Why should Palestinians even entertain the idea of talking to their criminal tormentors when the path to peace is clearly set out in countless rulings by the United Nations and by the International Court of Justice. These are waiting to be implemented and enforced.
Despite the piles of dead in Gaza and – for the second time in four years – the row upon row of charred and broken little bodies of children, Western leaders still shirk their duty and call on the two parties to restart the squalid, lopsided peace process that had led nowhere and only serves to give the Israelis more time to consolidate their territorial gains.
Instead of carrying out their responsibilities, they shamelessly shovel their foul mess onto the Palestinians to clean up. What are the Palestinians supposed to negotiate? Why should they have to bargain for their freedom and property with the thugs that stole it?
For decades the Israelis have played for time, whining that they have “no partner for peace” while continuing to seize and colonize all the Palestinian land and water resources needed to fulfill the Zionist dream of a Greater Israel from the Jordan to the Mediterranean – or, some say, the Euphrates to the Nile.
To that end the Zionist regime has continually violated UN resolutions, international law and the norms of human decency while rushing to establish irreversible facts on the ground, like the monstrous settlements and their supporting infrastructure, and to press ahead with further demolition of Arab homes and more ethnic cleansing.
Why should Palestinians even entertain the idea of talking to their criminal tormentors when the path to peace is clearly set out in countless rulings by the United Nations and by the International Court of Justice. These are waiting to be implemented and enforced. Here are some examples…..
- · Resolution 181 : the Partition Plan of 1947 accepted by the Jews) declares Jerusalem, including Bethlehem and Beit Sahour, a corpus separatum – to be run under an international UN administration. This was reiterated in Resolution 303 a year later. We’re still waiting.
- · Resolution 194: resolves that refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage. That was 64 years ago.
- · Resolution 237: Israel to allow return of the ‘new’ 1967 Palestinian refugees.
- · Resolution 242: emphasizes the inadmissibility of acquiring territory by war and calls on Israel to withdraw its forces from land occupied in 1967.
- · Resolution 252: declares invalid Israel’s attempts to unify Jerusalem as the Jewish capital.
- · Resolution 271: condemns Israel’s failure to obey UN resolutions on Jerusalem.
- · Resolution 298: deplores Israel’s changing of the status of Jerusalem.
- · Resolution 446: determines that Israeli settlements are a ‘serious obstruction’ to peace and calls on Israel to abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention.
- · Resolution 452: calls on Israel to cease building settlements in occupied territories.
- · Resolution 465: deplores Israel’s settlements and asks all member states not to assist Israel’s settlements program.
- · Resolution 469: strongly deplores Israel’s failure to observe the Council’s order not to deport Palestinians.
- · Resolution 471: expresses deep concern’ at Israel’s failure to abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention.
- · Resolution 476: reiterates that Israel’s claims to Jerusalem are null and void.
- · Resolution 478: censures Israel in the strongest terms for its claim to Jerusalem in its Basic Law.
- · Resolution 605: strongly deplores Israel’s policies and practices denying the human rights of Palestinians.
- · Resolution 608: deeply regrets that Israel has defied the United Nations and deported Palestinian civilians.
- · Resolution 641: deplores Israel’s continuing deportation of Palestinians.
- · Resolution 673: deplores Israel’s refusal to cooperate with the United Nations.
- · Resolution 681: deplores Israel’s resumption of the deportation of Palestinians.
- · Resolution 694: deplores Israel’s deportation of Palestinians and calls on it to ensure their safe and immediate return.
- · Resolution 726: strongly condemns Israel’s deportation of Palestinians.
- · Resolution 799: ditto
The Fourth Geneva Convention is supposed to protect civilians under military occupation. No violence to life or person is permitted; no cruelty or torture; no taking of hostages; no outrages upon personal dignity; no collective punishment, no sentencing or executions unless ordered by a properly constituted court affording all the judicial guarantees demanded by civilized peoples.
In 2004 the International Court of Justice – the “principal judicial organ of the United Nations” – ruled that the Separation Wall is illegal and must be dismantled, and the Palestinians compensated for damage. Furthermore, said the ICJ, all States are under an obligation not to recognize the illegal situation resulting from the construction of the wall and to ensure Israel complies with international humanitarian law.
The Israelis are still building it. And America and Britain snigger and carry on handing out rewards to the psychopaths.
The quarrel is not between the Palestinians and Israel. It is between the international community and Israel. The time for Palestinians to sit down and talk is when the major powers have ensured the relevant UN resolutions are respected, international law is conformed with and Israel’s forces have been pulled back behind the pre-1967 border to leave a level playing field.
What if Israel won’t comply? No problem: suspend all trade and technical co-operation. The international community must finally confront the problem they have created. Their negligence and cowardice over the decades mean they now have a hill to climb. They’d better get started…
Stuart Littlewood’s book Radio Free Palestine, with Foreword by Jeff Halper, can now be read on the internet by visiting: www.radiofreepalestine.org.uk