Published On:03 December 2012
Posted by Indian Muslim Observer

The UN vote: Palestine wins first war for statehood

Second birth of Palestine

By Dr. Abdul Ruff

As one of the most important developments in the world history, the UN General Assembly on 29th November has voted overwhelmingly to recognize Palestine as a non-member observer state after decades of non-stop struggle by the Palestinians. Against the background of tragedy in Palestine caused by intermittent terror attacks of occupying fascist Israeli regime, the UN assembly voted 138-9 in favor, with 41 nations abstaining under tremendous US-Israel pressure tactics. Three countries did not take part in the vote at all. At least 17 European nations voted in favor of the Palestinian resolution, including Austria, France, Italy, Norway and Spain.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas had focused his lobbying efforts on Europe, which supplies much of the aid the Palestinian Authority relies on. Britain, Germany and many others chose to abstain. The traditionally pro-Israel Czech Republic was unique in Europe, joining the United States, Israel, Canada, Panama and the tiny Pacific Island states Nauru, Palau, Marshall Islands and Micronesia in voting against the move.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said shortly before the vote in New York: "The General Assembly is called upon today to issue a birth certificate of the reality of the State of Palestine." Last year, Abbas asked the UN Security Council to admit the Palestinians as a member state, but that was opposed by the USA. The much-anticipated vote came after Abbas denounced Israel from the UN podium after receiving a standing ovation for its "aggressive policies and the perpetration of war crimes," remarks that elicited a furious response from the Jewish state. "The General Assembly is called upon today to issue a birth certificate of the reality of the State of Palestine," he said.

The vote was held on the 65th anniversary of the adoption of UN resolution 181 sixty-five years ago, partitioning the land of historic Palestine into two states. The 193-nation UN General Assembly overwhelmingly approved the de facto recognition of the sovereign state of Palestine after Abbas called on the world body to issue its long overdue "birth certificate," as the notorious UNSC controlled by USA to defend fascism and capitalism and for decades refused to recognize Palestine along with hurried creation of Israel on Palestine lands. Abbas rightly said this was the "last chance to save the two-state solution" with Israel.

Approval for Palestine non-member observer state is obviously a symbolic milestone with a lot of implications. Nonetheless, it is the greatest victory of Palestinians so far over their common enemies and in fact can contribute enormously to the reality of an independent Palestine state. While Palestinians see no changes on the ground with immediate effect, the symbolism is all-important.

As it can only be natural, spontaneous outburst of expression of joy is prevalent all over Palestine and world at large; In the West Bank, crowds celebrated the vote by waving flags and chanting "God is great!" "For the first time, there will be a state called Palestine, with the recognition of the entire world", “Today the world will hear our voice" etc. Palestinians particularly celebrated on the streets of Ramallah, in the West Bank after the result was announced. Fireworks erupted in Ramallah with the news of the vote. The parties began in Yasser Arafat Square long before the voting.

Abbas made a speech in New York as crowds of people waving flags gathered around large screens carrying the live feed. Abbas led the campaign to win support for the resolution, which followed an eight-day conflict this month between Israel and Islamists in the Gaza Strip, who are pledged to Israel's destruction and oppose a negotiated peace. While the vote and PLO move is seen as a symbolic milestone in Palestinian ambitions for statehood, the "Yes" vote have a practical diplomatic effect.

Both Americans and Israelis feel awful, humbled by international community. The threat of so-called "law fare" has already prevented some Israeli civilian and military leaders from travelling abroad out of fear they'd be arrested as war criminals. Israelis are afraid of being hauled to The Hague. These rogues would now consider entire humanity as their common enemy.

First setback for US-Israel terror twins

Granting Palestinians the title of "non-member observer state" falls short of full U.N. membership - something the Palestinians failed to achieve last year. But it does have important legal implications - it would allow them access to the ICC and other international bodies, should they choose to join. Abbas did not mention the ICC in his speech. But Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki told reporters after the vote that if Israel continued to build illegal settlements, the Palestinians might pursue the ICC route.

Israel and its fascist allies like USA and Canada have got their first ever jolt for their cynically anti-Palestine operations. The assembly approved the upgrade despite threats by the USA and Israel to punish the Palestinians by withholding US aid and funds for the West Bank government. Opponents of the PLO bid now say a Palestinian state should emerge only out of bilateral negotiations, as set out in the 1993 Oslo peace accords under which the Palestinian Authority was established. Israeli fascist premier Benjamin Netanyahu responded quickly, condemning Abbas' critique of Israel as "hostile and poisonous," and full of "false propaganda. However, UN envoys said Israel might not retaliate harshly against the Palestinians over the vote as long as they do not seek to join the International Criminal Court.

Thus far Americans have used UN to promote US-Israeli interests, In Washington, a group of four Republican and Democratic senators announced legislation that would close the Palestinian office in Washington unless the Palestinians enter "meaningful negotiations" with Israel, and eliminate all U.S. assistance to the Palestinian Authority if it turns to the ICC. "I fear the Palestinian Authority will now be able to use the United Nations as a political club against Israel," said Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, one of the sponsors.

The UN victory for the Palestinians was a diplomatic setback for USA-Israel terror twins, which were joined by only a handful of countries in voting against the move to upgrade the Palestinian Authority's observer status at the United Nations to "non-member state" from "entity," like the Vatican. The Vatican with similar UN position of membership praised the move and called for an internationally guaranteed special status for Jerusalem, something bound to irritate Israel.
UN move is hence strongly opposed by both Israel and the USA almost on similar tones. Israeli Netanyahu called the vote "meaningless", and said that Abbas' address in New York had not been "the words of a man who wants peace". He reiterated Israeli calls for direct talks with the Palestinians, dismissing the UN resolution as "meaningless." US foreign terror minister Hillary Clinton quickly called the vote "unfortunate and counterproductive," in keeping line with its pro-Zionism policy.

A number of Western delegations noted that the vote should not be interpreted as formal legal recognition of a Palestinian state. Formal recognition of statehood is something that is done bilaterally, not by the United Nations. After the vote, US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice called for the immediate resumption of peace talks. She added that both parties should "avoid any further provocative actions in the region, in New York or elsewhere."

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in Gaza said he hoped all sides would use the vote to push for new breakthroughs in the peace process. "I hope there will be no punitive measures," Fayyad told Reuters in Washington, where he was attending a conference. "I hope that some reason will prevail and the opportunity will be taken to take advantage of what happened today in favor of getting a political process moving," he said. Britain's U.N. ambassador, Mark Lyall Grant, told reporters it was time for recently re-elected U.S. President Barack Obama to make a new push for peace. "We believe the window for the two-state solution is closing," he said. "That is why we are encouraging the United States and other key international actors to grasp this opportunity and use the next 12 months as a way to really break through this impasse."

Abbas was much criticized by many Palestinians for remaining on the sidelines of the conflict earlier this month in Gaza and efforts to achieve a ceasefire with Israel. His Fatah movement, based in the West Bank, is deeply split from the Hamas movement which governs Gaza. Gaza's elected Prime Minister Ismael Haniyeh said in a statement that Hamas support for the UN bid is based on the 'rule of non-recognition of the occupier Israel until full UN membership as well as their legitimate demands are met like the right of Palestinians to return to their homeland".

What the non-member observer state means?

Upon imposition of an illegal Israel in Mideast by US-UK terror twins, the Palestinians have been seeking UN recognition of a Palestinian state in the remaining lands of Palestine, including West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, the lands Israel captured in 1967 with American weapons and support.

When Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas addressed the United Nations in September he specifically accused Israel of committing war crimes. The Palestinians have long planned to use non-membership statehood at the U.N., once obtained, as a way to enter the ICC. One Palestinian negotiator, in talking to the International Crisis Group, called the strategy a "legal or diplomatic intifada" against Israel.

Last spring, the ICC's former chief prosecutor turned down a 2009 Palestinian request for prosecution of Israel's actions in the 2008-2009 Gaza war with Hamas, specifically noting that Palestine was only a U.N. observer entity. In September, the new ICC prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, said a General Assembly vote could make the difference.

UN overwhelming vote to recognize Palestine as a non-member state in fact offers little prospect for greater clout in world politics but it could make a difference in the international courts. With its upgraded status at the UN, the Palestinians shall now seek to apply to the ICC for membership and authority to file war-crimes charges against the Israeli government and its officials. The formal recognition of statehood, even without full U.N. membership, could be enough for the Palestinians to achieve membership at the Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC), where member states have the power to refer for investigation alleged war crimes or crimes against humanity.

The Hague-based ICC is the one international venue where individuals can be criminally charged. All 117 countries that ratified the Rome Statute, which created the court, are bound to turn over suspects. The United States and Israel have not joined the Rome Statute, but that would not prevent the Palestinians from pursing cases under the treaty. ICC arrest warrants and rulings carry geopolitical weight even when they can't be enforced. An indictment of Libya's Col Moammar Qaddafi last year helped mobilize western support for the rebels who opposed him.
Upon relentless struggle for years now the Palestinians can now take part in UN debates and potentially join bodies like the International Criminal Court. There is also hope that access to UN bodies will bring new rights. A successful application for membership of the International Criminal Court could be used to accuse Israel of war crimes or make other legal claims against it.

The UN vote, however, accomplished little because the lands currently controlled by Israel belong to the Palestinians and these needed to be returned. A few hours before U.N. vote, fascist Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu said it would not affect the stalemated peace negotiations with the Palestinians. The fascist leader said Israelis should not overreact because no matter how many hands are raised against Israel, there is no force in the world that can push him to compromise on the security of Israel.

The Palestinians can now have the opportunity for access to UN bodies that will certainly bring new rights: A successful application for membership of the ICC could be used to accuse Israel of war crimes or make other legal claims against it. This is a whole new ball-game now. Israel will be dealing with a member of the international community, a state called Palestine with rights. PLO official said "We will have access to international organizations and agencies and we will take it from there."

When the Palestinians join the ICC, they could file complaints with the court accusing Israel of war crimes, crimes against humanity and other serious crimes. So far, the ICJ and ICC have been silent spectators of scenes of Zionist crimes in Palestine. And now there is no guarantee for either side that the ICC prosecutor would follow through on charges. The ICC has procedural obstacles that could head off any prosecution there. Of course, if the Palestinians enter the legal battlefield, they, too, risk being accused and prosecuted in the venues where they'd try to target Israelis. Some commentators argue that, like lawyers in any legal fight, both the Palestinians and Israelis have exaggerated the stakes in what's more of a political and public-relations drama. And it's important to remember that the ICC, controlled by USA, is a political organization as much as a legal one -- cases are initiated by member governments and the U.N. Security Council -- so geopolitical considerations can trump a strictly legal case.

For Palestinians, as long as the Israelis are not committing atrocities, are not building settlements, are not violating international law, then we don't see any reason to go anywhere. "If the Israelis continue with such policy - aggression, settlements, assassinations, attacks, confiscations, building walls - violating international law, then they have no other remedy but really to knock those to other places.

Act against Zionist Crimes

Palestine obtained only temporary freedom from Zionist crimes against odds. Palestinians found joy in that it is the first time the international community has recognized Palestinians' right to statehood. They say the large number of UN members 138 that voted for them added legitimacy to their claim for statehood. They say the vote adds weight to their position in the peace negotiations with Israel. While the vote did not change much for daily Palestinian life, it was still cause for celebration. Importantly, on post-vote Friday in East Jerusalem, Muslim worshipers streamed through Damascus gate for prayers. The mood seemed relaxed for the first time in years. Israeli security forces were present but less visible than on previous Fridays. That is real change in Zionist attitude!

Palestinians have finally won a small battle at long last. There had been lobbying by Israel and the US on vote eve to try to delay the vote or change the text to obtain guarantees that no international legal action would be taken against Israel. The vital point is the Palestine bid was endorsed by a large number of European Union members that otherwise promote Israeli military terror prowess and US imperialism.

There are 4.3 million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza besieged by Israeli military terrorists.The Palestinian people will wake up soon, if not tomorrow itself and find that their lives have changed because of UN vote. The prospects of a durable peace have only started. According to many experts, however, hthe concern that something dramatic would happen or change looks overblown.

Palestinians and world at large now have to protect the little freedom Palestine got through UN. Palestine must now ensure full UN membership and world support to end Zionist crimes once for all.

Israeli bluff leaders and fanatic military keep saying the country's armed forces “strictly adhere” to international law (read Israeli law) and argue the true aim of Palestinians' accusations is to isolate Israel.

Due to dirty tactics by US-Israel terror twins, latest leg of Obama mediated peace talks have been stalled for two years, mainly over Israeli settlements in the West Bank, which have expanded despite being deemed illegal by most of the world.

Now that Palestine is able to pass over the statehood hurdle, of course, under the General Assembly, then the ICC can do a lot to help the besieged Palestinians. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also called for more talks, saying the resolution underscored the need to resume meaningful peace negotiations. Britain called on the United States to use its influence to help break the long impasse in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Washington also called for a revival of direct negotiations.

The vote has vividly highlighted how deeply divided Europe is on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The fact that a veto France supported Palestine while another veto Britain abstained form vote instead of voting with USA-Israel terror twins as it had always done on previous occasions, show not just Israel is hated but also all powerful America is isolated ex especially by Europe.
Britain has clearly showed that they are with fellow Europeans and not with the dictatorial Americans with hidden agendas.

The outcome is disastrous for Americans themselves who thought they control Europe. The effect of US triclomacy through pressure tactics is fast waning and there is every reason Jewish Americans financing US politicians would feel terribly threatened- more than other pro-Israeli Americans.

Israel cannot henceforth go on attacking the defenseless Palestinians with its expansion and fascism, cannot escape ultimate punishment for its crimes against humanity.
A free and independent Palestine as a full member of UN is going to be the reality; so will also be the freedom struggles in other parts of the world.

[Dr. Abdul Ruff is Specialist on State Terrorism;Chancellor-Founder of Centor for International Affairs(CIA); Independent Analyst;Chronicler of Foreign occupations & Freedom movements (Palestine, Kashmir, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Xinjiang, Chechnya, etc.). He is also former university Teacher. He can be contacted at abdulruff_jnu@yahoo.com]

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Posted by Indian Muslim Observer on December 03, 2012. Filed under , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Feel free to leave a response

By Indian Muslim Observer on December 03, 2012. Filed under , , , . Follow any responses to the RSS 2.0. Leave a response

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