RANJAN SOLOMON | 29 OCTOBER, 2017
NEW DELHI: The UN Special Rapporteurs recent situationer on Israel’s disposition as occupier in the Palestinian Territory is harsh. He is unapologetic in his criticism of Israel’s conduct as the occupation authority. Illegality, he avers, is the word that describes Israel’s occupation best.
It is ludicrous that Israel has violated as many as 40 UN Security Council resolutions and more than 100 UN General Assembly resolutions and is still allowed a place at the UN table. In the normal course of democratic traditions, it should be suspended until it comes to terms with its basic obligations.
The worst part is that Israel is actually able to influence decisions in the UN through its main ally, the USA through with its veto. Israel audaciously actually seeks spaces in higher decision making bodies of the United Nations and would want most of all to have a seat in the UN Security Council.
The international community is impotent in the face of this maneuvering of western nations in particular.
In his most recent report, Michael Lynk, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, points out: “This is the longest-lasting military occupation in the modern world, and shows no signs of ending.” He has described Israel’s role in Palestine as having crossed “a red line into illegality.” He underscores how the laws of occupation are explicit that “the occupying power cannot treat the territory as its own, nor can it make claims of sovereignty. Yet this has been Israel’s pattern of governing the occupied Palestinian territory for most of its 50 years of rule”.
This implies that Israel cannot annex territory; the occupation must have a limited time frame, and must respect the paramount wellbeing of the occupied population.
Lynk noted that there is respite in the fact that “Israelis of conscience have (also) called upon the international community to exert effective pressure on the occupying power to bring the occupation to an end.”
The Israel occupation is not just confined to Palestinian territories. Israel has destabilized the region by prompting conflict in countries that dare to oppose Israel multiple political indiscretions and actually arm and offer tacit support to so-called rebels. Little, if nothing is moral about Israel’s occupation and the international community must stop at nothing to end it.
Governments cannot be counted on to act in fairness or fearlessly. Israel has full control of certain areas in Palestinian areas but skirts its fundamental accountability toward tens of thousands of Palestinians bordered by Israeli settlement colonies. Europe watches and, at best, offers feeble protests. These mean nothing at all because they are mere perfunctory gestures.
Akiva Eldar, columnist for Al-Monitor’s Israel Pulse and formerly a senior columnist and editorial writer for Haaretz points to how Israel has ironically taught the Europeans that if they even dare to impose sanctions as in the case of South Africa, “Netanyahu will not hesitate to invoke the Holocaust and silence them with guilt. The fear of this discourse stops them from taking real actions.”
In the USA, right wing Zionist groups have a stranglehold over a majority of Congressmen and Senators. They cultivate them with huge election funding from early in their careers and, thus, buy their loyalties. This iron-grip has left the American system at the mercy of Israel which, in fact, controls politics in the USA- case of the tail wagging the dog because Israel is still the biggest recipient of US Aid.
Under every President in recent memory, appointments pertaining to Israel have been of women and men who are Zionist-influenced, including those who dressed up as peace makers but subtly weakened the Palestinian case.
It will take true political courage and political ethics for Europeans to shun their guilt complex because of its history with the Jewish people. Likewise, it will take unyielding staying power for US lawmakers to stand up to the Zionist lobbies that with all their money power will pressure and intimidate them into subservience.
Peace with justice for the Palestinian people could be just around the corner but there is a precipice to be crossed. If the countries that can make the difference can take the risks for justice, then peace will follow.