Robert Fisk, Hasan Abu Nimah, and Ali Abunimah on the UN Regarding Palestine-Israel

Posted: 24 December 2008 by Little Alex in International Affairs, Palestine-Israel, Political Science
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Hasan Abu Nimah and Ali Abunimah comment on UN Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 1850, the UN’s first resolution regarding the Israel-Palestine conflict in nearly five years.

EXCERPT from The Electronic Intifada – “Security Council undermines justice and UN Charter”:

Before analyzing what is in the resolution, it is important to note what is not. Under the UN Charter, the Security Council’s primary responsibility is to act to maintain “international peace and security.” And yet the new resolution makes no mention of Israel’s 4 November ground and air attack on the Gaza Strip killing six Palestinians and leading to the collapse of the six-month-long truce Israel negotiated with Palestinian resistance factions. It does not mention the blockade Israel has imposed on Gaza deliberately reducing 1.5 million people to eating animal feed and scavenging garbage while dozens die for lack of medical care. It ignores the desperate warnings of a mounting humanitarian crisis by officials of [UN Relief and Works Agency], the UN agency for Palestine refugees, as they shut down food distribution to hundreds of thousands of persons because Israel would not allow supplies in to Gaza.

The resolution makes no mention of these unconscionable crimes even UN officials have termed “collective punishment” — a grave breach of the 1949 Fourth Geneva Conventions by which Israel is bound as the Occupying Power in the Gaza Strip (Israel’s so-called “disengagement” in 2005 does not absolve it of these responsibilities). If the Security Council were minimally abiding by its own responsibilities it would refer Israeli political and military leaders to the International Criminal Court for arrest and trial at The Hague for these crimes as well as their escalating threats against an occupied, colonized people who have few means of self-defense. Indeed, the resolution does not even mention the word “occupation.”For the Security Council to ignore Israel’s detention and expulsion of UN human rights envoy Richard Falk just a day before it passed the new resolution sends a clear message to other outlaw regimes that UN authority can be trampled on with impunity.

Instead, resolution 1850 is full of deceptive language. The world’s highest international body welcomes, for instance, the 9 November “statement from the Quartet,” and the “Israeli-Palestinian Joint Understanding” announced at the Annapolis summit a year earlier. The Security Council also “Declares its support for the negotiations initiated at Annapolis” and its “commitment” to their “irreversibility” — whatever that means.… [read the full article]

And the absolutely amazing sage, Robert Fisk of The Independent (left), comments that ‘no one in 1967 thought the Arab-Israeli conflict would still be in progress 41 years later’ because of UNSC Resolution 242.

EXCERPT from The Independent – “Robert Fisk’s World: One Missing Word Sowed the Seeds of Catastrophe”:

It was passed in November 1967, after Israel had occupied Gaza, the West Bank, East Jerusalem, the Sinai and Golan, and it emphasises “the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war” and calls for “withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict”.

Readers who know the problem here will be joined by those who will immediately pick it up. The Israelis say that they are not required to withdraw from all the territories – because the word “all” is missing and since the definite article “the” is missing before the word “territories”, its up to Israel to decide which bits of the occupied territories it gives up and which bits it keeps.

Hence Israel can say it gave up Sinai in accordance with 242 but is going to keep East Jerusalem and much of the West Bank for its settlers. Golan depends on negotiations with Syria. And Gaza? Well, 242 doesn’t say anything about imprisoning one and a half million civilians because they voted for the wrong people. No one in 1967 dreamed that the Israeli-Arab conflict would still be in ferocious progress 41 years later. And as an Independent reader pointed out a couple of years ago, the Security Council clearly never intended the absence of a definite article to give Israel an excuse to stay in the West Bank. Alas, our reader was wrong.… [read the full article]

– More of “Robert’s Fisk’s World” at The Independent

“War, Geopolitics, History” – lecture by Robert Fisk, introduced by Prof. Noam Chomsky

Comments
  1. […] Robert Fisk, Hasan Abu Nimah, and Ali Abunimah on the UN Regarding Palestine-Israel (24 Dec 09) […]

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