The U.S. Green Party’s crusade against Israel
By Amb. Alan Baker
Anyone who cursorily peruses the website of the U.S. Green Party or any component of the global Green movement would naturally expect to read about the worthy and noble aims of a movement devoted to such key values as ecological wisdom and environment protection.
We naturally expect that such basic, natural, and literally “green” issues would be of interest and concern to the entire spectrum of humanity, crossing all political, social and demographic lines.
Such issues touch upon the very sustainability and integrity of our existence on the planet and should logically override partisan, political issues, whether internal or external.
They touch all of us.
In the interest of wide public support, any serious, self-respecting, and genuine Green movement should choose to steer clear of divisive, partisan political issues that could prejudice the bonafides and integrity of the movement and pollute its overall world vision and aims by introducing elements of bias and double standards.
A self-respecting Green movement, in seeking to protect the world’s environment from pollution and destruction, should avoid “taking sides” in current political conflicts that are, by definition, replete with conflicting, partisan, national, economic and legal interests.
A Green movement should prefer to leave such issues to the respective governmental agencies involved in such issues, as well as those international political bodies such as the United Nations and its specialized agencies whose purpose is to deal with them.
In a world that is plagued by environmental and ecological catastrophes and that faces continuing and ongoing moral and humanitarian crises such as willful bombing and wholesale killing of civilians, mass murders, mass expulsions, denial of basic social, cultural and religious rights and freedoms, assaults on immigrants and others, it is curious that the U.S. Green Party has chosen to concentrate most of its efforts on hounding Israel.
This is even more astounding because Israel is one of the only states that excels in the very values treasured by the Green movement – innovative ways to protect the environment, reduce pollution, purify wastewater, desalinate seawater, reforest, and protect natural resources.
The U.S. Green Party’s Hostility to Israel
It is all the more curious that the U.S. Green Party, as a matter of policy, considers itself sufficiently credible and authoritative as to advocate dismantling the State of Israel and replacing it with “the creation of one secular, democratic state for Palestinians and Israelis on the land between the Mediterranean Sea and the River Jordan.”
It buys, lock-stock-and-barrel, into the BDS boycott and sanctions campaign aimed at undermining Israel’s very existence, naively believing “that BDS can become the most effective nonviolent means for achieving justice and genuine peace between Palestinians and Israelis.” In this manner, it supports the hostile and irresponsible propaganda propagated by elements seeking the destruction and delegitimation of Israel.
It is strange and even sad that the foreign policy of the U.S. Green Party demonstratively supports terror organizations and rogue regimes intent, inter alia, on undermining Israel’s very existence. The U.S. Green Party appears to sideline the many moral crises that exist in the world, such as the slaughter in Yemen, the imprisonment of perhaps a million Uighurs in China, the continuing depredations in the Congo and Sudan, Russia’s annexations in the Ukraine, the plight of Muslims in Kashmir, and assaults on immigrants and others seeking refuge in North America and Europe.
It appears that the U.S. Green Party cannot find genuine environmental and ecological “green” issues with which to concern itself, and prefers to concentrate its efforts with its illogical fixation with, and crusade against Israel.
U.S. Green Party Petition to the International Criminal Court
In a recent letter, dated September 12, 2018, to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, the U.S. Green Party
The letter claims that these people “have defended themselves mostly with rocks, burning kites, balloons and tires, homemade rockets and starkly tragic human suicide bombers” in the face of “the heavily blockaded Gaza border” where “IDF snipers have used live fire and tear gas.”
The letter accuses Israel of committing crimes against humanity, including genocide.
It also requests the ICC to investigate the issue of Israeli settlements.
U.S. Green Party’s Official Anti-Israel Policy
This petition to the International Criminal Court basically corresponds to the U.S. Green Party’s curious policy document entitled, ironically: “Grassroots Diplomacy – A Real Road to Peace in the Middle East,” in which it states:
Simply put, such a policy, based on false and misleading information and fraught with double standards and acute bias, whitewashes and justifies Palestinian violence and terror:
Such deliberate disregard by the U.S. Green Party for the serious and brazen international humanitarian, environmental, and ecological crimes committed by Hamas and supported by the Palestinian leadership seriously prejudices any bonafide and credibility that the U.S. Green Party might otherwise enjoy.
The international crimes committed by the Palestinians to which the U.S. Green Party is deliberately ignoring, thereby supporting, and encouraging such violations include the following:
The deliberate stockpiling and burning of thousands of tires creates mass pollution of the border area with caustic carbon fumes polluting the environment and damaging the health of the Palestinians themselves as well as the residents of Israeli communities in the vicinity of the border.
The pumping of polluted sewage from Gaza into the Israeli side of the border is another blatant environmental violation that renders the lives of the residents a living nightmare. The massive piles of garbage that have accumulated in the border area after three giant landfills were set up along the border fence have left the Israeli residents of the border area to cope with a putrid and toxic smell being carried by the wind across the border.
Such willful and deliberate ground, air, and water pollution is in utter disregard of major concerns of the international community, in general, and the Green Movement, in particular, for environmental protection and international anti-pollution conventions and resolutions.
In dispatching incendiary kites and balloons to ignite vast swathes of agricultural land in Israel, destroy crops, terrorize and injure residents of towns and villages in Israel, and arming kites and balloons with explosive and incendiary devices, the Palestinians are willfully violating a major counter-terror convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings (1997). This convention criminalizes intentional delivery, discharging, or detonating of an explosive or other lethal device against a place of public use, to cause extensive destruction of such a place and economic loss.
None of this appears to be of any concern to the U.S. Green Party
Violating Children’s Rights
Dispatching children to serve as human shields at the forefront of the violent demonstrations and attacks on the border fence to conceal the presence of Hamas terrorists is a cynical and cruel violation and abuse of such children.
Encouraging and inciting children to build, arm and fly incendiary kites and balloons over Israeli territory, in addition to violating the above-noted environmental norms and conventions, is a violation of international humanitarian law regarding the protection of children from involvement in hostilities.
These activities violate treaties prohibiting involvement of children in warfare, principally, the 1989 International Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which the Palestinians have become party, prohibits the use of children under 15 from direct involvement in hostilities. Also, the 1977 Protocols to the Geneva Conventions, and the Statute of the International Criminal Court list such abuse of children as serious violations of the laws and customs applicable in armed conflict.
The fact that Hamas proudly advertises images of thousands of child soldiers trained in camps and “graduation” ceremonies that include attacking mock Israeli bases and kidnapping and stabbing soldiers, evidently is not seen by the U.S. Green Party as violating its basic principles.
The fact that the U.S. Green Party chooses to turn a blind eye to such flagrant abuse of basic international norms, and prefers to whitewash and justify it as “non-violent opposition,” and at the same time, accuse Israel of war crimes, renders the U.S. Green Party to be utterly hypocritical and lacking any credibility.
The importance of protecting the environment is a central element of the Palestinian undertakings in the Oslo Accords in which they committed to “protect the environment and prevent environmental risks, hazards and nuisances including all kinds of soil, water and air pollution” as well as “to respond to events or accidents which may generate environmental pollution, damage or hazards.”
By encouraging, organizing and openly supporting caustic air pollution and the burning of Israel’s agricultural infrastructure, the Palestinian leadership, together with Hamas, are violating the Oslo Accords. The U.S. Green Party, in sympathizing with, supporting, and encouraging such violations, prefers to disregard these Palestinian violations, and rather to accuse Israel.
Instructively, such an acute bias and fixation against Israel runs against some of the basic principles of the Green movement.
Regarding “Ecological Wisdom,” heralded by the Green Party as one of its ten key values:
The U.S. Green Party appears to overlook this “key value” when the ecology and environment of Israel are violated by the Palestinians.
Another “key value” of the Green movement is Non-Violence, to which the Green Party acknowledges the importance of developing “effective alternatives to society’s current patterns of violence. …We promote non-violent methods to oppose practices and policies with which we disagree, and will guide our actions toward lasting personal, community and global peace.”
By unabashedly adopting and advocating radical and extremist political policies, the U.S. Green Party is sadly abusing the bona fides of those elements within the general public that genuinely believe that a “green” party is concerned with the environment and with protecting nature and humanity.
Under the guise of green principles, it is manipulating and misleading the general public into identifying with extreme, biased propaganda singling out Israel to the exclusion of genuine, mass-violators of humanitarian and environmental norms.
This is malicious, offensive, and hypocritical, to say the least, and undermines the very basis of the Green movement.
Amb. Alan Baker is Director of the Institute for Contemporary Affairs at the Jerusalem Center and the head of the Global Law Forum. He participated in the negotiation and drafting of the Oslo Accords with the Palestinians, as well as agreements and peace treaties with Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon. He served as legal adviser and deputy director-general of Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and as Israel’s ambassador to Canada.