In the aftermath of the UN Security Council abstention by the US

Palestine Updates 6

Editorial comment

“Hysterical” is the solitary word that describes PM Netanyahu’s reaction to the UN Security Council vote. Israel has threatened Palestine with annexation. It has threatened New Zealand with war.Political absurdity is nothing new to Israel’s conduct. Its very occupation is nothing short of irrationality. Yet, it took the world close-to 50 years to bring on board the USA to at least abstain from a vote that underlined the illegality of Israeli settlements in Palestinian areas.

Just when everyone thought Obama’s decide to abstain was a candle in the darkness, in a somewhat pointless hurry, the US has also assured Israel that it would veto any attempt to recognize the Palestine State.

Israel’s ire is not just against the US for their abstention. It has now decided to downgrade relations with every country that voted against it in the UNSC. Israel may hardly recognize its political immaturity and arrogance. It does not see heightening levels of resentment on the streets around the world. It is in denial of the frustration of even hitherto friendly governments owing to its intransigence. Talks of peace do not seem around the corner. The PA has firmly stated that would talk only if and when settlement activity ceases.

It is apparent that Israel will have to climb down one way or the other if it truly wants peace. Nor can Israel force a one-sided solution. The conditions are clear on all final status issues. A solution that is sustainable must oppose all Palestinian grievances and issues. There is no choice but total liberation and return of all displaced Palestinians.

If Trump imposes his views and heightens the predicament of peace- as he is wont to – then he will only drag out the suffering for both Palestinians and Israelis. After all, while the suffering of the occupation distresses the Palestinians, so too, the lack of peace and the illegality of the occupation tugs away at the probity of Israeli society as a whole. While a larger number of Israeli’s live on with the ‘victim complex’, those who think know it to be far from the truth. Israel is the transgressor.

Those who side with justice find some hope in the UN resolution and in the open display of outrage and courage from nations whose voice and vote counts.

News in this issue of Palestine Update covers the rejoinders to the Security Council vote. These must be seen alongside the signs of hope and protest in the BDS Movement, the awakening of minds through visits of committed solidarity travelers, and the like,
In solidarity

Ranjan Solomon

Pope Francis hopes for Israel-PA peace
Pope Francis on Sunday expressed hoped for peace between Israelis and Palestinian Arabs as he gave his Christmas address at the Vatican. “Peace to women and men of the beloved Holy Land, the land chosen and favored by God,” said the pope! “May Israelis and Palestinians have the courage and the determination to write a new page of history, where hate and revenge give way to the will to build together a future of mutual understanding and harmony,” he added.
Full report from Israel National News

Frustrated at UNSC vote, Israel now threatens annexation
Israel has threatened to annex the Palestinian properties on which it has built settlement blocs after the UN Security Council approved a resolution denouncing the structures as illegal. “We should announce the immediate annexation of the settlement blocs… We should renew construction throughout the land,” Gilad Erdan, the Israeli minister for public security.
See story in Press TV

Israel to approve thousands of settlement units in response to UN vote
The Local Planning and Building Committee of the West Jerusalem municipality is expected, next Wednesday, to approve about 5,600 illegal housing units in East Jerusalem settlements, according to Israeli Hayom daily. The foreseen decision comes in response to the United Nations Security Council’s resolution 2334 which condemned Israeli settlement activities in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and called for an end to settlement construction. The decision will approve the construction of 2,600 housing units in East Jerusalem settlement of Gilo, 2,600 others in Givat HaMatos, and 400 units in Ramat Shlomo settlement.
Read a complete report from the International Middle East Media Centre

Israel cuts civilian ties with Palestinians over UN Vote
Israel has formally severed all civil and diplomatic contacts with the Palestinian Authority, describing the move as “retaliation” for a UN Security Council resolution critical of Israeli settlements built on occupied Palestinian land. Defense officials say Israel’s security cooperation will remain unchanged. The Palestinians did not get to vote on the UN resolution, but praised it, saying it at the very least provided a clear denunciation of the occupation policies of Israel.

Palestinian Authority officials also downplayed the announced “retaliation” against them, saying they hadn’t noticed any difference in coordination with the Israeli occupation forces since the announcement. There is speculation that it might lead Israel to revoke work permits recently issued by the Israeli government for Palestinian construction workers, and plans for an industrial zone project in the occupied West Bank.
Read more on the anti war website.

A settlement had been built on my land feels like my hand has been cut off
Palestinian land owner preparing to take settlers to ICC
The 2,000 acres that will be expropriated if the Regulation Bill is approved include the Mitzpe Kramim outpost, which was built on land that Hazem Hassim Ajaj claimed, belongs to his family. ‘When I heard that a settlement had been built on my land, I felt as if my hand had been cut off,’ he says, vowing not to give up. Meanwhile, PA teams are monitoring the bill’s progress and collecting data ahead of an International Criminal Court lawsuit.
Read article on ynet news website.

UK’s largest student union endorses BDS Movement
The University of Manchester’s Student Union Senate voted, this past Thursday, to pass a motion in support of the international movement for boycott, sanctions and divestment from the state of Israel. The motion had joint sponsorship from the Recognize Refugee Rights Society, Action Palestine, and the BDS Campaigns Committee.
Read more on the International Middle East Media Center website

U.S. abstention is a message to Europe: End Israel’s impunity
The U.S. essentially admitted that its unyielding defense of Israel in the diplomatic arena was a disastrous strategy. With Obama bowing out, Europe will need to act on this lesson.
Read more on 972 mag website.