Recent votes in the United Nations and United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) provide evidence that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and its affiliates not only own and operate most of the members of the U.S. Congress but also many of the UN delegations of its member states.
Israel, known for its aggressive stance toward U.S. senators and representatives who fail to adhere to its line, has also managed to intimidate, with the help of its U.S., Canadian, British, Australian, and New Zealand lobbies, a number of small nations to support Israel against the statehood and UN membership aspirations of Palestine. In the U.S. House of Representatives, over 400 members are owned by the Israel Lobby while in the Senate, Israel’s control is practically 100 percent. Sizeable Israel lobbies also exist in the British and Canadian Houses of Commons and the Australian parliament.
Clearly, the Israelis and their lobbies have created a small bloc of nations that back Israel on every issue concerning Palestine. This bloc has been created by political pressure brought by mainly wealthy Jewish contributors to the major political parties of the United States, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, and New Zealand, nations that also make up the English-speaking alliance of intelligence agencies.
In recent UN General Assembly votes on Palestinian rights, it has been Israel, the United States, Canada, and four small Pacific island states, whose votes are bought by the United States – Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Nauru, and Palau – that uniformly voted against such issues as applicability of the Geneva Convention on the occupied Palestinian territories, cessation of all Israeli settlement activities in the territories, Israeli human rights violations committed against Palestinians, return of displaced Palestinian refugees, and destruction and confiscation of Palestinian properties. Australia joined the “Solid Seven” in voting against some of the UN resolutions on Palestine.
Israel’s control of the votes of three Pacific nations that have “compacts of free association” with the United States arises from the fact that the United States effectively controls the foreign affairs and UN votes of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, and Palau as much as the former Soviet Union controlled the UN votes of the Byelorussian and Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republics, which had separate UN membership from that of the USSR.
Palau votes with Israel in the United Nations more than any other country, including the United States. Micronesia is not far behind in its support for Israel. The Marshall Islands and the former UN trusteeship of Nauru also count among nations that support Israel in the UN almost 100 percent of the time. In January 2010, Nauruan President Marcus Stephen, Micronesian President Emanuel Mora, the Nauruan First Lady, and the Micronesian and Nauruan foreign ministers and UN ambassadors visited Israel in a trip partly arranged by the American Jewish Committee in New York. The delegations made the obligatory psychological warfare visit to the Yad Vashem and received Israeli security briefings on the threats of Hamas and Lebanese Hezbollah.
The U.S. Jewish and Israeli lobbies have carefully nurtured their influence in the small Pacific island states. The lobbies have arranged for Orthodox Jewish Yeshiva University students to visit Palau, where they met President Tommy Remengesau and members of the Palau Senate. Yeshiva has even provided interns for the Micronesian mission to the UN in New York. Since the first Yeshiva visit to Palau in 2005, the orthodox Riverdale Jewish Center in The Bronx has maintained a strong religious connection to Palau, indoctrinating the Palauan people, who are half Catholic with significant Protestant and Mormon minorities, on Judaism. In 2005, Marshall Islands President Kessai Note also paid a state visit to Israel with all the obligatory propagandizing by the Israeli government as part of the itinerary.
The UNESCO vote in Paris on Palestine’s admission also pointed to Israel’s control over the Pacific vote. Although Micronesia and the Marshall Islands were absent from the Paris vote, Palau, as well as three other Pacific states – Samoa, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu – voted no on Palestine’s admission to UNESCO as a full member. Nauru abstained, as did Kiribati, Cook Islands, Fiji, Tuvalu, Tonga, and Papua New Guinea. Niue, which, like the Cook Islands, is a self-governing territory of New Zealand, whose Prime Minister John Key is of Jewish descent, was absent.
In April, an Israeli delegation headed by Knesset speaker Reuven Rivlin visited Tonga in what was billed as a “re-kindling” of Israeli relations with the Pacific. In 2010, the Arab League held its first summit with Pacific island leaders in Tonga, causing alarm in west Jerusalem. Rivlin also visited New Zealand, which has tremendous influence over the foreign relations of the Pacific states. The success of the Israeli and New Zealand campaign is reflected in the UNESCO vote on Palestine and in the recent UN General Assembly votes on Palestinian rights in which Vanuatu abstained.
The Solomon Islands came under strong Israeli pressure in 2009 after the nation held the distinction of the only Pacific nation to have voted in the UN General Assembly to approve the Goldstone Report, which condemned Israeli human rights abuses in its Operation Cast Lead invasion of Gaza in December 2008 and January 2009. The Solomon Islands had already come in to the Israeli radar screens in 2008 when Solomons Foreign Minister William Haomare paid a visit to Tehran after meeting Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki at the UN to discuss establishing diplomatic relations. Also at the UN in 2008, Solomons President Derek Sikua met with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Israel’s regional lobbyists, including influential groups like the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) and the New Zealand Jewish Council, went to work in Canberra, Wellington, and Honiara, the Solomons capital, to change the course of Solomon Islands foreign policy. Sikua lost the August 2010 general election and was replaced by Danny Philip who altered course and ensured that his nation was back in lockstep with Israel. Israeli MASHAV international aid workers have descended on the Solomon Islands this year and are active in “training” missions, especially in Malaita province, which has a history of secessionism.
Israel also had its regional interlocutors move on Vanuatu, especially after that nation recognized the independence of Abkhazia, a breakaway region of Israel’s close ally Georgia. Israel’s non-resident ambassador to Vanuatu, Michael Ronen, began to arrange for Israeli aid workers to arrive in Vanuatu, as they had done in the Solomon Islands. Israeli pressure has also been applied to Tuvalu and Nauru after they, like Vanuatu, recognized Abkhazia. Israelis are obviously concerned that if the small Pacific states can be swayed into support for Abkhazia and other countries like Taiwan, in return for economic aid, they could also line up behind Palestine if the aid packages from wealthy Arab nations were lucrative.
In May, non-resident Israeli ambassador to Samoa Shemi Tzur presented his credentials to Samoan head of state Tupua Tamasese Efi and spoke of Israeli aid workers possibly arriving in the future. In Samoa, as in other Pacific states, Israelis play on the fact that many Pacific islanders are Christians, including evangelicals, so the Israeli envoys and aid workers emphasize that Israel is synonymous with the “Holy Land.” In fact, the same propagandizing has worked for the evangelical communities in the United States and Canada, with many of Israel’s strongest support coming from Tea Party conservative Christians in the United States and their ideological counterparts in Canada.
Israel is using its success in the Pacific to build up similar regional blocs in other regions, such as the Caribbean, Africa, and Central America. Based on the UNESCO and UN General Assembly votes on Palestine, pro-Israel votes, including critical abstentions, can now be expected from Haiti, Panama, Cote d’Ivoire, and Cameroon. Others small and poor countries that have succumbed to Israeli pressure and bribes are Barbados, Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Cape Verde, St. Kitts and Nevis, Togo, Burundi, Rwanda, Dominica, Madagascar, Central African Republic, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Swaziland, Guinea-Bissau, Antigua and Barbuda, Comoros, Maldives, Sao Tome and Principe, Uganda, Guyana, and South Sudan.
After all, if almost 100 U.S. senators and over 90 percent of members of the House of Representatives can be cajoled and bribed by Israel, nations smaller and poorer than Israel are easy marks for Israeli pressure…