A state of Palestine? Outrage as US backs perpetual occupation and oppression

Apr 20, 2024
USA Israel flags

Readers will recall my article of 16 April, The end of occupation: A state of Palestine at the UN. It advised of an anticipated vote in the Security Council on April 18. The Security Council was sitting in New York. Because of the time difference, that was early in the morning of 19 April in Australia. So, what happened?

Unfortunately, the United States did exercise its veto and so the resolution granting full membership status of the UN to Palestine was rejected. The vote is nevertheless of interest. Of the 15 states voting, 12 were in favour, there were 2 abstentions, and then of course the US opposition. It will be recalled that 9 votes in favour, only, are required, provided there is no veto.

So, what is the upshot? Well, one thing that is apparent is that the US has forfeited any leadership role that it espouses. It has outraged most of mankind. The two abstaining countries, the UK and Switzerland, have brought shame on themselves. The 12 voting in favour were Algeria, Ecuador, Guyana, Japan, Malta, Mozambique, Republic of Korea, Sierre Leone, Slovenia, and the other three permanent members, France, Russia, and China. It will be noted that three supposedly strong allies of the US namely France, Japan, and the Republic of Korea, voted in favour. They apparently did so despite lobbying by Washington revealed in copies of unclassified State Department cables obtained by The Intercept. The US was apparently determined to see the proposed resolution rejected without the need for its veto.

The US gave as its essential reason for the veto that whilst supporting a “two-state solution”, statehood should only come to Palestine after negotiations with Israel. The problem with that argument is that Israel has made clear that its position is that there will never be a Palestinian state. And what does the US say about the constant ethnic cleansing, through settlements, that is occurring? The US gives no indication as to how and when the suggested ‘negotiations’ will occur, and at what stage it would say “enough is enough, Israel”, the matter is now out of your hands, and the UN must now dictate terms. Those terms, so far as borders are concerned, would likely be in accordance with international law, meaning that the Palestinian state would include the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, all territory captured by Israel in the ’67 war. What the US apparently cannot comprehend is anything being achieved that is not agreed to by Israel. Rather, it apparently supports apartheid, comprised of perpetual occupation and oppression.

So where to next? Palestine’s position is clear. UN Ambassador Mansour told the council after the vote: “The fact that this resolution did not pass will not break our will and it will not defeat our determination. We will not stop in our effort’.

As I suggested in the earlier article, the ball may now be in the court of the General Assembly, and the International Court of Justice, the advisory opinion of which may greatly strengthen the case against the US/Israeli entity: refer in this regard to my earlier article: International law and Israel’s occupation: Understanding the ICJ advisory opinion case, March 7. What is clearly required is for Palestine to be welcomed as a UN member state, thereby implementing the two-state solution, and leading to peace, justice, and security for both Israel and Palestine.

One can only hope that this negative development will not deter the Australian government from carrying through with its recently expressed consideration of recognition of Palestine as an independent act by Australia.


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