Wednesday, December 31, 2014
'Palestine' Fails At The UN - And The Real Story Behind It
Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority finally submitted their resolution to the UN Security Council last night and it came up for a vote today.
Before we look at how it turned out and why, let's examine what led up to this.
Mahmoud Abbas originally presented this December 17th as a unilateral attempt to get the UN behind defining 'Palestine' as the areas the PLO wants for a state...essentially the pre '67 boundaries, or as former Israeli diplomat Abba Eban aptly referred to them, the Auschwitz Lines. Of course, this violated both the Oslo Accords and the Road Map the PLO had signed, but then they never lived up to those agreements anyway.
Since the unity agreement with Hamas, Abbas has seen his credibility fade even farther than it already had. Hamas had shown no signs of giving up sovereignty in Gaza to Abbas and Fatah, and with Abbas now in year ten of what was originally supposed to be a four year term, Hamas was pressing him to put together elections. Abbas attempted to compete with Hamas for the support of the Palestinian 'street' by ramping up the Third Intifada with attacks against Israel's civilians and a speech in the UN accusing Israel of genocide, which hardened a lot of attitudes in Israel. But he was still in a position where he needed to appear to take the lead. So he went to the UN, ranting that if the UNSC failed to vote to pass his resolution, he would 'cut off all dealing with Israel (what 'dealings'?) and sue Israel via the International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes.
The original draft called for a complete Israeli 'withdrawal' to the pre-'67 lines by 2017, Jerusalem as a 'shared capitol' whatever that means, and a 'just solution' for the refugees of 1948..the Arab ones, that is, not the Jews. The French had come up with an alternative draft, so the Jordanian ambassador and the PLO representatives got together with the French and came up with a second draft. As Abbas said, they took certain parts of it and "added Palestinian observations."
The French draft originally called for recognition of Israel as the Jewish State. Abbas and Saeb Erekat got that removed, and hardened the language considerably. Now, East Jerusalem was to be the capitol of Palestine exclusively, Arab refugees were to be allowed a Right of Return, and all of the Palestinian terrorists in Israel's jails were to be released. It also calls for Israeli occupation forces to be replaced by “a third-party presence.” Or in other words, a force to shield Fatah and Hamas terrorists from Israeli retaliation and give them a base where they can train, recruit and launch attacks from with impunity.
But wait, there's more. Check out this language:
Affirms the urgent need to attain, no later than 12 months after the adoption of this resolution, a just, lasting and comprehensive peaceful solution that brings an end to the Israeli occupation since 1967 and fulfills the vision of two independent, democratic and prosperous states, Israel and a sovereign, contiguous and viable State of Palestine living side by side in peace and security within mutually and internationally recognized borders.
Since the Arab-occupied parts of Judea, Samaria and Gaza have never been 'democratic' in
the way normal people conceive of the word,that simply means there would be at least one election if this were to go through..the one Hamas wins,just as they won the last one. Not only that,but note the use of the word 'contiguous.'
If 'Palestine' is contiguous, obviously Israel will not be. So along with swamping Israel with homicidal 'refugees' , releasing the current crop of experienced terrorists from Israel jails and forcing Israel back to indefensible borders, this resolution calls for a further split in Israeli territory between Gaza and the proposed Abbasistan in Judea and Samaria.
Even if the UNSC had voted for this travesty, Israel had already made it known they weren't going to abide by it.No sane country would.
What happened next is of interest.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry got involved at that point, asking Abbas not to present the current draft resolution to the UNSC. His reasons had nothing to do with it being unfair or in violation of two treaties the U.S. was a signatory to as well as the Palestinian Authority. What he asked Abbas to do was to wait until after the Israeli elections in March because putting this out now would strengthen the Israeli right.
But Abbas presented it anyway, via Jordan, the Arab representative on the UNSC.
What happened next was even more curious. Walk with me a moment and I'll explain.
The UN Security Council is composed of five permanent members and ten rotating ones. The five permanent members - America, Russia China, France and Britain- are a remnant of what the victors looked like after WWII and are the ones with a veto.The rest of the UN membership is divided into regional groups and the rotating members are chosen by a vote in their particular group. Israel, by the way, has never been a member of the Security Council and never will be because Israel is lumped in with the Arab nations, which is why a marginal country like Jordan is that group's representative rather than the most powerful and economically advanced country in that group.
The rotating members serve for two years, and the current members include Argentina, Australia, Chad, Chile, Jordan, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Nigeria, South Korea and Rwanda.
Argentina, Australia, Luxemburg, Korea and Rwanda have their terms ending in 2014, and they're going to be replaced in 2015 by Angola, Malaysia, New Zealand, Spain, and Venezuela. Or to put it another way, three pro-Israel members ( Australia, South Korea and Rwanda) are going to be replaced 5 countries that definitely aren't, including one Muslim nation that doesn't even recognize Israel's existence and another one (Spain) whose parliament has already voted to recognize 'Palestine.'
While the draft resolution was presented yesterday, Abbas and Jordan had full control over when it was voted on. Common sense would indicate that they would wait until the new year for a vote, when they were almost certain to get the nine votes it would take to pass.
Instead, the resolution was brought to the Council today by Jordanian Ambassador Dina Kawar for consideration today, with the present membership. Eight countries voted in favor of the motion - China, France, Russia, Argentina, Chad, Chile, Jordan, Luxembourg. Two countries voted against it, Australia and The United States. The other five, South Korea, Britain, Nigeria, Rwanda and Lithuania abstained.
I want to point out something here. While this particular resolution would have been ignored by Israel even if it had passed, every country that voted for this voted in principal for the ethnic cleansing of 500,00 Jews, the barring of Jews permanently from their holiest religious sites, and for an Israel helpless against terrorist assaults.
And they also voted to dignify with statehood an autocratic 'government' composed of vicious, and corrupt kleptocrats on the one hand and genocidal murderers on the other.
US State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke said that the resolution “sets arbitrary deadlines for reaching a peace agreement and for Israel's withdrawal from the West Bank, and those are more likely to curtail useful negotiations than to bring them to a successful conclusion.”
“Further, we think that the resolution fails to account for Israel's legitimate security needs, and the satisfaction of those needs, of course, integral to a sustainable settlement, ” he said.
So...what's going on here? There are two possibilities, and the game that's actually being played here will be revealed by what 'Palestine' does next.
You'll remember that in his earlier remarks, Secretary Kerry didn't tell Abbas that the U.S. didn't support the resolution per se. He asked Abbas to wait until after the Israeli elections. The Obama Administration, like the Clinton Administration before them wants Netanyahu out and a Left wing government headed by Labor's easily manipulated Yitzhak Herzog and the ever flexible Tzipi Livni in.
The U.S. also didn't want to have to use its veto and risk upsetting Arab allies now involved in a coalition against IS. So tonight's exercise could very easily have been kabuki theater in which everyone got what they wanted - Abbas gained some street cred for going to the UN, The U.S. didn't need to use its veto, and Britain got out of having to vote against the resolution, which would have inflamed the large part of its population that loathes Israel. Since Australia, Rwanda and South Korea would have voted no anyway if it came down to it, all they needed was one more abstention. Netanyahu did part of the work by convincing his friend, the pro-Israel Jonathan Goodluck to have Nigeria abstain.
If the Arabs whom call themselves Palestinians avoid going back to the UNSC after this, concentrate on the ICC and other channels and reintroduce this after March, when the Obama Administration will know whether its efforts to oust Netanyahu succeeded, we'll know what happened today backstage, especially if the U.S. abstains or votes yes after Israel's elections for substantially the same resolution.
This, by the way, is the scenario I lean towards.
The other possibility is that the Palestinians simply miscalculated. The resolution only failed to pass by one vote,and it would have almost certainly passed had the vote been scheduled in 2015, barring a U.S. veto. I personally doubt the second scenario since the Palestinians could simply have waited and been ensured of it passing.
If Abbas submits this again shortly after the new UNSC members take their seats, then we'll know that this was indeed a simple miscalculation and that today's events are going to be repeated, but probably with a different outcome - unless the U.S. vetoes it. W'll see if they do.