malta, Andorra, San Marino, Monaco, Cyprus, and Montenegro — are being subjected to massive pressure from Israeli diplomats and European Jewish interlocutors.

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Neither are the UN's smallest states immune to Israeli pressure. In April, the Knesset speaker, Reuven Rivlin, visited the south Pacific nation of Tonga to lobby for a "no" vote on Palestine. Israel is also relying on Jewish lobby groups in Australia and New Zealand, for example, the Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) and the New Zealand Jewish Council, to pressure the diplomatic missions of other south Pacific mini-states in Canberra and Wellington, respectively, into voting "no" on Palestine. Israel envoys and interlocutors may have secured "no" votes from Tonga, Samoa, Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Palau, and Nauru. However, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Kiribati, Tuvalu, and Fiji still appear to be up-for-grabs. Israel is waging a vigorous operation to secure a "no" vote from Kiribati but Vanuatu recently slapped Israel's ally, the Republic of Georgia, by recognizing as independent the secessionist Republic of Abkhazia.

The south Pacific effort is being mirrored in the Western Hemisphere by groups like the America Israel Public Afffairs Committee (AIPAC), American Jewish Committee, and Canada Israel Committee for Public Affairs (CIPAC) to influence those uncommitted nations in Central America and the Caribbean, many reliant on tourism from the United States and Canada, to vote "no" on Palestine in the General Assembly. Chief targets for the Jewish groups include quake-devastated Haiti, which is extremely vulnerable to international banking pressure; Jamaica; the Bahamas; Barbados; St. Lucia; Antigua and Barbuda; Grenada; Belize; Panama; Honduras; Guatemala; and Costa Rica. Israel already has a "no" vote from Colombia in its pocket.

Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon lobbied Latin American and Caribbean nations at the recent Organization of American States (OAS) summit in El Salvador to vote "no" on Palestine. Ayalon indicated that Israel can expect "no" votes from Jamaica, Belize, Guyana, Suriname, Panama, Costa Rica, El Salvador and Colombia. Guyana and Suriname recently recognized Palestine's independence within the 1967 borders. Ayalon said he also believes he has secured a "no" vote from Mexico and that Israel may expect a reveral of support for Palestine from a number of Latin American nations that previously recognized Palestine's independence, including Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, and Paraguay.

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Venezuela, through the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of the Americas (ALBA), is countering Israeli and Jewish lobbying efforts by trying to ensure "yes" votes for Palestine by ALBA members Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Venezuela is also using its economic clout with its oil recipients, including Belize, Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Haiti, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Jamaica, Honduras, Guatemala, and Saint Lucia, to ensure that Israel's lobbying efforts in the region fail.

Leaving no nation up for grabs in the struggle for votes, Israel has also targeted small nations of Africa and Asia, including overwhelmingly Muslim Maldives and Comoros in the Indian Ocean. Others receiving Israeli and Jewish attention are Bhutan, Nepal, East Timor, Cape Verde, Mauritius, Seychelles, Djibouti, Guinea-Bissau, Gambia, Papua New Guinea, Equatorial Guinea, Lesotho, Swaziland, Togo, Benin, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Burundi, and Sao Tome and Principe.

Ayalon has indicated he has also secured a "no" vote from Japan after meeting with Japanese Deputy Foreign Minister Yutaka Banno and that Israeli lobbying of UN Security Council members South Africa and Nigeria may result in at least abstentions on Palestine.

South Sudan, expected to become the UN's 193rd member before the General Assembly vote, is expected to vote "no" in support of Israel, which provided the south Sudanese with military and other aid in its long civil war against the central Sudanese government in Khartoum.

Israel is currently hosting a mayor's conference in Jerusalem, sponsored by the Israeli Foreign Ministry and the American Council for World Jewry, and those mayors from the Philippines, Malta, Peru, Cape Verde, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kenya, El Salvador, Tanzania, Uruguay, Gambia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Hungary will most certainly be pressured by Israeli officials to apply pressure on their own governments for a "no" or abstention on Palestinian sovereignty.

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