Abbas to push UN vote this month on observer state status for Palestine, Israel promises retaliation

Israel/Palestine
on 54 Comments
a demonstrator waves a palestinian flag during a protest against
A demonstrator waves a Palestinian flag REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis

It’s coming down to the wire. On November 29, 2012 Abbas will go to the UN General Assembly to seek non-member observer state status for Palestine and my prediction is he will succeed. Israel knows it, they will likely retaliate, but it’s coming down this month one way or another. Maybe sooner on the 15th.

Abbas has been visiting European counties drumming up support and the last ditch squawking has begun.  He’s promised an immediate return to peace talks after the UN vote but that is meaningless as far as Israel is concerned because they have no intention of pursuing anything other than more expansion.

PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat is warning Palestinians institutions to prepare for a state of emergency as a result of the UN upgrading. They are expecting a number of retaliatory measures by Israel and the U.S. which naturally include “severe economic restrictions.” But the retaliation could get ugly, which provides context for Abbas’s statement: “I will not allow an intifada.” Also, probably the reason he went on Israeli television and made statements about having no right to live on land he was displaced from, which obviously pissed off lots of Palestinians.

This Week in Palestine, The Negotiations Affairs Department of the Palestine Liberation Organization:

November is therefore more than just an important month; it’s a turning point for the Palestinian people. The Palestinian issue has been drawn out for decades, with the chances for a peaceful solution diminishing more quickly than ever.

The Palestinian people have struggled for the realisation of their inalienable rights for almost a century. We have gone through different stages within our struggle. Despite appalling Israeli measures, many of which are reminiscent of those of South African apartheid, the Palestinians have remained steadfast to safeguard their most basic human rights. The PLO and the Palestinian people know that international humanitarian law and international conventions affirm their right to self-determination. And yet, in turning a blind eye to Israeli violations, the international community allows Israel to remain above international law.

The Palestine question began with the UN in 1947. In 1967, the UN Security Council passed a resolution (242) emphasising the “inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war” and calling for “the withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict.” This month, we are taking the issue back to where it all began. We are asking the most representative body in the world to recognise our State of Palestine and, in doing so, recognise their moral and legal responsibility to resolve this question.

Although there is outside pressure against our statehood bid, and although there may be no immediate changes on the ground the day after the vote, the UN bid is a necessary and highly significant step for Palestine. On a legal level, it will mean that Palestine will be formally recognised as a State under occupation. It will consolidate the two-state solution. This will solidify the position from which we negotiate: it will set the framework for meaningful negotiations, based on the 1967 border. On a symbolic level, international support in the UN General Assembly will make good the international community’s promise to the Palestinians, by taking a positive and concrete step towards fulfilling their inalienable right to self-determination.

From the Palestinian point of view, this diplomatic step shows the world that we can no longer tolerate the lack of definitive action on behalf of the international community, which has allowed Israel to breach international law with impunity. We have been promised our rights for sixty-five years and participated in twenty years of negotiations in good faith. Meanwhile Israel has continued to build settlements, illegally annex large tracts of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem (OPT), evict families from their homes, and humiliate the Palestinian people on a daily basis, without a shred of accountability. We cannot continue to live at the whim of these governments. What we now need, more than ever, is to protect the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and hold Israel accountable for its severe violations of Palestinian human rights. We also want to protect the prospects of a just and lasting peace, including a framework for negotiations based on international law. This is what our statehood bid means.

This November 29 marks the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. When the Palestinian people commemorate this occasion, it reminds them that there is support out there. We know that 131 countries, the equivalent of 75 percent of the world’s population, have already formally recognised our State. We know that people all over the world support our just cause. But we are also reminded, more than ever, that the Israeli occupation has yet to come to an end. We have the international community’s words. What we now need are their actions. The international community must steer the situation ‎towards a peaceful resolution. Any further failures will only serve the interests of the occupier, Israel, and will prolong the suffering of the occupied, the Palestinian people. A just and ‎lasting peace in the Middle East based on relevant Security Council resolutions and international law is critical to avoid this fate. On this day, the international community is obliged more than ever to stand with the Palestinian people and to help them to achieve their long overdue right to freedom and independence.

We know what the implications of “hold Israel accountable for its severe violations of Palestinian human rights” means, and so does Israel. It means Palestine, once it’s status is upgraded, can use the International Courts. Specifically the  International Criminal Court (ICC) where they can take legal action to challenge Israel’s occupation of the West Bank as well investigate war crimes.

BBC:

In April, the chief prosecutor of the ICC rejected a declaration by the Palestinian Authority unilaterally recognising the court’s jurisdiction. The prosecutor said the ICC could not act because Article 12 of the Rome Statute established that only a “state” could confer jurisdiction on the court and deposit an instrument of accession with the UN secretary general. In instances where it was controversial or unclear whether an applicant constituted a “state”, it was the practice of the secretary general to follow or seek the General Assembly’s directives on the matter, he added.

……

“Those who don’t want to appear before international tribunals must stop their crimes and it is time for them to become accountable,” the chief Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat, recently told reporters.

According to the Reuters news agency, Mr Netanyahu has privately expressed concern that Palestinians might accuse the Israeli government of violating the Geneva Conventions’ prohibition on forced displacement of populations by establishing settlements on occupied territory. The Palestinians might also seek to have the ICC investigate war crimes allegations from the 2008-2009 Gaza war.

 

Here’s a recent video from Australia’s National Times senior correspondent Daniel Flitton:

Australia, not wanting to be on the “wrong side of history” may back the vote, or more likely just abstain.

AUSTRALIA could still back a Palestine state winning a place at the United Nations, despite ”hot debate” inside the government and determined opposition from the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard.

The Foreign Affairs Minister, Bob Carr, has told Israeli and Palestinian officials in recent weeks Australia will not take a final decision on the potentially explosive issue until the wording of any resolution is clear.

But Labor’s longest-serving foreign minister, Gareth Evans, has warned Australia could be on the ”wrong side of history” by opposing a Palestinian push to win observer status at the UN General Assembly.

Will the US also be standing on the wrong side of history, again? Probably.

About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a mother, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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54 Responses

  1. just
    November 2, 2012, 4:43 pm

    The best of luck to the Palestinian people.

    I really do believe that most of the world is with you.

  2. HarryLaw
    November 2, 2012, 4:51 pm

    Abass needs not only to get the almost guaranteed upgrade but to apply for all the UN Agencies at the same time. Might as well get hung for stealing a sheep as a lamb, personally I would apply to join the Atomic Energy Agency as well and start enriching uranium, [only to 4 and a half per cent of course] just to see Hilary’s head explode.

  3. gingershot
    November 2, 2012, 6:25 pm

    Fayyad is the snake hiding behind Abbas – he is the Neocons’ choice and even Eliot Abrams is campaigning for him.

    Abbas has been bought and sold so many times that he makes Pretty Woman look like a virgin. He only does what he is absolutely FORCED to do – anything other than that he’s Israel’s/the Neocon’s reliable boy

    That said – lay it down, ‘Abu Masen’

    • gingershot
      November 2, 2012, 6:42 pm

      UPDATE: from Haaretz: ‘
      In his Twitter account, Segal added that Abbas stressed that the Palestinian Prime Minister, Salam Fayyad has not resigned, contrary to recent reports. “I spoke to him yesterday and he had no such intention,” Abbas said in the interview.’

    • Hostage
      November 3, 2012, 8:29 pm

      Fayyad is the snake hiding behind Abbas – he is the Neocons’ choice and even Eliot Abrams is campaigning for him. . . . Abbas has been bought and sold so many times that he makes Pretty Woman look like a virgin.

      So why do you think Abbas and Fayyad sent their Foreign and Justice Ministers to the Hague in January of 2009 with orders to file a criminal complaint against Israel for war crimes and crimes against humanity?

  4. seafoid
    November 2, 2012, 6:41 pm

    Israeli threats are only good as long as Palestine loses the vote. If it doesn’t I imagine the Israelis will get all loved up and suddenly find their soft, emotional side. A dreadful misunderstanding and please don’t go to the ICC. Maybe Mark Regev could be turned over and become Palestine’s witness at the Hague.

  5. Rusty Pipes
    November 2, 2012, 7:01 pm

    As I commented in TIP’s round-up, I think that Abbas’ comment is being distorted. Even from the truncated interview on Israeli TV, it is clear that the context for his statement is in clarifying his strong commitment to 2 separate states, Israel and Palestine, as he is poised to push for recognition of Palestine at the UN. He clarifies that he supports the boundaries of those states as being the 67 borders, recognized in International Law. In the context of declaring a Palestinian state, the interviewer is pushing him about where he draws lines on Palestine, including his own hometown, Safad. The Independent truncates the quote even further than AP, by punctuating it: “It’s my right to see it but not to live there.”

    Further, AP interprets these words as committing himself to Israel’s security:

    “As far as I am here in this office, there will be no third armed intifada. Never. We don’t want to use terror. We don’t want to use forces. We don’t want to use weapons. We want to use diplomacy. We want to use politics. We want to use negotiations. We want to use peaceful resistance. That’s it.”

    Considering the increasingly provocative actions by the Israeli right on the Temple Mount, Abbas could just as easily be threatening to carry through on his “peace offensive” no matter how hard Netanyahu is trying to spark a third intifada (as a cover for ethnically cleansing East Jerusalem).

    • Walid
      November 3, 2012, 1:25 am

      Rusty, this is not an issue of where to draw the final borders; it’s already been concluded that Israel would never be asked to retreat from the 67 lines. The rumble all along has been about the right of return of the 7 or 8 million Palestinians currently living all over the map. During the last 10 years, Israel has been offering to allow back some 10,000 returnees as a token gesture but Saeb Erekat, bless his and Abbas’ generous souls, had been asking Israel to let back 150,000. If I’m correctly remembering, Israel’s beef had included limitations on the number of returnees it wanted to impose on a west bank state because it feared it could not hold back all those millions that would move back to the new Palestinian state. So this is not about Safad and other hocus pocus borders issues but about the Palestinians’ right of return, which Abbas is giving away bit by bit. It’s the last nail that Israel needs.

      • Annie Robbins
        November 3, 2012, 10:41 am

        PA President Mahmoud Abbas’ officials responded on Saturday to accusations by Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh that the president had given up the right of return during an interview with Channel 2.

        Political adviser Nimr Hammad told official PA news agency WAFA that Abbas was referring to his project to establish a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders.

        “What was said is what is going to happen when the state of Palestine is established alongside Israel, and therefore the president never mentioned the word giving up the right of return,” he told WAFA.

        link to jpost.com

        it is not his to give up

      • Walid
        November 3, 2012, 11:19 am

        Annie, it wasn’t Arafat’s either and he still did it.

      • Rusty Pipes
        November 3, 2012, 7:16 pm

        Here is the official response from Abbas’ spokesperson at WAFA:

        RAMALLAH, November 3, 2012 (WAFA) – Nimr Hammad, political advisor to President Mahmoud Abbas, said the president did not say in his interview with Israel’s Channel 2 television station that he gave up the right of refugees to return to their homeland.

        He told WAFA that the interview focused on several issues that had to do with the Palestinian decision to seek United Nations recognition of Palestine as a non-member state on the 1967 borders.

        He said “when the president was asked about refugees and what was his view on where Israel stand on this issue, Abbas said the Arab peace initiative, UN resolutions, international initiatives and the decision of the Palestinian National Council of 1988 talked about a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital alongside Israel and about the issue of refugees based on UN Resolution 194.”

        Therefore, he added, Abbas said “I am from Safad and I lived there until I was 13 years old and when the independent Palestinian state will be established, Safad will be part of Israel.”

        “What was said is what is going to happen when the state of Palestine is established alongside Israel,” said Hammad, “and therefore the president never mentioned the word giving up the right of return.”

        Hammad said the issue of refugees will be discussed along with all final status issues, including settlements, Jerusalem, borders, and water. He said the main problem is in Israel which refuses to stop expanding and discriminating because it considers the West Bank as Yehuda and Samari and does not consider settling in the West Bank are settlements rather building on the land of Israel.

        Israel is more afraid of Palestine becoming a UN Observer State than it is of a third intifada. Israel can gain much more through armed conflict or maintaining the status quo than it can through International Law.

      • Hostage
        November 3, 2012, 10:25 pm

        So this is not about Safad and other hocus pocus borders issues but about the Palestinians’ right of return, which Abbas is giving away bit by bit. It’s the last nail that Israel needs. . . . Annie, it wasn’t Arafat’s either and he still did it.

        In fact, the Security Council undermined the qualified rights to return or compensation contained in General Assembly resolutions 194 from the very outset. The Council pretty much vitiated them altogether when it called for the parties to the conflict to negotiate a just settlement of the refugee question as part of the terms of its own resolutions 242 and 338. The use of the term of art “settlement” in that context did not imply an imposed one. Its meaning has always required negotiations, which are inherently inconsistent with the exercise of a fundamental right or entitlement.

        Arafat and Abbas did about the best that they could under the circumstances. The much-maligned Oslo Accords with Israel actually established a deadline for undertaking the negotiations that would lead to a permanent settlement:

        Permanent status negotiations will commence as soon as possible, but not later than the beginning of the third year of the interim period, between the Government of Israel and the Palestinian people representatives.

        It is understood that these negotiations shall cover remaining issues, including: Jerusalem, refugees, settlements, security arrangements, borders, relations and cooperation with other neighbors, and other issues of common interest.

        link to mfa.gov.il

        By all accounts, Arafat rejected subsequent offers from Barak and Clinton because they would have required Palestinians to give up their claims to most of East Jerusalem and forfeit their right of return.

        Some of the people who read between the lines in order to condemn the now-lapsed Oslo Accords, Arafat, and Abbas are forgetting that the Kingdom of Jordan had the largest Palestinian refugee community and that a Jordanian delegation, including Ambassador Abu Nimah, negotiated a treaty which normalized relations with Israel in 1994. That agreement didn’t even mention the right of return or compensation or any UN resolutions. Article 8 of the resulting instrument assigned equal responsibility to both sides for creating the refugee problem and claimed it could not be fully resolved at a bilateral level. It added further insult to injury by commending Israel’s past efforts to relieve the human suffering of the refugees. It merely called for the establishment of a multilateral working group on refugees, but left the framework for its operation and its legal role completely undefined. So the treaty essentially called for cooperation with on-going UN refugee programs, and maintenance of the status quo with regard to the territory captured in 1967, displaced persons, and refugees.

        In response, thousands of Palestinians staged protest marches in Hebron and Nablus. The three main factions of the PLO and Hamas each called for a general strike in East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza to protest the agreement between Jordan and Israel.

        Worst of all, is the fact that Jordan has failed to enforce the terms in connection with the safeguarding clause regarding the status of the territory that came under Israeli military control in June of 1967. The Israeli-Jordanian treaty explicitly stated that it is without prejudice to the status of that territory. Jordan was a charter member of the ICC. The first President of the ICC Assembly of State Parties was Ambassador Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al Hussein of Jordan. In November of 1966, the Security Council explicitly condemned the Israeli attack on “the territory of Jordan” in the Hebron area. The written statement of the Kingdom of Jordan in the ICJ Wall case pointed out that fact, and called attention to the non-renunciation provisions of the applicable conventions. The Court’s legal analysis concluded that the territory had been under the jurisdiction of Jordan, a High Contracting party to the Geneva Conventions. Pending a permanent settlement, the Kingdom of Jordan still has the legal standing to make the necessary state referral to the Prosecutor regarding any crimes committed on Palestinian territory. It could certainly use that role to obtain prosecutions for the on-going deportations and displacements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank since 2002.

      • Walid
        November 4, 2012, 2:05 am

        Jordan with its Hachemites that have been giving it to the Palestinians since 1920 is the last one that should talk. Egypt too hadn’t made any serious allowances for the Palestinians’ RoR when its treaty was signed.

        You’re making Israel’s initial participation in Oslo into something that was sincere but time has proven that it was a gimmick made possible by collaborators. Contrary to Arabs, whatever Israel does, it’s with with an objective for the next 20 or 30 years down the road. It’s now evident that Oslo could not have turned differently, no matter how much one tries to sugar-coat its original vocation.

      • Hostage
        November 4, 2012, 7:46 am

        You’re making Israel’s initial participation in Oslo into something that was sincere but time has proven that it was a gimmick made possible by collaborators.

        No, I’m just not trying to portray the terms of the Oslo Accords as being the source of all the world’s problems. Israel’s non-compliance with them or any other conventional or customary law obligation can’t be laid at the doorstep of the Palestinians. They’ve put that issue on the Security Council’s agenda over 400 times since 2001. Most of the so-called collaboration that everyone here complains about so much is directly attributable to the terms of resolution ES-10/15 that was adopted by an emergency special session of the General Assembly. Collaborators don’t usually file formal charges regarding war crimes or crimes against humanity naming their benefactors or co-conspirators.

      • Hostage
        November 4, 2012, 8:43 pm

        Jordan with its Hachemites that have been giving it to the Palestinians since 1920 is the last one that should talk. Egypt too hadn’t made any serious allowances for the Palestinians’ RoR when its treaty was signed.

        Does that apply to the family members of the Abunimahs and Khalidis who collaborated with the Hashemite Kingdom and served as its high officials?, i.e. does your advice apply to Ali Abunimah and Rashid Khalidi?

        Ali Abunimah appears to believe that Fayyad or Abbas can legally waive someone else’s fundamental rights by simply granting an interview to an Israeli television or newspaper reporter. At one and the same time, he completely overlooks the substance of the formal treaty agreement on refuges that his own father helped negotiate as a member of the Jordanian delegation that normalized relations with Israel back in 1994. Khalidi’s uncle, Husayn al-Khalidi, served as Mayor of Jerusalem under the British mandatory regime, as a member of the Arab Higher Committee and the Egyptian-backed All-Palestine Government of Gaza, and as the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

      • Rusty Pipes
        November 3, 2012, 4:28 pm

        It’s only within the post-Oslo negotiations framework that Israel is “asked”: “it’s already been concluded that Israel would never be asked to retreat from the 67 lines.” While not rejecting the remote possibility of negotiations, Abbas is actively preparing to pursue observer status at the UN and enforcement of International Law. International Law is on the side of the ’67 borders — whatever opinion Israelis may hold about it.

      • Walid
        November 4, 2012, 2:11 am

        Rusty, you still haven’t accepted that it’s not about borders anymore but about the right of return of the 7 million stateless Palestinians. This whole charade about borders, swaping of territories on both sides of the 67 lines, UN membership or limited membership and so on are only a diversion to avoid discussing the 7 million refugees. Abbas isn’t really pursuing anything other than stalling and giving Israel more time.

      • Hostage
        November 4, 2012, 8:09 am

        UN membership or limited membership and so on are only a diversion to avoid discussing the 7 million refugees.

        The Rome Statute is the only international agreement that affords criminal sanctions to the Palestinians for Israel’s violations of the laws and customs of war contained in the Geneva Conventions. Those certainly would include remedies for victims of deportations and forced displacement. It should even include the measures taken to prevent the return or repatriation of refugees, such as the use of snipers on Land day, the placement of minefields in the Arab occupied territories, & etc.

      • Annie Robbins
        November 4, 2012, 8:42 am

        Abbas isn’t really pursuing anything other than stalling and giving Israel more time.

        you mean as opposed to putting his foot down and demanding a settlement freeze? or calling for an intifada? or demanding the return of all refugees? i’m curious what you mean by ‘giving’ israel time. israel takes what it wants regardless of whatever palestinians say or do. don’t they? who ‘gives’ israel time? the US! nations who support israel and do not demand accountability. as long as the global community does nothing israel takes what it wants.

        the current hasbara term de jure is “unilateral.” they can’t get enough of it! link to israelnationalnews.com

        At the same time he insisted on going to the United Nations to ask that it recognize ‘Palestine’ as a non-member observer nation, claiming that this was not a unilateral move.

        Education Minister Gidon Sa’ar also played down Abbas’s remarks, saying, “Abbas’s words, according to which the PA intends to turn to the UN after the U.S. elections, show that the Palestinians continue unilateral measures instead of trying to negotiate with Israel.”

        “The Palestinian intention is to try to achieve unilateral achievements, free of charge, and to continue the conflict with Israel from improved political positions,” he added.

        “The Palestinian Authority does not want a Palestinian state as part of a solution to the conflict, but to continue the conflict with Israel from a position which is better for them,” said Sa’ar. “If the Palestinians choose to act unilaterally, Israel should respond with its own unilateral steps.”

        respond? israel has been unilaterally stealing palestine for years. the plo going to the UN is the opposite of unilateral, it is a means of moving this out of the realm US/IS purview and into the international courts. what other options are available besides sumud? a sumud in which you would interpret as not ‘giving israel more time’? when political factions in israel are pushing for an annexation of area c, what other means would you suggest palestinians pursue that would prevent israel ‘time’?

      • Walid
        November 4, 2012, 11:24 am

        “i’m curious what you mean by ‘giving’ israel time.”(Annie)

        Even with the US riding shotgun for it at the UN, Israel still needs some help from the inside. Remember how Israel’s holding up of his son’s Wattanyiya cell licenses were being used to blackmail the Palestinians at just about the same time the vote in the UNHRC on Cast Lead human rights violations was postponed by the PA?

        Go to the 16:20 mark if you don’t want to listen to the full 12 minute (it starts automatically at 7 minutes and ends at 19) by Palestinian academic Rashid Khalidi explaining the blackmail angle:

        link to democracynow.org

      • Walid
        November 4, 2012, 12:26 pm

        We can talk about the Rome Statute and the ICC until we are blue in the face, but it will not change the fact that 32 countries known to be habitual human rights abusers have not ratified their adherence to it while Israel, the US and the Sudan have walked away totally from it. I can’t understand how the US that is not party to it was always asking for the enforcement of the ICC warrant against the Sudan’s Bachir and how now that the Sudan has agreed to the country’s division, President Bachir no longer appears to be a wanted man.

      • Annie Robbins
        November 4, 2012, 1:49 pm

        ok walid, of course and i remember the cell phone situation. just curious how going to the UN at this juncture falls into that category. the same video relays the frustration of palestinians at abbas’s backing down over the goldstone which both US/IS pressured him to do. in that case i can see ‘backing down’ or backing away from UN/goldstone was ‘giving israel time’ but how does this move accomplish that, in your view?

      • Hostage
        November 4, 2012, 7:06 pm

        Remember how Israel’s holding up of his son’s Wattanyiya cell licenses were being used to blackmail the Palestinians at just about the same time the vote in the UNHRC on Cast Lead human rights violations was postponed by the PA?

        Yeah, I remember that the Israelis supposedly tried to blackmail Abbas and Fayyad into withdrawing the PA’s criminal complaint with the ICC using the cell phone licenses and that the complaint has never been withdrawn.

        At the time, Wikileaks revealed that the government of Israel considers all of the PA maneuvers in the ICC to be an act of war and that it has asked for US assistance in derailing the PA effort.
        *See Israel demands PA drop war crimes suit at The Hague: Palestinian Authority called on International Court to examine IDF’s January operation in Gaza. link to haaretz.com
        *The cable describing the discussions between the US and Israeli government officials over the PA complaint @ the Hague: link to wikileaks.org

        Abbas only requested a delay of six months on the initial UNHRC vote on the Goldstone report. Palestine is not an HRC member state. So it doesn’t even have a vote, much less a veto on the HRC agenda or the handling of an HRC report. Abbas was responding to a threat that Israel would attack the West Bank, not trying to obtain cell phone licenses. See Diskin to Abbas: Defer UN vote on Goldstone or face ‘second Gaza’ – PA official claims Shin Bet chief told Abbas if Goldstone vote occurs West Bank will be attacked. link to haaretz.com

        In any event, the General Assembly has been sitting on a follow-up report from the UNHRC panel of legal experts who were charged with evaluating the independent investigations of Cast Lead conducted by the Palestinians and Israelis. Palestine was listed as a UNHRC non-member state that had co-sponsored a UNHRC resolution which requested that the report be referred to the ICC for investigation and prosecutions. The General Assembly has rather obviously ignored the wishes of the PA in that regard, so why are you still blaming Abbas for the foot dragging at the UN? link to un.org

        Everyone knew from the outset that the Obama administration had promised to quash any UN action on the Goldstone report, and that the US Congress had adopted resolutions calling on the UN to rescind it altogether or risk defunding of the responsible organs. None of that has a damn thing to do with cell phone licenses and I would suppose you know that.

      • Hostage
        November 4, 2012, 9:59 pm

        We can talk about the Rome Statute and the ICC until we are blue in the face, but it will not change the fact that 32 countries known to be habitual human rights abusers have not ratified their adherence to it while Israel, the US and the Sudan have walked away totally from it.

        Okay we can discuss the legal and political issues involved in the Bashir case without getting blue in the face. The members of the Court include the majority of the international community of states. They’ve agreed that their Court can exercise its jurisdiction on the territory of any non-member state, including Palestine. It only needs a Security Council referral or an article 12(3) declaration in-hand for that to happen. If the US and Israel didn’t think that was a very real possibility, they wouldn’t be frantically trying to move the goal line for diplomatic recognition of Palestine from the one contained in Phase II of the Road Map, including their efforts to prevent the otherwise symbolic upgrade of its non-member observer status by the General Assembly.

        I can’t understand how the US that is not party to it was always asking for the enforcement of the ICC warrant against the Sudan’s Bachir and how now that the Sudan has agreed to the country’s division, President Bachir no longer appears to be a wanted man.

        The US is a member of the Security Council that referred the situation in Darfur to the ICC. The Court doesn’t have its own police force, so it relies on member states and other countries to cooperate in apprehending or surrendering the accused. Although the Rome Statute permits the investigation and prosecution of a sitting head of state, the Court is normally obliged to respect any existing agreements on diplomatic immunity and extradition between its members and third states, like Sudan. Article 98, “Cooperation with respect to waiver of immunity and consent to surrender” provides that:

        1. The Court may not proceed with a request for surrender or assistance which would require the requested State to act inconsistently with its obligations under international law with respect to the State or diplomatic immunity of a person or property of a third State, unless the Court can first obtain the cooperation of that third State for the waiver of the immunity.

        2. The Court may not proceed with a request for surrender which would require the requested State to act inconsistently with its obligations under international agreements pursuant to which the consent of a sending State is required to surrender a person of that State to the Court, unless the Court can first obtain the cooperation of the sending State for the giving of consent for the surrender.

        link to untreaty.un.org

        Sudan has treaties on diplomatic immunity and extradition with the members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the League of Arab States, and the Organisation of African Unity. Some of those countries have refused to execute arrest warrants, but others (like Jordan) have said they are willing to arrest Bashir. The Prosecutor charged Bashir with the crime of genocide. That particular offense is covered by its own international convention which raises the bar considerably on the level of cooperation that would be required from state parties. FYI, the Pre-Trial Chamber reviewed the evidence against Bashir and refused to issue a warrant for his arrest for genocide. The Prosecutor then asked the Appeals Chamber to order the Pre-Trial Chamber to stop being so strict during the arrest warrant phase. The fact that the Appeals Chamber decided to go along with that request obviously does NOT imply that they believe the crime of genocide occurred. Tellingly, the Prosecutor charged Bashir’s alleged co-conspirators with crimes against humanity and war crimes, but NOT the crime of genocide.

        Wikileaks published documents which indicated that both the UK and France had put-off discussions about exile/immunity agreements on charges stemming from the situation in Darfur, so the possibility of prosecution could be used as a continuing incentive for Bashir to carry out the agreement on partition. It’s doubtful that either country could deliver on a promise of immunity. At a minimum, that would require the perpetual cooperation and consent of all the other members of the UN Security Council. Article 16 of the Rome Statute, Deferral of investigation or prosecution, provides that:

        No investigation or prosecution may be commenced or proceeded with under this Statute for a period of 12 months after the Security Council, in a resolution adopted under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, has requested the Court to that effect; that request may be renewed by the Council under the same conditions.

        Charles Taylor was prosecuted by a UN tribunal, despite the existence of an agreement on immunity and exile that he accepted when he stepped down from power. In subsequent cases, like that of Muammar Gaddafi, leaders have declined to accept agreements on exile or immunity.

      • Walid
        November 5, 2012, 4:04 am

        “The US is a member of the Security Council that referred the situation in Darfur to the ICC.”

        What I couldn’t understand was how the US that isn’t a party to the Rome Statute/ICC can still morally refer a case to a body to which it refuses to become a member. Even harder to understand is how the man appears to be free travel to mostly everywhere. Has Darfur become yesterday’s news as far as the US and UN are concerned or was Darfur a bogus UN story from the start that was needed to split the country?

      • Hostage
        November 5, 2012, 3:46 pm

        Has Darfur become yesterday’s news as far as the US and UN are concerned or was Darfur a bogus UN story from the start that was needed to split the country?

        It’s hard to say. Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic was no longer front page news when he was finally arrested and put on trial. Yugoslavia was another example of a genocide/partition case. Richard Goldstone related that UN Secretary General Boutros-Ghali was concerned over the timing of the Karadzic indictment, because he thought it would be unhelpful to the on-going Dayton negotiations. In fact, it was a significant factor that helped break the political deadlock.

        There’s no doubt that war crimes and crimes against humanity were committed in Dafur, including massacres of civilians. The US and other governments applied much more pressure to Serbia to surrender Slobodan Milošević, but that was after he had lost the elections and was no longer an acting head of state like Bashir.

        From the very beginning, there have been plenty of experts in the field of international law and genocide studies – including the members of the UN’s own Commission of Inquiry on Darfur – who either found no evidence of genocide or who have raised questions about the basis of the genocide charges in the Bashir case. Here for example, are a few snippets from articles written by Prof William Schabas on the subject:

        *”Darfur and the ‘Odious Scourge’: The Commission of Inquiry’s Findings on Genocide” January 9, 2006:

        The report of the International Commission of Inquiry on Darfur, set up pursuant to a UN Security Council resolution, is an important contribution to the evolving law of genocide. The Commission concluded that genocide had not been committed, but that the case should be referred to the International Criminal Court for prosecution as crimes against humanity and war crimes. The Commission did not find significant evidence of genocidal intent. It looked essentially for a plan or policy of the Sudanese state and, in its absence, concluded that genocide was not being committed. The Commission endorsed the ‘stable and permanent groups’ approach taken by one trial chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). On this point, it exaggerated the acceptance of this interpretation, which has been ignored by other trial chambers of the international tribunals. However, the Commission found that the better approach to determination of the groups covered by the Convention is subjective, and that the targeted tribes in Darfur meet this criterion.

        link to journals.cambridge.org

        *New Warrant for Darfur, but Where is the Genocide Charge? December 7, 2011:

        In the case of President Bashir, the Prosecutor went on appeal when the Pre-Trial Chamber refused to authorize a charge of genocide. I have heard him lecture about ‘the ongoing genocide by attrition’ that continued until 2008 or 2009. For all I know, the Prosecutor thinks that genocide is still going on. How is it that there is an ongoing genocide but that the Minister of Defence does not seem to be involved? After all, the charges against Bashir were essentially based on the idea that as President of the country, he was responsible for the attacks. So why are the attacks genocidal for Bashir but not for Hussein?

        link to humanrightsdoctorate.blogspot.com

        For whatever reasons, the US government, in the person of Secretary Colin Powell, and several NGOs claimed that genocide was being committed in Dafur. I suspect that was done in order to make cooperation with the Court mandatory for ICC members and non-members alike. Remember that, unless genocide is involved, heads of state have customarily enjoyed diplomatic immunity during their terms in office – and that ICC non-member states wouldn’t have the same obligations. That doesn’t mean that suspects won’t remain wanted; be asked to step down; be the subject of economic or political sanctions; or pursued if they do step down.

        We know for certain that the UK was playing politics with the charges and using the possibility of an Article 16 deferral of prosecution in order to obtain Bashir’s cooperation with the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement that resulted in South Sudan independence in 2011. See UK Viewed Bashir Indictment as ‘Unhelpful’ – Wikileaks, February 5, 2011 link to humanrightsdoctorate.blogspot.com

      • Hostage
        November 9, 2012, 10:20 am

        P.S. If you are interested in a discussion about the on-going efforts to end head of state immunity in line with the 1950’s era UN Nuremberg principles here is an article about the ILC and the General Assembly’s 6th Committee’s continuing work in that area: link to opiniojuris.org

        Humanitarian considerations for the civilian population still outweigh the legal considerations. That’s obvious in the case of Syria, where a deal to give Assad safe passage out of the country, instead of arresting him, was offered:

        David Cameron, the British prime minister, has said he will support granting President Bashar al-Assad a safe passage out of Syria to help end the civil war. . . . He said “anything” should be done to help “get the man out of the country and to have a safe transition in Syria”.

        “Of course I would favour him facing the full force of international law and justice for what he’s done. I am certainly not offering him an exit plan to Britain, but if he wants to leave he could leave, that could be arranged,” he told Al Arabiya.

        link to aljazeera.com

  6. Joseph Glatzer
    November 2, 2012, 10:18 pm

    So, recognizing a cluster of bantustans as “Palestine”, and forfeiting the right of return and 90% of Palestine is “standing on the right side of history”? Are you for real?

    • Hostage
      November 2, 2012, 11:13 pm

      So, recognizing a cluster of bantustans as “Palestine”, and forfeiting the right of return and 90% of Palestine is “standing on the right side of history”? Are you for real?

      Unfortunately, a “Bantustan” has no legal standing whatever to request investigations and prosecutions in connection with the crime of apartheid committed on its own territory, unless it has first been accepted as a “state” for the purposes of Article 12(3) of the ICC statute. The notion that the PA or PLO can forfeit an individual’s right to repatriation or compensation through negotiations with the Occupying Power is a propaganda talking point, with no basis in reality. Any special agreement that violates Articles 6, 7, 8, and 49(6) of the 4th Geneva Convention would be null and void from the outset.

  7. Shlomo
    November 3, 2012, 12:17 am

    > “I will not allow an intifada.”

    As if that effete quisling Abbas can stop one!

    If there IS one it will be due to his ineptitude. A man of true honor would have resigned long ago. Instead, he’s sold his people out, the better to live off the perks of being a pathetic “leader” for Israel’s continuing occupation.

    He will go down in history as the stooge he has been. And continues to be. He’s like Alec Guinness’ character in BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI, aiding and abetting the enemy, more concerned about Israel and his own cushy life than the suffering of his people.

  8. Shlomo
    November 3, 2012, 12:25 am

    Why settle for the 1967 borders? Why not go back to the “nearly half” division post-Mandate?

    Why not retake ALL of Palestine, letting Jews be equal citizens of that state?

    I don’t get why Palestinians are willing to settle for just 22%… especially after Israel’s 6-decade travesties since its terrorist founding.

    • Annie Robbins
      November 3, 2012, 10:53 am

      shlomo, i do not believe this juncture is about ‘settling’, i believe it is about moving the process forward utilizing the international court system. once in court past atrocities and agreements come into play. this will not be settled this year or the next, or even the next decade. israel is on a down hill trajectory. this is about lining up the dominoes, ducks all in a row and facilitating the legal process moving forward in such a way as when the chips fall, the path leads all the way home. that is my opinion anyway. there is nothing being finalized here.

      the US veto has been the obstacle preventing international accountability, this bypasses that veto and opens up the availability of a legal arena that thus far has been out of reach for palestinians. think of it as an advanced tool or weapon, of the non violent variety.

      • FreddyV
        November 3, 2012, 11:10 am

        @Shlomo:

        I don’t know if you’ve caught any of Norman Finklestein’s latest interviews or talks. Basically, his argument isn’t about what’s right or fair, it’s about what you are able to do within the context of the law. For example, the 1949 – 1967 borders are acceptable (albeit grudgingly) because there was no legal mechanism in place to state that acquisition of territory by means of war either offensive or defensive is admissible before this.

        Probably everyone here thinks 22% isn’t fair, but it’s the maximum of what the law could possibly uphold.

        I think the Palestinian negotiators are probably on the same page. Obviously this comes with a number of added bonuses, like forcing Israel’s hand, involving the International Criminal Court and exposing the US as a completely dishonest and ineffectual broker.

      • Hostage
        November 3, 2012, 11:44 pm

        For example, the 1949 – 1967 borders are acceptable (albeit grudgingly) because there was no legal mechanism in place to state that acquisition of territory by means of war either offensive or defensive is admissible before this.

        That isn’t necessarily the case. Much ink has been spilled over the legal arguments, both pro and con, but the International Court has never been asked to decide the question based on the merits of those arguments.

        The ICJ has repeatedly cited pre-existing customary international law and the UN Charter prohibitions against the threat or use of force as the modern day controlling authorities. The Charter principles were a codification of the US Stimson Doctrine and the Report of the League of Nations Lytton Commission regarding Japan’s unilateral seizure of Manchuria. The Charter prohibitions were further codified in the General Assembly’s Declaration of Principles of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation Among States in Accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.

        There are still exceptions for states to come into existence as a result of a revolution or a civil war. But even then, the customary principle of uti possidetis limits the borders of any new state to the limits of its pre-independence administrative frontiers. That practice was recognized no later than 1810 and was reflected in the Monroe Doctrine, which was enshrined in the Covenant of the League of Nations. The ICJ applied that principle in the “Frontier Dispute” case (Burkina Faso/Republic of Mali) in 1986.

        The General Assembly partition resolution established the new administrative frontiers, effective with a transition period that commenced on 29 November 1947. It would be hard to imagine a better example of a country established in the midst of a fratricidal struggle to enlarge its own frontiers in violation of the UN Charter, UN resolutions, and the principle of uti possidetis.

      • Mooser
        November 4, 2012, 12:20 pm

        Hostage, thanks. Your comments are a gold mine.

  9. Inanna
    November 3, 2012, 7:52 pm

    It’ll be interesting to see how Australia votes. Prime Minister Gillard is a well-known Zionist – her partner was given a job by a wealthy Jewish donor after she became Prime Minister. Former Prime Minister Rudd and Foreign Minister Rudd has always pushed for Australia to abstain in these matters since he has wanted to increase Australia’s power on the global stage through such things as membership of the UNSC etc and wanted to use Australia’s vote on I/P to not antagonize developing countries who supported Palestinian aspirations and were needed to support Australian hopes of a UNSC seat. Current Foreign Minister Bob Carr is a more interesting case than either. He was formerly the Premier of the state of New South Wales. When he was Premier, Hanan Ashrawi, the well-known Palestinian, was awarded the Sydney Peace Prize. Zionist groups went ballistic in their attacks (which were extremely dirty and included a Jewish Green Party state parliamentarian being called a Nazi) and tried to get it revoked. Bob Carr stepped in and supported the giving of the prize. When Sydney University denied the use of the Great Hall, usually used to award the prize, Carr stepped in and awarded the prize to her at State Parliament House.

    It will be interesting to see whose view prevails.

    Some articles on the history:

    link to smh.com.au
    link to smh.com.au
    link to smh.com.au

    • Annie Robbins
      November 3, 2012, 9:45 pm

      thank you inanna, yes i have been following australian politics but had not heard of the saga surrounding Ashrawi’s peace prize. for a great recent wrap up/drama/re gillard, check out More to the Fall of Rudd Than Meets Maxine’s Eye from the blog ‘middle east reality check’.

    • Annie Robbins
      November 4, 2012, 9:01 am

      wow, inanna, i am just getting round to your links.

      KG: “But listen, I’m trying to present the logic of this. They’ll destroy what you’ve worked for. They are determined to show we made a bad choice. I think it’s Frank Lowy’s money. You don’t understand just how much opposition there is. We cannot go ahead. If only there was progress in the Middle East, this would not be such a bad time.”

      SR: “I won’t be subject to bullying and intimidation. We are being threatened by members of a powerful group who think they have an entitlement to tell others what to do. This opposition is orchestrated. The arguments are all the same – that Hanan Ashrawi has not condemned violence sufficiently, that she was highly critical of Israel in her address to the UN’s Johannesburg Conference on racism, and wilder accusations that do not bear repetition.”

      KG: “But you’re not listening to the logic. The Commonwealth Bank – I was at a reception last night – is highly critical. We could not approach them for financial help for the Schools Peace Prize. We’ll get no support from them. The business world will close ranks. They’re saying we are being one-sided, that we’ve only supported Palestine.”

      SR: “Kathryn, we need to avoid the trap of even using the language of ‘one side’. That’s not the issue. We are being bullied and intimidated and you are asking that we give way to it. The letter writers and the phone callers who this group encourage have spent weeks bullying a 25-year-old colleague of mine who handles the foundation’s administration. You are asking me to collude with bullying.”

      ……

      SR: “These critics are ‘they’ and ‘them’, invisible but powerful people. They stay powerful because they are invisible. They bully and intimidate in the same breath they behave as unblemished pillars of the community. Do you mean to say that in cautious, often gutless Australia we are not going to follow through on this? No. I remain completely committed to our decision.”

      Watch this space.

      can’t wait to read the others, reads like a thriller.

      • Inanna
        November 5, 2012, 5:30 pm

        Yes, there wasn’t much finesse in the attempts to stifle the awarding of the prize. Antony Lowenstein has a good chapter on this in his ‘My Israel Question’ where he recounts the events and also the reaction to him as a dissident Jew who defended Ashrawi.

        PS – Frank Lowy, mentioned above, is one of the wealthiest men in Australia, owns the Westfield malls among other interests and regularly contributes to Israeli causes.

  10. DICKERSON3870
    November 4, 2012, 4:47 am

    RE: “Although there is outside pressure against our statehood bid…the UN bid is a necessary and highly significant step for Palestine. On a legal level, it will mean that Palestine will be formally recognised as a State under occupation. It will consolidate the two-state solution. This will solidify the position from which we negotiate: it will set the framework for meaningful negotiations, based on the 1967 border.” ~ the Negotiations Affairs Department of the Palestine Liberation Organization, This Week in Palestine

    MY COMMENT: Elliott Abrams convinced me several years ago* to give up on the “two-state solution”.

    * FROM ELLIOTT ABRAMS, The Washington (Neocon) Post, 04/08/09:

    [EXCERPT] . . . Is current and recent settlement construction creating insurmountable barriers to peace? A simple test shows that it is not. Ten years ago, in the Camp David talks, Prime Minister Ehud Barak offered Yasser Arafat approximately 94 percent of the West Bank, with a land swap to make up half of the 6 percent Israel would keep. According to news reports, just three months ago, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert offered 93 percent, with a one-to-one land swap. In the end, under the January 2009 offer, Palestinians would have received an area equal to 98 to 98.5 percent of the West Bank (depending on which press report you read), while 10 years ago they were offered 97 percent. Ten years of settlement activity would have
    resulted in a larger area for the Palestinian state. . .

    SOURCE – link to washingtonpost.com

    P.S. Elliott Abrams has totally convinced me [by the sheer power of his (il)logic and his very impressive math skills] to wholeheartedly support the Israeli settlement project in the West Bank.
    As I understand it, the ‘Abrams Principle’ stands for the proposition that more Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank will result in a larger area for the Palestinian state. That’s why I say: “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead” with the settlement actvity; so as to result in the largest Palestinian state possible (from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River). Fiat justitia! ( “Let Justice Be Done!” )

    P.P.S. “FREE DON” SIEGELMAN PETITION – link to change.org

  11. DICKERSON3870
    November 4, 2012, 4:57 am

    RE: “Will the US also be standing on the wrong side of history, again?” ~ Annie Robbins

    ANSWER: As surely as George Washington had wooden teeth!
    That reminds me, have I yet very casually let drop that “we” are supposedly related to Martha (but not her lesser half, George)? – link to lewis187.home.mchsi.com

    P.S. “FREE DON” SIEGELMAN PETITION – link to change.org

  12. Mayhem
    November 4, 2012, 7:19 pm

    Israel should concede and permit Palestine to become a non-member observer state in the UN. In return Israel should insist on a written affirmation by the Palestinians in their charter of the right of Israel to be a Jewish state.

  13. Hostage
    November 4, 2012, 10:18 pm

    Israel should concede and permit Palestine to become a non-member observer state in the UN. In return Israel should insist on a written affirmation by the Palestinians in their charter of the right of Israel to be a Jewish state.

    1) The PLO already affirmed the right of Israel to exist in the exchange of letters between Rabin and Arafat and in the Oslo Accords.

    2) The PLO isn’t becoming a non-member observer state. If Israel hadn’t blocked its membership, then Palestine would have a treat obligation under articles 24 and 25 of the UN Charter to accept and carry-out the decisions of the Security Council contained in resolutions 242 and 338:

    Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict;

    Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force;

    Of course Israel would have to recognize Palestine’s frontiers and halt and reverse course on its illegal settlement enterprise.

  14. Mooser
    November 4, 2012, 10:45 pm

    “In return Israel should insist on a written affirmation by the Palestinians in their charter of the right of Israel to be a Jewish state.”

    Othodox, Conservative, or Reform? Don’t they have a right to know?

    • piotr
      November 6, 2012, 12:33 pm

      Conservative and Reform Jews are heretics, and it seems that the official policy of the (Orthodox Jewish) State of Israel is to offer them leniency and some partial rights but they are not elegible to participate in the Theocratic Branch of the state.

  15. RoHa
    November 5, 2012, 1:09 am

    “the right of Israel to be a Jewish state.”

    Insofar as being “a Jewish state” implies that the state will support the supremacy of one ethnic/religious group over another, being “a Jewish state” is a breach of fundamental morality.

    There cannot be a moral right to breach morality, so there cannot be a right to be a Jewish state.

    • Mayhem
      November 6, 2012, 2:48 am

      @roha, by corollary the Middle East is awash with immoral Islamic states.

      • eljay
        November 6, 2012, 11:17 am

        >> @roha, by corollary the Middle East is awash with immoral Islamic states.

        The answer, then, is to strive to reform immoral Islamic states into secular, democratic and egalitarian states of and for all their respective citizens, equally. The answer is not to argue that because immoral Islamic states exist so, too, should an immoral “Jewish State” exist.

        Hateful and immoral Zio-supremacists sure do love using the worst in human behaviour to justify their own behaviour.

      • Mayhem
        November 6, 2012, 5:26 pm

        @eljay, whether you like it or not Israel is not going to be the sacrificial lamb going to the slaughter,
        If the attitudes of the Zio-despisers that encircle Israel were to change that might change the equation.
        However the continuous hue and cry from the Islamists and their left-wing bedfellows makes that very very unlikely.

      • eljay
        November 7, 2012, 10:50 pm

        >> @eljay, whether you like it or not Israel is not going to be the sacrificial lamb going to the slaughter …

        To the Zio-supremacist mind, morality and justice = self-destruction. Not only is that a sad and twisted way to live, but the admission that Israel can only survive by being immoral and unjust speaks volumes about the “Jewish State” project and the Zio-supremacists who defend and enable it.

  16. talknic
    November 5, 2012, 1:35 am

    Mayhem November 4, 2012 at 7:19 pm
    “Israel should concede and permit Palestine to become a non-member observer state in the UN.”

    Israel? Each country has only one vote in the UN General Assembly. There is no veto vote.

    “In return Israel should insist on a written affirmation by the Palestinians in their charter of the right of Israel to be a Jewish state”

    Why? It’s a nonsense demand with no legal basis or precedent. Israel already exists and as a sovereign state, it can be whatever it likes, Jewish, schmewish, youwish, whatever. No other country in the world has a charter containing the right of Israel to be a Jewish state. No country has ever recognized Israel as anything other than it’s official name, the State of Israel.

    BTW how many states did Israel recognize before it became a state? For that matter, how many states has Israel recognized?

  17. Annie Robbins
    November 6, 2012, 6:58 pm

    haaretz has just published a bunch of retaliatory measures being discussed

    link to haaretz.com

    Israeli official stated that a list of sanctions that Israel could level on the PA in response to its bid for upgraded status was discussed at a closed meeting of nine ministers yesterday…. Lieberman has declared that Israel will respond harshly to a Palestinian bid in the UN……… should the PA win the vote in the UN General Assembly, its next step would be to use its newfound status to apply for membership in the International Criminal Court in the Hague and file a legal petition against senior Israeli officials.

    ….possible sanctions that Foreign Ministry officials presented .. were reinstating limits on travel within the West Bank, including revoking VIP permits currently held by senior PA officials, which allow them to cross Israel Defense Forces checkpoints more easily. Another proposal included economic sanctions, such as revoking permits for Palestinian workers, as well as freezing the tax funds that Israel collects monthly for the Palestinian Authority, which would prevent the PA from paying the salaries of its employees and security personnel.

    The Foreign Ministry officials also proposed cancelling the Paris agreement, an economic appendix of the Oslo accords that regulates economic ties between Israel and the PA.

    The senior official pointed out that one of the possible responses discussed during the meeting was the approval of tenders for thousands of housing units in West Bank settlements. “If the Palestinians got to the UN, we won’t continue to show the restraint that we’ve demonstrated, in terms of settlement construction,” said the senior official.

    • Hostage
      November 6, 2012, 7:47 pm

      haaretz has just published a bunch of retaliatory measures being discussed

      The ICC statute already makes most of those planned actions serious war crimes or crimes against humanity, i.e. apartheid and population transfer. Give Lieberman enough time and enough rope and he’ll hang himself.

    • Rusty Pipes
      November 6, 2012, 8:59 pm

      “Restraint!” Somebody has a sick sense of humor:

      “If the Palestinians got to the UN, we won’t continue to show the restraint that we’ve demonstrated, in terms of settlement construction,” said the senior official.

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