Palestinians ready next Move as UNSC rejects end of Occupation

By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) —

The UN Security Council yesterday voted down an Arab League resolution on Palestine that would have called for an end to Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories within 3 years and a return to 1967 borders. Similar resolutions were passed by the UN Security Council in past, but this time the motion could not collect the 9 votes to pass. It in any case would have been vetoed by the United States (the five permanent UNSC members can shoot down any resolution they like).

It should be noted that France, Russia and China did vote for the resolution, and they represent a significant swathe of the human population, as well as being a majority of the permanent members (the UK abstained, but said it was not because London opposed the resolution in principle). Russia said that the nearly 70 year old conflict was contributing to the production of radicalism in the region.

Palestine president Mahmoud Abbas was approaching the UNSC so as to clear the way, when the resolution inevitably failed, for approaching other forums. It now seems likely that Palestine will join the International Criminal Court by signing the Rome Statute, and will press its case there. But the US has strong-armed Abbas not to take this step, and going to the UNSC helps blunt US condemnations, wince everyone could see that he tried.

Had the resolution been presented to the UN General Assembly, it would have passed overwhelmingly.

The international community has gotten tired of the games the Israelis are playing, in alleging that there is an ongoing ‘peace process.’ There isn’t. The Israelis consistently refuse to negotiate with the Palestinians in good faith, as I argued in The Nation last week. The Israelis are violating the fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 on the treatment of occupied populations, by flooding their own population into the West Bank. They are keeping Palestinians stateless, which denies them all basic human rights.

The world is not going to put up with this situation in Palestine for much longer.


Related video:

RT: “Palestinian statehood bid fails at UN Security Council as US, Australia vote against”

21 Responses

  1. I understand the frustration Palestinians feel towards Israel for stealing their land, chopping down orchards, limiting travel in and out of Gaza and enforcing an embargo on medicine and food, however Palestinians have to play it smart and quit helping the Israelis play the victim card. Ineffective rockets being aimed at Israel only gives Netanyahu the cover he needs to continue his assault.

    I think we can all understand attempts to fight back are human nature, God only knows what measures Americans would take if faced with similar circumstances, but rockets and bombs are only hampering those attempting to support a Palestinian state. Palestinians have to take the Ghandi approach and shame Israel before the world for it’s cruel and inhumane policies against a passive population.

    • You’re making the assumption that one can easily assume who the author of those incredibly ineffective rocket attacks are.

    • This is the nature of modern civil wars. A few hardliners can always access enough technology to create a big bang and scuttle their own side’s attempt to negotiate away what they’re fighting for. But consider this: when Palestinians do such a thing, they’re always held collectively guilty. When racist Zionist colonists commit a murder, it is dismissed as an isolated act. Racial dehumanization turns a population into a single, undifferentiated mass treated as one enemy army that refuses to obey ceasefires. Thus Israel can get away with collective punishment which advances the ethnic cleansing agenda.

      • Thus Israel can get away with collective punishment which advances the ethnic cleansing agenda.

        In great part because of the moral deficiencies of the political courtesans (aka politicians) who have sold their souls to Israel’s Mephistopheles.

  2. Thanks for the perspective, and for the link to your longer piece at The Nation. I didn’t realize that some of your work appears there. That’s a good reason to read The Nation. Your link didn’t work for me, but I did find your article by using the search function. I don’t know if this link will work for others: link to

  3. “The world is not going to put up with this situation in Palestine for much longer.”

    Professor, from my little perch in FL, I’ve got a hard time seeing “the world” as an entity or even a collective. Does not the UNSC inaction, thanks to all the bits and pieces of “interests” and “policy” covered so well in this space represent the real state of the “world?”

    • on most issues you’re right, but not on this one! there’s near unanimity in “the world” on this topic, which is why Cole said the general assembly would strongly support such a measure if it got the chance. watch Chomsky’s recent speeches on the topic, such as the one at the UN on 14 October 2014, linked below. His recent speeches start by saying many problems in the world are prohibitively complex, without obvious practicable solutions in sight. But israel-palestine is not one of them.

      link to

      • Very much hoping your take is very right, on this one bit of man’s too-humanity to man.

        There are lots of swords hanging over us Damocleans, collectively, while we fiddle away our future. Yahoo and the Likudians have enjoyed both the indulgence of the Empire and the disorganization and disaffection they and we have managed to create. Those guys have been playing the Game since well before Moses was a boy, and you would think our Rulers would get tired of being shaken down and taken for “freiers.” Maybe there’s an endpoint in Israel-Palestine short of some violent displacement (courting the “Samson option”) of the Israelites. For the sake of so many dispossessed, I hope so. Still not seeing clearly any practicable solution to this one set of complexities, or a mechanism or set of mechanisms that might fix what seems to so many to be (among other all the other arbitrary greed- and tribal-driven miseries in the world) a signal example of injustice. Justice denied to a significant population, meaning basic rights and access to those ground tiers of Maslow’s necessities, may be justice denied to all of us, without much in the way of remedies (like “rule of law”) as the kleptocrats and autocrats have been demonstrating, along with the mechanisms to keep us ordinary folk under the heel. Maybe BDS will actually work, gain enough momentum to really starve the funding of the IDF and the dark matter of the Likud and related parties? That might be one strand of common action. Not sure that the General Assembly has any tools to make Yahoo and the boyz swim up the Victoria Falls of “conservative tribalism” that they’ve been surfing down all these years, to their personal profit.

        The Empire ain’t about to stop sending money and guns (and losing or conveying imperfectly protected Imperial secrets and intelligence) to the Israelites, any more than continuing military gifts and “sales” (sanctity of contract, you know) to Egypt or Saudi Arabia. The mental and ‘moral’ structures don’t seem to exist for that to happen; all the force vectors and wealth-redirection paths point in the direction of more chaos, all the time.

        Interesting pieces over the last few days in Dr. Landis’s “Syria Comment:” link to Maybe there are elements of a frame for a more stable future for nthe species in there somewhere — “To your scattered tribal bodies go (after a genteel sufficiency of slaughter and rubble-making)” — not very apparent, but then my pessimism is deep.

  4. Did Abbas try to fail? Five security members are replaced within a day or two of the vote and they may have been more sympathetic. Or is he leaving the option for a second attempt with the 2015 Security Council?

  5. osiris322

    Coming soon: USG to have egg on face ..”The world is not going to put up with this situation in #Palestine for much longer”

  6. The world is not going to put up with this situation in Palestine for much longer.

    That is extremely difficult to believe, but for the sake of justice for the Palestinians we can only hope it will some day prove to be true. Since the United States has abdicated its role of moral leadership for the world, who will take its place?

  7. Apparently, the 2004 World Court advisory opinion has been erased from history. That opinion “found that, based on Article 2 of the United Nations Charter and numerous U.N. resolutions barring the acquisition of territory by force, Israel had no title to any of the territories it captured during the June 1967 war.” As well, “the Court cited U.N. Security Council resolutions that, based on Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, Israeli settlements ‘have no legal validity’ and constitute a ‘flagrant violation’ of international law…” link to

    • Unfortunately, the United States abuses its power so that those and other international laws are for other not-favored nations to obey while the ruling oligarchs that run the nation regard them with indifference. Similarly, these authoritarians pick and choose which parts of the US Constitution they will heed or ignore or that others must adhere to even if they don’t.

  8. And if the Palestinians sign the Rome Statutes what then? I suspect life will go on with little change for the Palestinians. What they in fact need to do is to stop co-operating with the Israelis and leave the policing and the expense of maintaining the occupation to Israel. That will produce more results than signing the Rome Statutes. The ICC has no power at all. The US and Israel don’t recognize nor implement any of it’s findings nor have they ratified their signatures of the Rome Statutes

  9. Here in Australia, from the press I read (which does NOT include any Murdoch outlets) there are a lot of Australians ashamed of what our loony right-wing government has done in standing with the US on this.

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