Joyous News From Palestine 568

Please do read the full text of Security Council Resolution 2334, passed yesterday:

The Security Council,
Reaffirming its relevant resolutions, including resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973), 446 (1979), 452 (1979), 465 (1980), 476 (1980), 478 (1980), 1397 (2002), 1515 (2003), and 1850 (2008),

Guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and reaffirming, inter alia, the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force,

Reaffirming the obligation of Israel, the occupying Power, to abide scrupulously by its legal obligations and responsibilities under the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, and recalling the advisory opinion rendered on 9 July 2004 by the International Court of Justice,

Condemning all measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, character and status of the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, including, inter alia, the construction and expansion of settlements, transfer of Israeli settlers, confiscation of land, demolition of homes and displacement of Palestinian civilians, in violation of international humanitarian law and relevant resolutions,

Expressing grave concern that continuing Israeli settlement activities are dangerously imperilling the viability of the two-State solution based on the 1967 lines,

Recalling the obligation under the Quartet Roadmap, endorsed by its resolution 1515 (2003), for a freeze by Israel of all settlement activity, including “natural growth”, and the dismantlement of all settlement outposts erected since March 2001,

Recalling also the obligation under the Quartet roadmap for the Palestinian Authority Security Forces to maintain effective operations aimed at confronting all those engaged in terror and dismantling terrorist capabilities, including the confiscation of illegal weapons,

Condemning all acts of violence against civilians, including acts of terror, as well as all acts of provocation, incitement and destruction,
Reiterating its vision of a region where two democratic States, Israel and Palestine, live side by side in peace within secure and recognized borders,

Stressing that the status quo is not sustainable and that significant steps, consistent with the transition contemplated by prior agreements, are urgently needed in order to (i) stabilize the situation and to reverse negative trends on the ground, which are steadily eroding the two-State solution and entrenching a one-State reality, and (ii) to create the conditions for successful final status negotiations and for advancing the two-State solution through those negotiations and on the ground,

1. Reaffirms that the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace;

2. Reiterates its demand that Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and that it fully respect all of its legal obligations in this regard;

3. Underlines that it will not recognize any changes to the 4 June 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties through negotiations;
4. Stresses that the cessation of all Israeli settlement activities is essential for salvaging the two-State solution, and calls for affirmative steps to be taken immediately to reverse the negative trends on the ground that are imperilling the two-State solution;

5. Calls upon all States, bearing in mind paragraph 1 of this resolution, to distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967;

6. Calls for immediate steps to prevent all acts of violence against civilians, including acts of terror, as well as all acts of provocation and destruction, calls for accountability in this regard, and calls for compliance with obligations under international law for the strengthening of ongoing efforts to combat terrorism, including through existing security coordination, and to clearly condemn all acts of terrorism;

7. Calls upon both parties to act on the basis of international law, including international humanitarian law, and their previous agreements and obligations, to observe calm and restraint, and to refrain from provocative actions, incitement and inflammatory rhetoric, with the aim, inter alia, of de-escalating the situation on the ground, rebuilding trust and confidence, demonstrating through policies and actions a genuine commitment to the two-State solution, and creating the conditions necessary for promoting peace;

8. Calls upon all parties to continue, in the interest of the promotion of peace and security, to exert collective efforts to launch credible negotiations on all final status issues in the Middle East peace process and within the time frame specified by the Quartet in its statement of 21 September 2010;

9. Urges in this regard the intensification and acceleration of international and regional diplomatic efforts and support aimed at achieving, without delay a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East on the basis of the relevant United Nations resolutions, the Madrid terms of reference, including the principle of land for peace, the Arab Peace Initiative and the Quartet Roadmap and an end to the Israeli occupation that began in 1967; and underscores in this regard the importance of the ongoing efforts to advance the Arab Peace Initiative, the initiative of France for the convening of an international peace conference, the recent efforts of the Quartet, as well as the efforts of Egypt and the Russian Federation;

10. Confirms its determination to support the parties throughout the negotiations and in the implementation of an agreement;

11. Reaffirms its determination to examine practical ways and means to secure the full implementation of its relevant resolutions;

12. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Council every three months on the implementation of the provisions of the present resolution;

13. Decides to remain seized of the matter.

Given the difficulties of negotiating such resolutions between 15 states, the language is remarkably forthright. The relief of the UN Secretariat itself at the UN acting after eight years of US veto impasse, shines through the accurate but stark headline of the official UN press release on the resolution:

Israel’s Settlements Have No Legal Validity, Constitute Flagrant Violation of International Law, Security Council Reaffirms

In one sense the Resolution is a statement of the blindingly obvious. But it has had such a political impact because Israel, with its politics switched radically to the right by Eastern European immigration, had really come under Netanyahu to believe it could simply strangle the Palestinians acre by acre, and the neo-con political hegemony in the West was so unshakeable there could never be any comeback.

Trump’s apparent hardline Zionism since his election has been a disappointment and was not really prefigured by the balance of his past pronouncements, although as usual with him they are all over the place. But of course he now has no ability to revoke or undermine this resolution; there is no retrospective veto. I retain a hope that Trump will come to regard the US$34 billion a year the USA gives in military assistance to Israel a very strange way to spend the taxpayers’ money.

It might be argued that Obama’s decision not to veto the Resolution shows his true decent instincts once political machination is no longer a factor. I have been undecided whether he is a decent but timid man prepared to go along with the machinations of hard power without any fights that would make his own life less comfortable, or a total charlatan who was always just a puppet of the powerful. It took eight years for me to tend towards the slightly less appalling option. Certainly Hillary, an uncompromising Zionist who refused to condemn illegal settlements when Bernie Sanders did so, would have vetoed the resolution. In a strange way, Trump’s victory allowed it to pass; if Clinton had won, Obama would have very probably felt bound to defer to her wish to veto it.

My own view is that it is too late for a two state solution. I wrote recently of my work on apartheid South Africa, and I find the two state model proposed for Israel/Palestine irresistibly reminiscent of the Bantustan proposals of the apartheid South African government. There is no economically and politically viable state to be constructed out of the overcrowded and cut off territories of the West Bank and Palestine, even without the massive seizures of land and water resources that have occurred within them. To reverse enough of 1967 settlements for a viable Palestinian state in a two state solution wpuld involve an unacceptable further uprooting of people.

This next bit of my opinion angers some – but only some – of my Palestinian friends. I see a single, secular state as the only viable long term solution, but to negotiate this would entail accepting that a large number of post 1967 settlers should stay where they are. Not all, but it is very difficult to see how any agreement could ever be negotiated that does not accept most of the facts on the ground. I see a read across here from the Cyprus negotiations, where Greek Cypriots have a great difficulty in accepting that Turkish settlers must remain. And I believe that like Cyprus, a federal political solution which does not attempt to move populations around further, seems to me the best basis to move forward.

For me, the Security Council’s observation that Israeli settlements “are steadily eroding the two-State solution and entrenching a one-State reality” and the “cessation of all Israeli settlement activities is essential for salvaging the two-State solution, and calls for affirmative steps to be taken immediately to reverse the negative trends on the ground that are imperilling the two-State solution”, are accurate descriptions of a process which in fact has already gone beyond the point of no return. The irony is, of course, that it is the Israeli government who are horrified by the idea of a single state solution; yet they have made a two state solution impossible. That leaves them the choice of sharing the land with the Palestinians, and a settlement involving massive financial compensation, or continuing complicity in the slow genocide of the Palestinians herded into their ever shrinking territories.

The Security Council has shown Israel that the whole world is horrified by what they are doing to the Palestinians. It will take further time for the Security Council to acknowledge that their own proposed solution really is no longer viable.


The blog is now essentially closing down for the festive period. I am travelling off to where I shall lie shipwrecked and comatose, drinking fresh mango juice. Barring imminent nuclear war, I am unlikely to post again before the New Year. On the grounds that I am already entirely unfashionable, let me say I saw Status Quo live at the Glasgow Apollo in about 1983, and in Katowice about 1996, and I loved every moment. RIP Rick Parfitt. Merry Christmas everyone!

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568 thoughts on “Joyous News From Palestine

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  • eldudeabides

    Well, the Guardian finally banned me today, from making further comments.

    I guess endlessly flagging up their false narratives, over recent years, eventually proved too much for them.

    I guess I am now, officially, a dissident. 🙂

    • bevin

      Congratulations. I’m not sure whether I was ever banned, I just grew very tired of having comments deleted and finally of pre-moderation. I realise now that it is a badge of honour to fall afoul of the scum who prostitute commentary in that nasty old Mancunian bosses’ sheet.

      • eldudeabides

        Thanks, Bevin :3)

        You are right, it is a badge of honour.

        They had in recent times, yellow carded me briefly a couple of times, and for a day or two, I had to have comments pre-moderated, before they would post them.

        But finally, today, my account has been disabled, re posting comments. I was on there for a few years, every day. A chapter closes.

        The Guardian is but a shadow of what it used to be. OK, it’s circulation figures are now a joke – but I am surprised that anybody at all buys it in Britain.

        I am a big fan of Craig Murray. But I do wish this site was more user-friendly re comments, and the ability to easily follow threads where people have replied to one’s comments. This is why, I never spend a lot of time here. 🙁

        • Habbabkuk

          If that is your opinion of The Guardian then why did you bother them with frequent offerings?

          I must admit that I have never really understood why some people seem to think they have some inalienable right to have all their offerings carried in the MSM

  • Dave

    The EU Remain vote in Scotland confirmed the earlier Remain vote in the non-independence referendum because Remain in both was the UK establishment position and therefore its a presumption to think it shows a preference for the EU over the UK. Also following Brexit in any 2nd non-independence referendum there will be greater exposure of the SNP fictions of “independence in EU” and “anti-Austerity” as it will no longer be necessary to hide the truth to avoid undermining support for the EU.

    For example, because Lab/Con were pro-EU the SNP were allowed to pedal “Scotland independent in EU” because exposure would also expose the fiction of “UK independent in EU” and exposing the fiction that the SNP were anti-austerity would have exposed that austerity was EU policy. The pro-EU SNP/Left blamed “Tory austerity” but it was in fact “Tory pro-EU austerity” to save the Euro rather and so their non-solution was a closer embrace of those truly responsible for austerity.

    It’s only following Brexit, killing any prospect of UK joining Euro, that the new Chancellor has been able to tear up the former pro-EU Chancellors “EU austerity fiscal rules” and begin promoting a save the UK rather than Euro “anti-austerity” policy, which will become apparent as the UK economy grows.

    • michael norton

      I don’t think Frau Sturgeon should delay, she really does not like the Conservaties nor the English nor Austerity

      she does not seem to actually like much, one wonders if she even loathes herself?

      But she should stop wasting time
      and tell us all the date of INDYREF2

  • surfmaui

    > Obama has finally done what he wanted to do and taken on Benjamin Netanyahu and exposed his extremism. Why did he wait so long? The answer is simple: the Israel lobby was against any real action. Jewish Americans of my generation and older opposed any pressure on Israel. So there was no pressure (till now, and Trump).
    > Here is a fact that proves my point: John Kerry’s closing act as secretary of state is a 72-minute speech devoted to a problem that was removed from the Democratic Party platform just five months before. Remember– Clintonites insisted that the words settlements and occupation appear nowhere in the party platform.
    > Clinton was so dependent on the Jewish establishment and large Jewish donors, that she could not “undermine [the] party’s fundraising capabilities” (as the National Journal says) by saying a word against Israel.
    > the achievement of Donald Trump: he finally gave the left-liberals political capital, by smashing the Clinton elites and dividing the Israel lobby with his extremism.

    • bevin

      What you say in unexceptionable.
      But I do wonder about the conventional wisdom regarding the American co-religionists to whom you refer. My own experience, in Canada which has an extremely powerful Zionist lobby, is that a very large proportion of those who regard themselves as ‘Jewish’ are extremely critical of the government of Israel and are very open to listening sympathetically to the cause of Palestine.
      The problem is that political parties are very easy to corrupt, much easier than electorates, and it has been amazingly simple, not to say cheap, to ensure that no party with a chance of winning elections dare run anti-Zionist candidates even though they would win the enthusiastic support of a majority of young people, regardlessof their religious or cultural backgrounds.
      The problem is that when voters enter the polling booth, matters of immediate interest, economic and social policy, education etc, are of primary concern, few elections are won on foreign policy issues.

    • Laguerre

      Mired in your Brexit dreams, perhaps you haven’t noticed that LePen has only one député, and two senators. It’s the level of UKIP. Though that will no doubt increase in the coming legislative elections, which follow the presidentials, it’s a long way from getting LePen a mandate to do what you want.

  • bevin

    A regular-as clockwork- commenter (one of those who still travels by trolley bus at this late day) suggested recently that the WSWS-a website of the Trotskyist Fourth International- is an unreliable source of news and analysis.
    Those who wish to judge the matter for themselves, rather than to be bounced into conformity by redbaiting-ought to look at this piece of analysis of the current nonsense employed by Obama to promote the CIA’s neo-con agenda.

    • Habbabkuk

      Craig’s blog should not be used as a free platform for the dissemination of Trotskyite propaganda. If people are interested they can go to the WSWS (Fourth International) website directly by themselves.

      • bevin

        You might as well object to links to Washington Post as the dissemination of commercial messages from Amazon. Read the article and you will see that it sums up very well the truth of the situation, at a time when all the western capitalist media are obscuring the fact that there is no evidence at all behind these dangerous and foolish allegations.
        In fact the WSWS, coincidentally, is reporting precisely what Craig has confirmed on this blog!
        You should look out for the truth, Craig can look after himself.

  • Sharp Ears

    President Putin is in sole occupation of the high ground. He is not playing Obama’s schoolyard game.

    Putin: No expulsions in retaliation to US
    Vladimir Putin has said he will not expel American diplomats
    Vladimir Putin condemns President Obama’s actions against its officials but says he will not stoop to the same level.

    He welcomes children of the familes working at the American embassy in Moscow to the Christmas and New Year parties in the Kremlin.

    Whereas the Russian children in America are being uprooted from their homes and schools and losing their friends. Shame on you Obama.

    • Resident Dissident

      Sergei Magnitsky Anna Polikovskaya and Boris Nemtsov all had kids look what happened to their Dads and ask yourself why if you have a shred of shame before you elevate Putin to the high ground. Of course those who cheer on Assad’s attacks on the Palestinians while at the same time as shedding crocodile tears for Palestinians in Gaza know a thing or two about gross hypocrisy. The sewer is clearly still full of the old shit.

      • lysias

        I wonder how much more blood Obama has on his hands, with things like the drone attacks and the support of the Saudi bombing of Yemen.

      • bevin

        You are being emotional, (as emotional as a newt I suspect). Would you please give us evidence that any of the three deceased was killed by or on the orders of Putin?
        A critic of assassination is in no position to engage in character assassinations of the drive-by kind.
        A special mention for mendacity incidentally for “…Assad’s attacks on the Palestinians..”
        Happy New Era.

        • Resident Dissident

          I very much doubt that they were killed on the orders of Putin – but he created the environment in which they were possible and for the subsequent cover ups to take place – to say nothing of his support for the assassin Kadyrov.

          Assad’s attacks on the Palestinian refugee camp are a matter of record – even George Galloway criticised them at the time – as is the starvation of the Palestinian camps in Damascus. You will also find that even Hamas have been critical of the role of the Iranian republican guard in Syria.

          No emotion just facts I’m afraid – I’ll leave the rewriting of history and petty slurs to yourself.

          • giyane

            The camps were infiltrated by USUKIS terrorists, using Palestinian refugees as a human shield. Zero tolerance of USUKIS dirty politics is an essential part of Russia’s side of the Gret Game viz Grozny.
            Mental note: Don’t let self curry political favour from the imperial fascist West, or self might get squeezed by the imperial fascist Russia.
            des Res . You disappoint as always.

          • Macky

            “Perhaps you should apologise for your claim that I was being mendacious?”

            I think you will be awaiting a long time if you expect anybody to apologise for your conniving & deceitful attemp to betray Assad as an enemy of the Palestinians; anybody with any knowledge of Syria & the Palestinians will recognise your propaganda for what it is,

          • Habbabkuk

            “..anybody with any knowledge of Syria & the Palestinians ..”


            Well, that excludes you then, Macks. The only evidence of knowledge I’ve seen from you over the years is that of the use of smileys and LOLs

          • Macky

            “the use of smileys and LOLs”

            If you kept getting the better of somebody who keeps saying that you are clueless then you would be smiling & laughing quite a bit too ! 😀

          • Resident Dissident


            So what exactly was George Galloway saying about Assad when he bombed the Latakia refugee camp back in 2011? (though I appreciate that he has probably changed tune since then). The only tune you are interested in is an anti West one – as you hate Western democracies and don’t mind killing any number of innocents if it furthers your cause.

            I think you will find that Palestinian and other Sunni Muslims are not a little aggrieved at their labelling as ISIS terrorists by Assad, Putin and their allies from Hezbollah and Iran.

    • John Goss

      Ignore Resident Dissident’s comments. He is obsessed with his mantra Blame Putin and Blame Russia (as most know) just as much as MSM is. You may recall the Putin poisoned Vladimir Kara-Murza episode that RD went on about ad nauseam. Kara-Murza was a colleague of Nemtsov. The most likely scenario was that Kara-Murza overdosed on anti-depressants. Read the following carefully.

      I have checked Kara-Murza’s blog and there are still references to him having been poisoned. He has not had the good grace to say on his blog, as far as I have been able to ascertain, thanks to Russian doctors I am alive.

      • Shatnersrug

        Well he’s got 21 days, then trump will be in power and establishment trolls will be forced to spin what ever garbage he tells them rather than Obama.

        • bevin

          Yes, that will be an interesting period when the scriptwriters change the plotlines and what was, scandalously, UP, becomes, notoriously, DOWN. It might, however give us a welcome period of breathing room while re-education is in progress. I’m not counting on it, however.

          • Resident Dissident

            Note the reference to “re-education” – the old habits are always there if you look hard enough.

          • Hieroglyph

            Ah, but that’s a more innocent time of troll. Trump is, of course, both UP and DOWN, where both axis are Russian Wrong, and fascistic. They’ll kill him, if they get the chance, but Trump – who was never remotely as dumb as they said – already has his own private security, so they’ll have to gamble mightily. We may recall, Trump has actual Generals onside. They control troop-movements and very serious weaponry, which includes warships. The neocons will take their shot, of course, but then it’ll get horribly, horribly messy.

            I say this again. The left can be negative about Trump where he merits it, and positive if he proves a good, neocon-bashing POTUS. But the left had nothing to hope for under Clinton, and her neocon cohorts.

      • Resident Dissident

        Fresh from pushing the fascist Zhirinovsky the more observant of us will now note that Mr Goss is using his twitter account to push a petition from Lyndon Larouche’s organisation. But we of course never hear just a smidgin of criticism of Mr Putin from our brave promoter of modern day fascists.

    • Sharp Ears

      Yes the tennis ball hitter and performers of various sport wearing lycra dominate the NY ‘Honours’. A farce.

  • michael norton

    There are some on here who have convinced themselves that Global Warming is real.
    They have also convinced themselves that sea levels are dangerously rising.
    Just because you have convinced yourself of something
    does not have to mean it is true.

    The water’s all gone-dola! Unusually low tide exposes the unseen side of Venice, Italy, connected to the Mediterranean and hence the Oceans.

  • mauisurfer

    John Kerry’s Eureka Moment
    Mouin Rabbani 30 December 2016
    (excerpt, see link below for full text)

    > Kerry delivered a seventy-minute address on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. For all its obligatory political correctness, replete with condemnations of Palestinians for refusing to be passively and silently occupied, it included the harshest words directed at Israel by a US secretary of state since James Baker in 1990 questioned its willingness to make peace with the Palestinians. To his credit, Kerry openly used the emotive phrase ‘separate but unequal’ – albeit to describe a dystopian future rather than the very real present – and, in an apparent first for a serving US official, referred to the nakba and explained that it is Palestinian for ‘catastrophe’.
    > But where Baker demonstrated seriousness of purpose by reducing the flow of American aid to Israel and effectively forcing Yitzhak Shamir into retirement, Kerry bragged about his administration’s unprecedented generosity to ‘the most right wing [government] in Israeli history, with an agenda driven by its most extreme elements’. Attempting to sound more like an interested spectator than the chief diplomat of the state whose acts of commission and omission over the past half century have perpetuated the crisis, he resorted to the tired saw that Washington cannot want peace more than the occupiers it enables or the occupied who don’t have a choice in the matter.
    > Since there is effectively nothing new in Kerry’s principles, and Israel’s attitude towards them must have been known to him since his ‘first trip to Israel as a young senator in 1986’ about which he waxed so sentimentally, why did he do nothing to force ‘the most right wing [government] in Israeli history, with an agenda driven by its most extreme elements’ to accept them during the past four years, and refrain from criticising the government that rejected them until the final days of his tenure?
    > Why were we instead forced to put up with the charade of negotiations he sponsored, whose only purpose was as diplomatic cover for the further expansion of illegal settlements which according to Kerry himself not only ‘have nothing to do with Israel’s security’ but are there for the express purpose of turning the occupied territories into ‘small parcels that could never constitute a real state’?
    > If, on the contrary, Kerry’s eureka moment arrived only this Christmas, and he felt the need to speak out in order to preserve the two-state framework from the assaults not only of Israel’s extremists but also of those in America waiting in the wings to detonate America’s Middle East diplomacy, why refrain from the obvious step of recognising Palestinian statehood?

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