Saturday, September 24, 2016

Meaningless Middle East Quartet Criticism of Israeli Settlement Expansions

Meaningless Middle East Quartet Criticism of Israeli Settlement Expansions

by Stephen Lendman

The Quartet includes the UN, EU, US and Russia. Instead of acting responsibly long ago to halt continued theft of Palestinian land for Jews-only West Bank and East Jerusalem settlements, toothless criticism substituted earlier, repeated on Friday.

On the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session in New York, the Quartet issued a meaningless statement expressing “strong opposition to ongoing settlement activity, which is an obstacle to peace, and expressed its grave concern that the acceleration of settlement construction and expansion (is) steadily eroding the viability of the two-state solution.”

Since 1967, a half century ago, Israel began establishing settlements on stolen Palestinian territory, seizing its most valued areas. It controls 60% of West Bank land, along with illegally annexed East Jerusalem.

Settlements flagrantly contravene international law. Fourth Geneva’s Article 49 states “(t)he occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.”

In July 2004, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled “Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, are illegal and an obstacle to peace and to economic and social development. (They were) established in breach of international law” on sovereign Palestinian land. 

Israel wants maximum Jews and minimum Arabs, ideally eliminating them altogether. Its high crimes go unpunished, including premeditated wars at its discretion, state terror as official policy and slow-motion genocide. It rejects peaceful conflict resolution, despite lofty rhetoric claiming otherwise.

The world community yawns, expresses occasional criticism and does nothing. Israel categorically opposes Palestinian self-determination.

The Quartet saying continued settlement expansions erode the chance for a two-state solution ignores reality. Israel won’t ever allow it - except perhaps on isolated bantustans on worthless scrubland. 

Nations with the power to change things responsibly have sat on their hands doing nothing for the past half century - letting Israel get away with mass murder and numerous other high crimes.

Nothing in prospect holds hope for Palestinians achieving long denied justice and liberation.

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: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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