Palestine Update 80
Despite overwhelming UNGA support, Israel persists with atrocities
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.
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.
Medical Students at Chile’s largest University overwhelmingly vote for BDS
More than three-fourths of students at the University of Chile’s Faculty of Medicine voted to break institutional ties with Israeli universities in a student referendum held last month. They also voted against Israeli government sponsorship or attendance of events at their university. This is the third such vote to take place at the University of Chile, the country’s largest university. Over the last two years, more than 90% of students at the Faculty of Social Sciences and more than 60% of students at the Faculty of Law also voted in support of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) measures.
British public urged to demonstrate against Balfour centenary
The British public has been urged to join a demonstration in London next month marking the centenary of the Balfour Declaration which pledged support from Britain for a Jewish national home in Palestine. The Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), Stop The War, and UK’s largest trade unions are among the organisations and supporters of the protest. The demonstration is the centerpiece of a wider series of actions by a large number of organisations around the country marking 100 years since the Balfour Declaration and highlighting widespread and systematic rights violations at the hands of the Israeli state as a result.
$800m lost annually due to occupation of Jordan Valley
Almost $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. Settlement activity in this area is very important to the occupation state, Israel. The area’s significance lies in the area’s fertile agricultural lands, large cow farms, and several factories relying on agricultural and animal products for their production, especially medicinal herbs.
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.
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.
These are some of their stories.
Israel approves foremost plan of 31 colonialist units in Hebron city
The Israeli “Civil Administration Office,” run by the army in the occupied West Bank, has approved the construction of 31 colonialist units, for Jewish settlers, in the old Central Bus Station, in the Shuhada Street, in the southern West Bank city of Hebron. The approval is the largest construction plan in Hebron since 2002, when the then Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon approved the construction of ten units in Tal Romeida.
Zionist settlers attempt to burn Mosque
Local sources reported, according to Al Ray, that residents of nearby Ma’on settlement stormed the village mosque and tried to burn it before Palestinian residents discovered them. They added that Israeli forces interfered and protected the setters by throwing gas, and sound bombs toward the residents.