Stop 'shielding' Israel, Palestinians tell Obama

Published Mar 05, 2012 05:16pm

President Barack Obama. - AP Photo

RAMALLAH: US President Barack Obama should stop “shielding” Israel, a senior Palestinian official said on Monday, calling a speech by the US leader a day earlier “disappointing.”

”We could not believe that an American president is out there proving that he is good for Israel,” senior Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) member Hanan Ashrawi told reporters.

In his speech to the powerful pro-Israel lobby AIPAC, which largely focused on the Iranian nuclear standoff, Obama listed multiple examples of US diplomatic and political support for the Jewish state in the face of international criticism, notably over its conduct in the conflict with the Palestinians.

“We heard how he boasted... how he is shielding Israel openly and in a personal way, from any type of accountability or any type of compliance with international law,” she said.

“Shielding Israel from accountability is certainly not in the service of peace or even of Israel,” Ashrawi added.

She said Obama's speech underlined the need for members of the United Nations Security Council to visit the Palestinian territories “and to see for themselves.”

Last month, Palestinian UN representative Riyad Mansour invited members of the council to visit the occupied territories to see the effects of Israel's settlement activities.

“It is time to come here and to see for themselves exactly what is happening on the ground in Palestine,” Ashrawi said.

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