FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Despite the United States, Palestine Finally Returns Home

by CESAR CHELALA

After an overwhelming vote in her favor (138-9 with 41 abstentions), Palestine has finally returned home.  Sixty-five years after the United Nations General Assembly voted for the partition of Palestine into two states (one Jewish and one Arab), Palestine was granted a non-member observer State status in the United Nations,  reaffirming thus “the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and to independence in their State of Palestine on the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967.”  This historic vote recognizes Palestine as a state and gives Palestine the right to join U.N. agencies, including the International Criminal Court, and allows Palestine to bring cases against Israel.

According to Palestinians, Israel has consistently violated international law by conducting “targeted assassinations”, home demolitions, expanding the building of settlements in Palestinian land and continuing its blockade of Gaza, in manifest violation of Articles 33, 55, and 56 of the IVth Geneva Convention. Collective punishment of civilians is strictly prohibited by international law, according to which the occupying power has the duty to ensure that food and medical supplies reach the population under siege (Israel controls Gaza’s borders, air space and sea-lanes).

The U.S. rejected the resolution granting observer status to Palestine, yet several prominent Israelis such as former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert favored it. In a letter to Bernard Avishai, Adjunct Professor of Business at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, made public by him, Olmert wrote:

“I believe that the Palestinian request from the United Nations is congruent with the basic concept of the two-state solution. Therefore, I see no reason to oppose it. Once the United Nations will lay the foundation for this idea, we in Israel will have to engage in a serious process of negotiations, in order to agree on specific borders based on the 1967 lines, and resolve the other issues. It is time to give a hand, and encourage, the moderate forces amongst the Palestinians. Abu-Mazen –an alias for Abbas- and Salam Fayyad need our help. It’s time to give it.”

Much has been made of the antagonism between Fattah and Hamas. Abbas, however, as the Palestinian president and head of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, went to the U.N. with Hamas’s blessing. This places an enormous pressure on Palestinians to stop their futile internal squabbles and constitute a united front.

To deny that the Palestinians are less interested in peace than the Israelis is to take short, petty view of the conflict. As Graham Peebles, director of Create Trust, a human rights and education organization working for the disadvantaged of the world has stated:

“The people of Palestine are desperate for peace and no doubt most decent Israelis share this desire.  Is there the will amongst the politicians whom the innocent rely on, have Israel’s allies the courage to do what is right for the people; observe and implement International law, remove the diplomatic support and stop funding the occupation. Is there the will to go beyond platitudes and act, for as a wise man has explained, ‘nothing happens by itself, man must act and implement his will.’ Let that be the will of the people for peace, for the ending of death and suffering, for the chance to live together free from fear. To this end the parties must now work. Let an atmosphere of hope be created, for enough pain and suffering has been wrought on the Palestinian people, enough death and heartache, enough anger and insecurity sown into the Israeli people by hateful ambitious leaders.”

New York Times editorial stated before the vote, “But even if the Palestinians win the vote, the price may be high. After membership in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization was granted last year, Israel withheld millions of dollars in tax transfers to the Palestinian Authority –which is in financial distress- and the United States halted financing to UNESCO and withheld millions of dollars in aid to the Palestinians.”   Whereas this withhold of funding is likely to happen, it should be a matter of concern for the international community rather than a justification for continuing to deny Palestine’s right to exist.

Sixty-five years after the United Nations declared its creation, Palestine has achieved the world body’s recognition it long deserves. It has been a long and arduous way. Yet, finally, Palestine has returned home.

Dr. Cesar Chelala, MD, PhD, is a co-winner of an Overseas Press Club of America award for an article on human rights.

Dr. Cesar Chelala is a co-winner of the 1979 Overseas Press Club of America award for the article “Missing or Disappeared in Argentina: The Desperate Search for Thousands of Abducted Victims.”

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

February 27, 2017
Anthony DiMaggio
Media Ban! Making Sense of the War Between Trump and the Press
Dave Lindorff
Resume Inflation at the NSC: Lt. General McMaster’s Silver Star Was Essentially Earned for Target Practice
Conn Hallinan
Is Trump Moderating US Foreign Policy? Hardly
Norman Pollack
Political Castration of State: Militarization of Government
Kenneth Surin
Inside Dharavi, a Mumbai Slum
Lawrence Davidson
Truth vs. Trump
Binoy Kampmark
The Extradition Saga of Kim Dotcom
Robert Fisk
Why a Victory Over ISIS in Mosul Might Spell Defeat in Deir Ezzor
David Swanson
Open Guantanamo!
Ted Rall
The Republicans May Impeach Trump
Lawrence Wittner
Why Should Trump―or Anyone―Be Able to Launch a Nuclear War?
Andrew Stewart
Down with Obamacare, Up with Single Payer!
Colin Todhunter
Message to John Beddington and the Oxford Martin Commission
David Macaray
UFOs: The Myth That Won’t Die?
Weekend Edition
February 24, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Exxon’s End Game Theory
Pierre M. Sprey - Franklin “Chuck” Spinney
Sleepwalking Into a Nuclear Arms Race with Russia
Paul Street
Liberal Hypocrisy, “Late-Shaming,” and Russia-Blaming in the Age of Trump
Ajamu Baraka
Malcolm X and Human Rights in the Time of Trumpism: Transcending the Master’s Tools
John Laforge
Did Obama Pave the Way for More Torture?
Mike Whitney
McMaster Takes Charge: Trump Relinquishes Control of Foreign Policy 
Patrick Cockburn
The Coming Decline of US and UK Power
Louisa Willcox
The Endangered Species Act: a Critical Safety Net Now Threatened by Congress and Trump
Vijay Prashad
A Foreign Policy of Cruel Populism
John Chuckman
Israel’s Terrible Problem: Two States or One?
Matthew Stevenson
The Parallax View of Donald Trump
Norman Pollack
Drumbeat of Fascism: Find, Arrest, Deport
Stan Cox
Can the Climate Survive Electoral Democracy? Maybe. Can It Survive Capitalism? No.
Ramzy Baroud
The Trump-Netanyahu Circus: Now, No One Can Save Israel from Itself
Edward Hunt
The United States of Permanent War
David Morgan
Trump and the Left: a Case of Mass Hysteria?
Pete Dolack
The Bait and Switch of Public-Private Partnerships
Mike Miller
What Kind of Movement Moment Are We In? 
Elliot Sperber
Why Resistance is Insufficient
Brian Cloughley
What are You Going to Do About Afghanistan, President Trump?
Binoy Kampmark
Warring in the Oncology Ward
Yves Engler
Remembering the Coup in Ghana
Jeremy Brecher
“Climate Kids” v. Trump: Trial of the Century Pits Trump Climate Denialism Against Right to a Climate System Capable of Sustaining Human Life”
Jonathan Taylor
Hate Trump? You Should Have Voted for Ron Paul
Franklin Lamb
Another Small Step for Syrian Refugee Children in Beirut’s “Aleppo Park”
Ron Jacobs
The Realist: Irreverence Was Their Only Sacred Cow
Andre Vltchek
Lock up England in Jail or an Insane Asylum!
Rev. William Alberts
Grandiose Marketing of Spirituality
Paul DeRienzo
Three Years Since the Kitty Litter Disaster at Waste Isolation Pilot Plant
Eric Sommer
Organize Workers Immigrant Defense Committees!
Steve Cooper
A Progressive Agenda
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail