Despite overwhelming UNGA support, Israel persists with atrocities

Opinion
Palestine Update  80
Despite overwhelming UNGA support, Israel persists with atrocities

Israel has always rebuffed the UN, especially when things have not gone their way. Israel resembles the local neighborhood bully who loses a game with his peers and plays spoilsport by taking his toys and leaving the game. In a resolution approved just days ago a resolution: “The right of the Palestinian people to self-determination” was passed with an overwhelming number of 177 countries in favor of the resolution. The resolution reaffirms the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including their right to have an independent State, and urges all States, specialized agencies and organizations of the United Nations system to continue to support the Palestinian people and help them achieve their right to self-determination as soon as possible.

Last week, the US and Israel walked out of the UNESCO citing ‘anti-Israel’ tendencies in the organization. The US left with debts amounting to US $ 1 billion. US withdrawal has more to do with this mountainous debt than the alleged discriminatory practices of UNESCO against Israel. Israel has provided a pretext for the US to quit. Besides, UNESCO has always been the radical part of the UN system and prone to punishment from the rich Western bloc for not doing their bidding. Independent observers have mockingly suggested that both the US and Israel may as well quit the UN system itself given their contempt for global democratic assessments and consensus.

UN dues tantamount to fair-share contributions to the global body calculated on the basis of equity in national incomes. The US has tended to withhold dues more often than not and habitually when Israel is cornered into demands to conform to international law. With the most powerful economy crippling UN operations, it becomes relevant for the UN system to review its internal workings not by reforming the UNSC only to add a few more potential bullies in the elite club of the Security Council. An appraisal that can point to a new pattern of working within the UN must begin with the UN’s charter that affirms the rights of “we the people”, not just governments. After all, governments appear at the doors of the UN with self-interests.

Israel is trying hard to penetrate the UN systems and even wanted a seat on the high table- the Security Council. It has persevered to weaken Palestine’s just claims for broader presence and status in the UN. Hence, the UN is obviously a space which Israel eyes as one which will give it legitimacy and recognition in the community of nations. The 177 countries which voted to affirm the right of Palestinians to self-determination must stay united and make it a houseful to the extent possible. The US will never possibly join the calls for justice when it comes to Israel. For, after all, Zionists have a stranglehold over most US politicians and will never ever be able to cast a ‘conscience vote’, a pity for a country that has baptized itself as the greatest democracy. The UN must, however, remain a location at which Israel faces isolation and feeling like a recluse.

To treat Israel as untouchable is not a permanent measure. For as long as Israel multiplies its settlements, violates religious rights, tears down homes of families, imprisons innocents, forms economic blockades, obstructs free movement of people and good under the guise of security check points, it must attract seclusion.

Aside from the UNGA, the BDS Movement is posing as a major threat at the level of civil society to Israel’s dogged reluctance to conform to acceptable international standards and law. Israel’s intransigence must not allow any part of global society – governmental, inter-governmental, or civil society to either be coerced into submission or even lulled into lethargy. If Israel won’t submit to international law, it must face the severest of castigatory measures.

Ranjan Solomon
Editor


177 countries support Palestinian right to self-determination in UN
United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted a draft resolution entitled “The right of the Palestinian people to self-determination”, and the result of the voting was 177 countries in favor of the Resolution. The Resolution reaffirms the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including their right to have an independent State, and urges all States, specialized agencies and organizations of the United Nations system to continue to support the Palestinian people and help them achieve their right to self-determination as soon as possible. According to the Resolution, the UNGA confirms the urgent need to end, without delay, the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territories and to achieve a peaceful, just, lasting and comprehensive agreement between the Palestinians and Israelis.
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$800m lost annually due to occupation of Jordan Valley
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Settler profits as a result of the occupation of the area amount to approximately $650 million a year. The PLO’s Centre for Research and Documentation reported that some $800 million is lost annually as a result of the Israeli occupation’s control of the Jordan Valley which is the agricultural heartland of the Palestinians. Israel views settlement activity in this area as very important because of its fertile agricultural lands, large cow farms, and several factories relying on agricultural and animal products for their production, especially medicinal herbs.
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Palestinian women harassed and humiliated at checkpoints -Listen to their stories

Since 1967, about 40% of the Palestinian male population has been detained by Israel. With their men in jail, Palestinian women are left to continue surviving and ensuring the well-being of their families. From confronting increased Israeli violations to earning a living while also being caregivers, Palestinian women have had to pick up twice the weight, while living under the pressures of Israel’s continued occupation of the West Bank. According to OCHA, more than 2.4 million people are affected by the physical restrictions in the West Bank. Checkpoints are destructive to Palestinian economy and welfare, and women and girls are no exception to the negative consequences of checkpoints.
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