Sanctioning Israel, only way to peace, justice for Palestinians: Olson

Press TV has conducted an interview with Pamela Olson, author of the Fast Time in Palestine from Oklahoma, about the resumption of US-sponsored Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.

What follows is a rough transcription of the interview.

Press TV: First of all let us talk about the US’ role here, I mean how impartial has the US been in these talks?

Olson: I mean in these talks as in previous talks, they’ve not been impartial at all. I mean the fact that Martin Indyk was named by John Kerry to be the special envoy, I mean he’s part of the Israeli lobby, he was a former ambassador to Israel, so I mean that alone shows how un-impartial the whole thing is.

Press TV: And of course with the character of the land, the Palestinian territories changing drastically over the years, over the span of 60 years you could say, what is there left to talk about then?

Olson: Yes, that’s another problem. The time is not ripe at all for this, given that there’s apparently 600,000 settlers, approximately, in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and not only that but new settlements are built all the time, the Israeli government has put forth a master plan for a major railroad project in the West Bank.

I mean there are no signs on the ground that Israel has any intention of giving up a square inch of the West Bank much or less the entire thing.

Press TV: And of course what is your opinion about the settlements? I mean they are illegal internationally.

Olson: Of course, yes, I mean it’s very clear. The Geneva Conventions forbid an occupying power from forcibly transferring civilians on the occupied territory.

Press TV: Why does not the United States do anything about that if it claims to be with the international law?


Yes, I mean the main reason for that is because when it comes to putting pressure on Israel, it is extremely difficult in Washington because of the ability of the Israeli lobby to put pressure on anybody who, sort of, steps out of line on this issue and the settlements tend to be…, you know, the Israeli government does not wish to cease expanding settlements and, sort of, the Israeli lobby responds more to Israel’s needs than the to the United States’ needs and they have a huge network and a lot of ways to influence people to make decisions that are, in my opinion, not in the US’ interests and this is one of them.

Press TV: And of course finally will this issue ever be solved and how?

Olson: I wish I knew. You know, it seems like kind of the unstoppable force and an immovable object. You know, the Palestinians are not going anywhere but Israel doesn’t seem to have any impetus to make any compromises whatsoever.

I think the only game in town right now that has any real possibility of working is the boycott, the investment sanctions initiative that was requested by the Palestinians in 2005 and it has since grown considerably.

The most important thing that I’ve seen on that front so far, was very recent. The European Union has begun to not cooperate with Israel on certain projects, if they have ties to the settlements and because, you know, the entire…, you know, Israel is so tied up with the settlement enterprise now that that opens Israel up to even broader sanctions.

By Press TV


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