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

December 05, 2016
Bill Martin
Stalingrad at Standing Rock?
Mark A. Lause
Recounting a Presidential Election: the Backstory
Mel Goodman
Mad Dog Mattis and Trump’s “Seven Days in May”
Matthew Hannah
Standing Rock and the Ideology of Oppressors: Conversations with a Morton County Commissioner
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
#NoDAPL Scores Major Victory: No Final Permit For Pipeline
Fran Shor
The End of the Indispensable Nation
Michael Yates
Vietnam: the War That Won’t Go Away
Robert Hunziker
Huge Antarctica Glacier in Serious Trouble
John Steppling
Screen Life
David Macaray
Trump vs. America’s Labor Unions
Yoav Litvin
Break Free and Lead, or Resign: a Letter to Bernie Sanders
Norman Pollack
Taiwan: A Pustule on International Politics
Nick Pemberton
Make America Late Again
Kevin Martin
Nuclear Weapons Modernization: a New Nuclear Arms Race? Who Voted for it? Who Will Benefit from It?
David Mattson
3% is not Enough: Towards Restoring Grizzly Bears
Howard Lisnoff
The Person Who Deciphered the Order to Shoot at Kent State
Michael Uhl
Notes on a Trip to Cuba
Weekend Edition
December 02, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
The Coming War on China
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: The CIA’s Plots to Kill Castro
Paul Street
The Iron Heel at Home: Force Matters
Pam Martens - Russ Martens
Timberg’s Tale: Washington Post Reporter Spreads Blacklist of Independent Journalist Sites
Andrew Levine
Must We Now Rethink the Hillary Question? Absolutely, Not
Joshua Frank
CounterPunch as Russian Propagandists: the Washington Post’s Shallow Smear
David Rosen
The Return of HUAC?
Rob Urie
Race and Class in Trump’s America
Patrick Cockburn
Why Everything You’ve Read About Syria and Iraq Could be Wrong
Caroline Hurley
Anatomy of a Nationalist
Ayesha Khan
A Muslim Woman’s Reflections on Trump’s Misogyny
Michael Hudson – Steve Keen
Rebel Economists on the Historical Path to a Global Recovery
Russell Mokhiber
Sanders Single Payer and Death by Democrat
Roger Harris
The Triumph of Trump and the Specter of Fascism
Steve Horn
Donald Trump’s Swamp: Meet Ten Potential Energy and Climate Cabinet Picks and the Pickers
Ralph Nader
Trump and His Betraying Makeover
Louis Proyect
Deepening Contradictions: Identity Politics and Steelworkers
Stephen Kimber
The Media’s Abysmal Coverage of Castro’s Death
Dan Bacher
WSPA: The West’s Most Powerful Corporate Lobbying Group
Nile Bowie
Will Trump backpedal on the Trans-Pacific Partnership?
Ron Ridenour
Fidel’s Death Brings Forth Great and Sad Memories
Missy Comley Beattie
By Invitation Only
Fred Gardner
Sword of Damocles: Pot Partisans Fear Trump’s DOJ
Renee Parsons
Obama and Propornot
Dean Baker
Cash and Carrier: Trump and Pence Put on a Show
Jack Rasmus
Taming Trump: From Faux Left to Faux Right Populism
Ron Jacobs
Selling Racism—A Lesson From Pretoria
Julian Vigo
The Hijos of Buenos Aires:  When Identity is Political
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail