Despite the United States, Palestine Finally Returns Home


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.

November 30, 2015
Henry Giroux
Trump’s Embrace of Totalitarianism is America’s Dirty Little Secret
Omur Sahin Keyif
An Assassination in Turkey: the Killing of Tahir Elci
Uri Avnery
There is No Such Thing as International Terrorism
Robert Fisk
70,000 Kalashnikovs: Cameron’s “Moderate” Rebels
Jamie Davidson
Distortion, Revisionism & the Liberal Media
Patrick Cockburn
Nasty Surprises: the Problem With Bombing ISIS
Robert Hunziker
The Looming Transnational Battlefield
Ahmed Gaya
Breaking the Climate Mold: Fighting for the Planet and Justice
Matt Peppe
Alan Gross’s Improbable Tales on 60 Minutes
Norman Pollack
Israel and ISIS: Needed, a Thorough Accounting
Colin Todhunter
India – Procession of the Dead: Shopping Malls and Shit
Roger Annis
Canada’s New Climate-Denying National Government
Binoy Kampmark
Straining the Republic: France’s State of Emergency
Bill Blunden
Glenn Greenwald Stands by the Official Narrative
Jack Rasmus
Japan’s 5th Recession in 7 Years
Karen Lee Wald
Inside the Colombia Peace Deal
Geoff Dutton
War in Our Time
Charles R. Larson
Twofers for Carly Fiorina
John Dear
An Eye for an Eye Makes the Whole World Blind
Weekend Edition
November 27-29, 2015
Andrew Levine
The Real Trouble With Bernie
Gary Leupp
Ben Carson, Joseph in Egypt, and the Attack on Rational Thought
John Whitbeck
Who’s Afraid of ISIS?
Michael Brenner
Europe’s Crisis: Terror, Refugees and Impotence
Ramzy Baroud
Forget ISIS: Humanity is at Stake
Pepe Escobar
Will Chess, Not Battleship, Be the Game of the Future in Eurasia?
Vijay Prashad
Showdown on the Syrian Border
Dave Lindorff
Gen. John Campbell, Commander in Afghanistan and Serial Liar
Colin Todhunter
Class, War and David Cameron
Jean Bricmont
The Ideology of Humanitarian Imperialism
Dan Glazebrook
Deadliest Terror in the World: the West’s Latest Gift to Africa
Mark Hand
Escape From New York: the Emancipation of Activist Cecily McMillan
Karl Grossman
Our Solar Bonanza!
Mats Svensson
Madness in Hebron: Hashem Had No Enemies, Yet Hashem Was Hated
Walter Brasch
Terrorism on American Soil
Louisa Willcox
Grizzly Bears, Dreaming and the Frontier of Wonder
Michael Welton
Yahweh is Not Exactly Politically Correct
Joseph Natoli
A Politics of Stupid and How to Leave It Behind
John Cox
You Should Fear Racism and Xenophobia, Not Syrian Refugees or Muslims
Barrie Gilbert
Sacrificing the Grizzlies of Katmai Park: the Plan to Turn Brooks Camp Into a Theme
Rev. William Alberts
The Church of “Something Else” in “an Ecclesiastical Desert”
Andrew Gavin Marshall
Bank Crimes Pay
Elliot Murphy
Cameron’s Syrian Strategy
Thomas S. Harrington
Jeff Jacoby of the Boston Globe and the Death of Ezra Schwartz
Gareth Porter
How Terror in Paris Calls for Revising US Syria Policy
Michael Perino
The Arc of Instability