Posted on October 23, 2014
by Jerry Alatalo
United Nations Security Council President for the month of October is Argentina’s representative to the UN, and on October 21 an extremely important open debate on the Middle East and Palestine was held lasting 7 hours 30 minutes. Around 60 men and women UN representatives from around the world took turns speaking. Without exception, but for Israel’s UN ambassador, every speaker called for an independent, sovereign State of Palestine (two-state solution) after the 51-day, latest Israeli aggression against Gaza killing 2,180, injuring over 10,000, destroying 20,000 homes, commercial buildings, schools, hospitals, as well as destroying Gaza’s major infrastructure. Over 100,000 Gazans are now homeless because of Israel’s military aggression.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, after traveling to Gaza recently, described the destruction as “beyond comprehension”. The over-7 hour meeting saw each speaker, as well as calling for an independent State of Palestine, pointing out the need for Israel to immediately end its confiscation of occupied territory and construction of settlements. Many speakers made the point that the United Nations has discussed the issue of Israel-Palestine again and again and again through the decades without realizing a long-lasting peaceful solution but – as the woman ambassador from Belize said, “this (Israel’s 50-day bombing campaign) is the last straw of the last straws” – the clearly unanimous consensus during the meeting is that the time for empty words without results is over.
Listening closely to the words coming from Israel’s UN representative during his turn to speak – then again after everyone spoke and Argentine’s President of the Security Council asked if there were additional comments – was very odd in that he failed to discuss seriously (not at all, really) any of the very significant points made by what seemed like 59 out of 60 meeting attendees. The total unwillingness of the Israeli UN representative to acknowledge any detail out of the entirety of the meeting’s clear, unambiguous message from men and women there could be described as irrational because of the extreme difference of opinion between an in-agreement 59 compared to one.
Many of the speakers used the word “intransigence” in describing the Israeli government’s uncompromising stance regarding Palestinian independence. They are precisely correct, and for that reason the only way Israel will compromise and agree to Palestinian statehood is a worldwide sanctions movement on Israel, based on the economic sanctions model currently applied against Iran, Russia and other nations around the world. Every nation on Earth, including the United States of America, must completely halt all economic, financial and military dealings with the State of Israel until Palestine has become an independent nation. Signed, sealed, and delivered.
Israel will not alter its law-breaking actions and cooperate with the international community to allow Palestinians their own sovereign nation without the necessary, powerful incentive of a sanctions process carried out by the world’s nations. It has become painfully clear Palestinian statehood is inevitable. That reality needs to occur as soon as humanly possible, because the Israel-Palestine conflict represents war and peace in the Middle East region depending on when Palestinian statehood is irreversibly achieved.
In the following CCTV interview a former Israeli ambassador to Mauritania, now journalist in Israel, Boaz Bismuth becomes asked for his thoughts on recent actions by the nations of Sweden and Britain to recognize the State of Palestine. His responses, very similar to Israel’s ambassador to the UN during yesterday’s meeting, fail in addressing the concerns of an increasingly aware and rapidly growing majority of the world’s people and government officials, and, because their Israeli narrative could be compared to an encapsulated summary of over six decades of irresolution of the conflict. At the end of Israel’s UN ambassador’s words in front of the Security Council yesterday, after Boaz Bismuth’s interview here on CCTV, and after over 60 years of Israeli “intransigence” and consistent violations of international law – Israeli words and actions have contributed nothing to solving the conflict with Palestine: creation of a Palestinian state.
(Boaz Bismuth / Thank you to CCTV America at YouTube)
Compare what Boaz Bismuth said to an excerpt on Israel-Palestine from the address by Luxembourg’s UN representative, which she delivered yesterday to the Security Council.
“I’d like to thank the Secretary General for his presentation as well as the permanent representative of the State of Palestine and the permanent representative of the State of Israel for their interventions. Luxembourg fully associates itself with the statement that will be made by the European Union. Madame Chairman, the Secretary General has just presented the appalling outcome of the 50 days of war on the Gaza Strip; the third such war in 6 years that has caused so many deaths and wounded people; that has destroyed so many lives and entire neighborhoods”.
“We’d like to thank Egypt, its efforts have led to a ceasefire concluded on August 26. It was the first step that was essential to put an end to the hostilities, suffering and humiliations. We also welcome the conference on Palestine restructuring of Gaza that was held in Cairo on the 12th of October, organized by Egypt and Norway in the support of the Palestinian Authority. Our Minister of Foreign and European Affairs was there and he reiterated the strong solidarity of Luxembourg with the Palestinian people that translates into a lasting financial commitment of approximately 7 million Euros a year”.
“We also welcome a mechanism established between the United Nations and the Palestinian Authority and Israel, which is also an essential step in the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip, but we know that we need to go further. No people would be able to live under the conditions imposed on the inhabitants of Gaza, besieged between three walls on one side and the sea, and that survive only thanks to UN and international aid. We need to lift the blockade that is strangling Gaza and its economy”.
“Madame President, the war on Gaza confirms that fighting is inevitable in a context of political stalemate, hatred and discord. Over the past 20 years, the peace process has gone through repetition of three successive phases: relaunch, bogging down and failure. Each new cycle has provided its share of suffering. Its time now to step off the beaten path. The time is no longer to repeat the same sterile processes of perpetual negotiations that don’t lead to anything. Our duty is to draw the lessons from the past. The components of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East have been set forth many times; we all know the terms of the equation, there’s no need to repeat them”.
“The goal is quite clear: an independent, democratic, contiguous Palestinian State, living in peace and security next to Israel on the basis of 1967 borders with Jerusalem as the capital of two states. The time has come to take bold and concrete measures to implement the two-state solution, before others take further measures that will make this solution impossible. In this context, Luxembourg condemns the recent decision by the Israeli authorities to approve the construction plans for 2,600 housing units. This decision is a direct threat to the two-state solution and the need for Jerusalem to be the capital for the two states Israel and Palestine”.
“If this decision is maintained, it would confirm our doubt about the commitment of Israel towards a negotiated settlement with the Palestinians. Luxembourg would like to recall here that settlements are illegal with regard to international law. We call on Israel to reconsider its decision, and more broadly, to put an end immediately to settlement activity in East Jerusalem and the whole of the West bank. Just as the European Union, Luxembourg will not recognize any changes to the 1967 borders except those agreed by both parties”.
“We hope that the Security Council is able to play its constructive role in order to achieve peace, to encourage and facilitate efforts aimed at saving the two-state solution and putting an end to occupation. My country is ready to support those efforts”.
Luxembourg’s woman ambassador to the UN expressed views virtually identical to all men and women who spoke at the October 21 Security Council meeting on the Middle East, which can be heard and viewed at the United Nations website, UN.org. Sweden and Britain have taken actions heard round the world when they recognized the State of Palestine. Boaz Bismuth replied to his CCTV interviewer about Sweden and Britain’s actions: “I would say it is, I would say, that it is a spectacular display of ignorance”.
When the CCTV interviewer suggested that Israel was facing increased world isolation, Mr. Bismuth responded, “Should Israel commit suicide now because of world public opinion?” He told the CCTV interviewer that Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas’ address to the 69th United Nations General Assembly calling for Palestinian statehood was “vicious, violent lies”, Israel is just a small nation, and finally “This is ridiculous, it is ridiculous”.
Every nation on Earth must place overwhelmingly powerful economic and military sanctions on the State of Israel with the stated purpose of bringing into reality a Palestinian State. Israel’s stubborn, uncompromising, criminal actions are not only irrational but, with its possession of hundreds of nuclear weapons, extremely dangerous.
The world cannot risk waiting for Israel to come to its senses and conform to the wishes of an increasingly growing, “not buying it anymore”, impatient world. An international sanctions regime placed on Israel represents the action closest to a guarantee that Israel will capitulate to internationally agreed upon reason and rationality, and may offer the one and only chance of peace for men, women and children living in the Middle East region of Earth.
(Part 1 of 3 / The 7,281st meeting of the United Nations Security Council)