Palestinian Statehood Bid Falls One Vote Short, With US and Australia Voting ‘No’

January 3rd, 2015 - by admin

Al Jazeera America & Robert Naiman / Just Foreign Policy – 2015-01-03 00:23:29

UNSC Rejects Resolution on Palestinian State
Bid to end Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories by 2017 garners eight votes, one short of total needed to pass

Al Jazeera America

(December 31, 2014) — The UN Security Council has rejected a Palestinian resolution calling for peace with Israel within a year and an end to Israel’s occupation by 2017.

The resolution failed to muster the minimum nine “yes” votes required in the council for adoption.

The motion received eight “yes” votes, including from Russia and France, two “no” votes from the United States and Australia, and five abstentions.

Riyad Mansour, Palestinian ambassador to the UN, criticised the world body for the failure of the vote.

“The Security Council has once again failed to uphold its charter duties to address this crises and to meaningfully contribute to a lasting solution in accordance with its own resolutions,” Mansour said.

“This year, our people under Israeli occupation endured the further theft and colonisation of their land, the demolition of their homes, daily military raids, arrests and detention of thousands of civilians including children, rampant settler terrorism, constant affronts to their human dignity and repeated incursions at our holiest sites.”

Following the vote, the US, Israel’s closest ally, reiterated its opposition to the draft resolution.

Samantha Power, the US ambassador to the UN, said the resolution undermined efforts to “achieve two states for two people”.

“It is deeply imbalanced and contains many elements that are not conducive to negotiations between the parties including unconstructive deadlines that take no account for Israelis legitimate security concerns,” she said.

Palestinian Statehood
The resolution, which was submitted by Jordan — currently the only Arab member of the security council -had called for occupied East Jerusalem to be the capital of Palestine, an end to Israeli settlement building and settling the issue of Palestinian prisoner releases.

The resolution also called for negotiations to be based on territorial lines that existed before Israel captured the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip in 1967.

Israel had said the Security Council vote, following the collapse in April of US-brokered talks on Palestinian statehood, would deepen the conflict.

Ali Abunimah, co-founder of the Electronic Intifada, derided the resolution, telling Al Jazeera it undermined Palestinian rights, including the rights of refugees and the future of Jerusalem.

“This was a terrible resolution which was unaninimously opposed by every major Palestinian faction, it contained so many compromises in an attempt to avoid a US veto that it was weaker than existing UN resolutions,” he said.

The Palestinians, frustrated by the lack of progress on peace talks, have sought to internationalise the issue by seeking UN membership and recognition of statehood via membership in international organisations.

Several European parliaments have adopted non-binding motions calling for recognition of Palestine.

The Palestinians had warned that if the UN resolution failed they were prepared to join the International Criminal Court to file suits against Israel.

UN Security Council vote on Palestinian draft resolution

YES: Jordan, China, France, Russia, Luxembourg, Chad, Chile, Argentina.

NO: United States, Australia.

ABSTAINED: United Kingdom, Lithuania, Nigeria, South Korea, Rwanda.

What Does The New Draft Resolution
Submitted On December 29 Call For?

• Two sovereign states living side by side; Israel and Palestine.
• End of Israeli occupation and establishing the Palestinian state within a time frame of no more than three years.
• East Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Palestine which will be established on 1967 borders.
• Settle the refugees’ question according to UN resolution 194,
• End settlement activities in West Bank and East Jerusalem and to release all Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

Don’t Punish Palestinians for Bid to Join the ICC
Robert Naiman / Just Foreign Policy

(January 1, 2015) — Yesterday, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas applied for the state of Palestine to join the International Criminal Court. The application is expected to be approved.

If Palestine is admitted to the ICC, it would mean that Palestinians could bring cases to the ICC — specifically, against the Israeli government for their confiscation of Palestinian land in the West Bank, which has been used to expand Israeli settlements, undermining the possibility of a two-state resolution to the conflict.

It would also mean that Palestinian violations of international law, such as Hamas firing rockets into civilian areas in Israel, would potentially be subject to ICC jurisdiction.

Urge President Obama and your representatives in Congress to defend the right of Palestinians to join the International Criminal Court by signing our petition at MoveOn:

Some in Congress are sure to demand that US sanctions be imposed on the Palestinians for applying to join the ICC. Regardless of whether one supports the Palestinians’ decision or disagrees with it, Palestinians should not be punished when their leaders use diplomacy and appeal to the rule of law to try to secure basic human rights for their people.

Urge President Obama and your representatives in Congress to defend the right of Palestinians to join the ICC by signing and sharing our petition.

Thank you for all you do to promote a just foreign policy,

PS from Robert Naiman: I just put up a piece at Daily Kos about our campaign. You can read and share that below.

In 2015, Let’s Not Punish the
Palestinians for Joining the ICC

Robert Naiman / The Dail Kos
(January 1, 2015) — A proposed New Year’s Resolution: in 2015, let’s not punish the Palestinians for joining the International Criminal Court.

No doubt some Members of Congress — presumably, the ones who aren’t busy resigning for felony tax evasion or defending themselves for schmoozing with white supremacists — will try to gin up an outrage festival and demand sanctions on the Palestinians for exercising their rights.

“Ring out the old, bring in the new.” Let’s ignore these voices. Let’s see if we can find ten conscientious Members of Congress who are willing to say, “Actually, the Palestinians have the right to do this if they want, and they shouldn’t be punished for signing up for the rule of law.”

It’s kind of funny, in a not ha-ha way, how twisted the public discourse in the US is, that we even have to defend the proposition that the Palestinians should join the ICC if they want.

But we do.

Exhibit A: this New York Times editorial, slamming Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for applying for Palestine to join the ICC.

The “liberal” NYT editors concede that “prospects for a two-state solution grow dimmer by the day, with . . . the Israeli government, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, steadily expanding settlements, making the creation of a viable Palestinian state harder,” and that “in joining the International Criminal Court . . . the Palestinians could bring charges against Israeli officials for cases against their settlement activities.”

But then — in complete contradiction to that which they just conceded — they claim that “Abbas’s actions will almost certainly make the situation worse, setting back the cause of statehood even farther.”

Sadly, like still-too-many American liberals, the NYT editors claim to oppose Israeli settlement expansion in the West Bank, but object far more strenuously to anyone actually trying to do anything concrete to stop it.

Is it any wonder that “prospects for a two-state solution grow dimmer by the day,” when the purported tribunes of American liberalism oppose any practical and concrete measure to try to save it?

Fortunately, in 2015, we don’t need to rely on the “liberal” New York Times to defend the basic principles of decency and fair play. We can do it ourselves. You can write to Congress and the President here.

Robert Naiman is Policy Director at Just Foreign Policy.

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