Saturday, December 24, 2016

Security Council Affirms Illegality of Israeli Settlements

Security Council Affirms Illegality of Israeli Settlements

by Stephen Lendman

Despite heavy-handed pressure from Netanyahu and Trump to block the vote, it went ahead on Friday afternoon - passing 14 - 0 with Washington abstaining. 

Their obstructionist attempt failed, handing them and Israel a black eye, but little else. UN resolutions have no enforcement mechanisms. In the cold light of day, nothing changed. More on this below.

The current 10 non-permanent SC members, serving two-year terms, include Angola, Egypt, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Senegal, Spain, Ukraine, Uruguay and Venezuela. 

America, Britain, China, France and Russia comprise the five permanent ones. They alone have veto power.

America’s abstention broke tradition. Since the UN’s 1946 founding, it vetoed over 40 Security Council resolutions hostile to Israeli interests. 

One-sided Israeli support appears certain once Trump takes office, Palestinian rights ignored like always. The president-elect affirmed it, tweeting “(a)s to the UN, things will be different after Jan. 20th.”

Unless or until Israel is severely punished for violating international law, nothing will change. Longstanding Palestinian suffering will continue - slow-motion genocide, Israel’s plan for maximum Jews and minimum Arabs, a sinister plot with US-led Western support.

SC Resolution 2334 said settlements have “no legal validity and constitute a flagrant violation under international law.” 

It demands “Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem.”

It recognizes no territorial changes “to the 4 June 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties through negotiations.”

It “(c)alls upon all States, to distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967.”

It “(c)alls for immediate steps to prevent all acts of violence against civilians, including acts of terror, as well as all acts of provocation and destruction, calls for accountability in this regard…”

Washington vetoed a similar 2011 resolution. Not this time, Obama’s meaningless gesture since letting it pass changed nothing on the ground.

Netanyahu responded as expected, accusing him of “collud(ing) against Israel,” adding he “rejects the contemptible, anti-Israeli UN resolution and will not subordinate (himself or the Jewish state) to it.”

He ordered sanctions on two of the four nations demanding the vote - New Zealand and Senegal. Israel has no diplomatic relations with the other two - Malaysia and Venezuela. 

Opposition Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog called the measure “a strategic defeat for Israel,” criticizing Washington for not vetoing it.

Meretz leader Zehava Galon welcomed its veto “against the policy of annexation and settlement and not against Israel. (It was) the direct result of the law to legalize settlements, with Israel having lost all its shame and the world having lost its patience,” she stressed.

Joint (Arab) List leader Aymen Odeh said “the arrogance of Netanyahu and his ministers, the law to legalize settlement outposts and the stealing of Palestinian land, all those led the international community to understand that the true denier of peace is the government of Israel.”

It’s a pariah state, an outlaw regime, a flagrant apartheid, fascist violator of fundamental international law, brutalizing Palestinians since the Nakba.

Nothing will change until its Machiavellian extremism is held accountable for decades of high crimes - until its rule by state terror is confronted and stopped once and for all.

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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