Monday, December 15, 2014

PLO Security Council Statehood Bid

PLO Security Council Statehood Bid

by Stephen Lendman

On Sunday, chief PLO negotiator/long time Israeli collaborator Saeb Erekat said resolution text language will be submitted Monday to Security Council members.

To end Israeli occupation within two years. Recognize Palestinian statehood. Within 1967 borders. With East Jerusalem its exclusive capital. 

He'll meet with John Kerry and Egyptian diplomat/Arab League secretary-general Nabil Elaraby. 

Early this week. Reportedly Tuesday in London. Erekat saying:

"We want a clear and specific resolution for a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital, resolving all the final status issues, releasing all detainees and refugees and labeling settlement activity illegal and should be stopped immediately, including in Jerusalem."

Diplomats involved say negotiations on reviving Israeli/Palestinian peace talks accomplished nothing.

In November, Jordan submitted draft Palestinian statehood text language to Security Council members. Setting a November 2016 occupation ending deadline.

Categorically rejected by Washington. Claiming it lacked balance. One-sidedly supporting Israel.

In November, France, Britain and Germany indicated joint efforts for resolution language acceptable to all 15 SC members. 

So far without success. France proposed an international conference. To launch new peace talks. Dead on arrival each time before.

Palestinians hope voting on their proposed text will occur before yearend. Calling for resuming negotiations. 

Achieving Palestinian statehood. Ending Israeli occupation by 2016. Two states co-existing side-by-side in peace. More on this below.

John Kerry and Netanyahu are meeting Monday in Rome. After Palestinians said they'll submit their Jordanian-backed resolution text for Security Council consideration.

Before leaving, Netanyahu said "Israel won't accept any unilateral, time-defined measures. We will repulse all efforts to bring terrorism into our homes."

Code language for rejecting Palestinian statehood. Refusing to end occupation. Spurning regional peace and stability efforts.

A senior Israeli official accompanying Netanyahu said his government rejects attempts dictating unilateral moves.

"International support for such a unilateral measure would open the door for Hamas to enter the West Bank," he said. 

Ludicrously claiming "(s)uch a step could be destructive for Israel and the Palestinians." 

"Demands are being made of Israel without being made of the Palestinians, and that it why we will oppose" them.

Meretz chairwoman Zahava Gal-On supports good faith negotiations, saying:

"Israel must support Mahmoud Abbas' efforts for recognition of a Palestinian state at the UN, and to conduct negotiations between the two governments as equal partners."

"Netanyahu has lost all international influence. Country after country has recognized a Palestinian state, while Israel has stuck its head in the sand like an ostrich." 

"The result will be Israel's inability to determine its own future borders as part of a negotiated agreement."

An estimated 134 nations recognize Palestinian statehood. Sweden the latest to join ranks with others. The first EU country to do so.

Britain, France, Spain and Portugal extended unofficial/symbolic parliamentary recognition. Ireland's lower house did last Wednesday. 

Unanimously. Sponsored by Sinn Fein. Following upper house recognition in October. Denmark was expected to follow suit.

Last Thursday, a parliamentary majority rejected Palestinian statehood. Perhaps temporarily. 

Foreign Minister Martin Lidegaard saying Denmark is prepared to recognize Palestine with or without a two-state solution in place.

"We are in line with the many countries who feel that this is such an important decision that we should wait to make it until we feel like it can actually affect the peace process," Lidegaard explained. 

"We don't think that is now, but on the other hand we don’t necessarily think that we need to wait until the end of the peace process."

European parliamentary members proposed formally recognizing Palestinian statehood. Following increasing continental support. Even though symbolic.

Despite Israeli and German opposition. European Parliament recognition depends on how its 28 members vote.

Late November consideration was postponed. Reportedly until December 18. For lack of consensus. 

Because of wording disagreements among member-states. Diplomats involved believe they'll be resolved. Resolution passage could follow. A symbolic gesture.

Important along with growing numbers of European countries doing the same thing.

At some point, official recognition may follow. Unlikely soon. Eventually perhaps the way things are going. Despite vehement Israeli/US rejection.

In late November, Israel's UN envoy Ron Prosor blasted European countries. Those supporting Palestinian statehood. During a General Assembly discussion on Palestine.

Invoking the long ago-discredited notion of unique Jewish suffering, saying:

"Israel is tired of hollow promises from European leaders. The Jewish people have a long memory." 

"We will never ever forget that you failed us in the 1940s. You failed us in 1973. And you are failing us again today."

Turning truth on its head claiming European parliaments recognizing Palestinian statehood are "giving the Palestinians exactly what they want - statehood without peace."

"By handing them a state on a silver platter, you are rewarding unilateral actions and taking away any incentive for the Palestinians to negotiate or compromise or renounce violence." 

"You are sending the message that the Palestinian Authority can sit in a government with terrorists and incite violence against Israel without paying any price."

It's hard imagining more convoluted rubbish. Typical Israeli trash talk. Polar opposite truth.

Israel ignores dozens of UN Security Council and General Assembly resolutions. Ones it disagrees with. Violating international law. Ignoring world consensus.

Rejecting decades of genuine Palestinian peace efforts. Refusing to negotiate in good faith.

Remaining all take and no give. Rendering talks dead on arrival each time. More hardline now than ever.

Peace remains a distant hope. So far, a convenient illusion. Israel operates extrajudicially. Ignoring fundamental rule of law principles. 

Violating virtually all humanitarian and human rights laws. Wages naked aggression at its discretion. 

Maintains illegal militarized occupation harshness. Continues stealing Palestinian land. Terrorizes legitimate resistance.

Blames victims for its crimes. Commits virtually every one imaginable and then some. Rogue states operate this way.

None match US/Israeli ruthlessness. None more gravely threaten world peace. Or more urgently need to be stopped.

Abbas, Erekat and other top PLO officials could have had Palestinian statehood years ago.

They never tried. Rhetoric substituted for achievable action. Themselves alone to blame. Unconcerned about pursuing what's easily within reach.

A majority of world nations support it. The Security Council only recommends new members. The General Assembly admits them by a simple two-thirds majority.

Of voting states. Minus those abstaining. The 1950 Uniting for Peace Resolution 377 is key.

Empowering General Assembly members to override Security Council rejection. If Washington uses its veto as expected.

Abbas/Erekat et al need only invoke Resolution 377 to achieve official UN statehood recognition. Why not years earlier they'll have to explain.

It begs the question. How serious are they now? Will they let a virtually certain US veto stop them? Will their resolution even come to a vote?

It bears repeating. Abbas, Erekat and other top PLO officials are longtime Israeli collaborators. Providing enforcement services.

For its illegal occupation. Betraying their own people. Spurning promises made. For special benefits derived. 

Is this time different? If past is prologue, don't bet on it.

A Final Comment

A Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) Fact Sheet (not yet posted on its web site as this article is written) explains daily horrors Gazans face. Ignored by media scoundrels.

Israel systematically violated Cast Lead, Pillar of Cloud, Protective Edge ceasefire terms. Agreed on by both sides following its last three Gaza wars. 

Premeditated naked aggression by any standard. Gazans wrongfully blamed for Israeli crimes. Continuing regularly.

On land. Offshore. Israel attacks Gazan farmers. Children. Others on their own land. Up to 1.5 km from Israel's border. 

Well inside its so-called buffer zone. Illegally instituted. Constituting around 17% of Gazan territory.

Over one-third of its arable land is virtually off-limits. Accessed at great risk. Potential death or injury. 

Israeli soldiers and border guards licensed to kill. Even young children posing no threat.

Gazan fishermen are routinely attacked at sea. Oslo permitted accessing up to 20 nautical miles (nm). Israel incrementally cut it. Unilaterally. With no authority to do so.

In 2007, down to three nm. Back to six in November 2012. Following Pillar of Cloud aggression. In February 2013, an "unknown" number.

In March 2013, 3 nm. In May, 6 nm. Weeks later down to 3 nm. Following Protective Edge in August 2014, restoring 6 nm. Increasing to 12 nm by yearend.

It doesn't matter. Gazan fishermen are routinely attacked in their own waters. Injuries or deaths risked. Vessels and equipment damaged or confiscated.

Gazans waters a virtual war zone. Unsafe at all times. Depriving fishermen of their livelihoods. Palestinians of badly needed fish.

According to PCHR:

"Palestinians are completely prevented from accessing 85% of the Palestinian maritime areas recognised in the 1994 Gaza Jericho Agreement."

"Approximately 3,700 fishermen work under high personal risk every day at sea."

"Approximately 8,200 persons work in the fishing industry."

"Approximately 65,000 persons, including individuals who work in the fishing industry and their dependents, are affected by the 'buffer zone' restrictions at sea."

Close to shore coastal waters are way-overfished. 

Israeli land and sea attacks occur regularly. Virtually unreported by Western media. Ignoring Israeli crimes. Demanding accountability.

In November alone, six shelling incidents occurred. Twenty-three shootings. Two incursions. Two land levelings. 

Twelve detentions. Including three children. Thirty-nine total incidents. Crimes against humanity. Over one per day. 

One Gazan killed. Six minors injured. Five incidents involved property damage or destruction.

Israeli ruthlessness continues daily. Gazans are defenseless against it. Western leaders able to intervene responsibly do nothing.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.