Monday, February 17, 2014

PALESTINE: The United Nations and the need for America to wake up

My last article for the Middle East Monitor. I say the 'last' article because I have recently been asked to sign a petition that, if followed, would allow the Palestinians to mistreat the Israelis in the same manner in which they have been treated the Palestinians. I am not defending the Zionists but two wrongs don't make a right.

PALESTINE: The United Nations and the need for America to wake up
Stewart Sloan

The article may be seen at:

At any given time the five so-called ‘permanent members’ of the United Nations Security Council have the right to veto any substantive draft resolution, regardless of the level of international support there is for the draft. At one time or another, each of the five permanent members has exercised that right. Those countries are: China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, and the United States of America and in agenda items entitled, ‘Middle East situation, including the Palestinian question’ and ‘The question of the exercise by the Palestinian people of its inalienable rights’ the USA has vetoed draft resolutions on no less than 15 occasions.

The drafts repeatedly reaffirms that, “….the Israeli settlements established in the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem are illegal and constitute a major obstacle to the achievement of a just, lasting and comprehensive peace” and, “…..demands that Israel, the occupying Power, immediately and completely ceases all settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem and, that it fully respect all of its legal obligations in this regard…..”

The question that begs to be asked is: when the majority of the member states demand that Israel complies with its moral and legal obligations, what right does the United States of America, or any other country for that matter, have to say otherwise?

In the last three years America’s relationships with Israel have become somewhat strained, which would seem to indicate their continuing support of Israel in the United Nations all the more hypocritical.

In 2010, Hilary Clinton announced to the nation and the world Israel’s intention to build 1,600 new homes in East Jerusalem as “deeply negative” for US-Israeli relations. Obama, in a rare mood announced that he would refuse to meet with Netanyahu when he arrived in Washington and then promptly met him in the White House. So much for tough talk! Obama then demanded that Israel impose a freeze on Jewish construction in East Jerusalem and in his own defense Netanyahu replied that he had no knowledge of the decision to build any houses; a very strange comment coming from the Prime Minister of the country.

The meeting ended without any progress on and Israel continued to build the 1,600 houses prompting Vice President Joe Biden to describe the situation as "one of the most serious rows between the two allies in recent decades".

The following year, 2011, Obama made a foreign policy speech in which he called for a return to the pre-1967 Israeli borders, suggesting that the two countries settle on a mutually agreed border, a suggestion that Netanyahu objected to out of hand. While the United States of America might be playing lip service to the idea of finding a lasting solution, Israel is not even pretending to consider the idea. It is in view of this constant snubbing by the state of Israel that makes the actions of the USA even more unacceptable.

The USA has repeatedly turned a blind eye to the atrocities carried out by the state of Israel against a sovereign country. The wanton destruction of entire communities including places of worship, schools and homes happens on a daily basis. Houses are bulldozed and the inhabitants given only a moment’s notice to get out and save as many of their belongings are they can. What right does Israel have to do this?
There are factions within the country that believe God gave them this land and they do have to right to take it. However, Jewish scholars deny this and have repeatedly said openly that the Torah, the Jewish Bible states that the State of Israel will never exist until such time as the people of the world unite as one and worship God. It goes so far as to say that any establishment of the country until that time would be contrary to God’s word.

That the United Nations was set up with the highest of ideals cannot be denied. It was created on 24 October 1945 in the hopes of promoting international co-operation for lasting peace. The Security Council, one of its six departments is responsible for, “deciding certain resolutions for peace and security”. However, as the League of Nations outgrew its usefulness when it proved incapable of preventing aggression by the Axis powers in the 30s, can it be argued that the United Nations might go the same way as it has been corrupted from within by nationalist sentiments that place the benefits of one nation over that of others?

That one country can prevent assistance to another country in order to safeguard the blatantly illegal and immoral demands of a third country is clearly wrong!

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