Reactions to UN vote: Livni calls Palestinian move ‘strategic terrorist attack’

on 64 Comments

Here are some official responses to the U.N. General Assembly vote to upgrade Palestine’s status yesterday.

Tzipi Livni is a centrist in the Israeli debate. Here she is fulminating in the Jerusalem Post (h/t Max Blumenthal):

Livni called the Palestinian UN move a “strategic terrorist attack” and said Israel will be weakened in any future negotiations with the Palestinians as a result of the move.

The Catholic Church hails the move (thanks to American) and flips off Israel on the Jerusalem issue:

Thursday’s [Vatican] statement called for “an internationally guaranteed special statute” for Jerusalem, aimed at “safeguarding the freedom of religion and of conscience, the identity and sacred character of Jerusalem as a Holy City, (and) respect for, and freedom of, access to its holy places.”

The Vatican’s re-stating of its position on Jerusalem, which has remained mostly dormant for years, was bound to irk Israel

Mitchell Plitnick at lobelog describes AIPAC’s apparent role in pushing Senate legislation to punish the Palestinians:

Along with Schumer, the [bipartisan] amendment is sponsored by Lindsey Graham (R-SC), John Barrasso (R-WY) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ). It calls for the closure of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) office in the US unless the Palestinians return to talks with Israel. No timeframe is given for the return to talks, nor is there any mention of anything Israel must do to make that return politically feasible for the Palestinians. This amounts to an attempt to force the Palestinians back into talks on Bibi Netanyahu’s terms, which, as I explain here, would be political suicide for the Palestinian Authority (PA).

The more important clause, however, would end all aid — with no provision for a presidential national security waiver — to the Palestinian Authority if it or any entity “that purports to represent the interests of the Palestinian people” should ever bring a case, or even support one brought by someone else, that the International Criminal Court (ICC) adjudicates. Access to the ICC is the biggest tangible gain the Palestinians got from their upgraded UN status, and this amendment is an attempt to ensure that it is useless. Significantly, according to the way the amendment is written, the aid cutoff would be automatically triggered even if the Palestinians support another case or if some other entity brings a case on the Palestinians’ behalf.

This may be only the beginning of legislative activism aimed at punishing the Palestinians for their UN move. The American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) also issued a memo that echoed the condemnation of the Palestinian action from US officials starting with President Obama; painted an extremely distorted picture of the circumstances around and meaning behind the PLO’s move; and made a list of “recommendations” for the US government to follow. These include pressuring Mahmoud Abbas to refrain from similar actions in the future, “…demonstrate to the PLO that unconstructive unilateral actions have consequences;” close the PLO office in DC; and threaten aid to the Palestinians.

It’s standard procedure for such bills that AIPAC be at least consulted on its contents and this certainly would have been the case for a response to the UN vote. The presence of AIPAC talking points in the bill leaves little doubt about its influence; the fact that AIPAC’s own statement is much broader implies this is not the end of such legislation. In announcing their memo, Ron Kampeas at the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports that AIPAC in fact called for a “full review” of the U.S. relationship with the PLO.

Interestingly, the liberal Israel lobby group J Street deplores such measures, though it has nothing to say on the historic UN vote. Its statement came out three days ago, and was purposely neutral on the matter, but opposed any retaliation against the Palestinians and urged Obama to take action in 2013 on a two-state solution:

J Street is focusing on the day after the vote – because it is the actions of the United States, Israel, and the Palestinians following the vote that will determine whether we are moving toward or away from a negotiated resolution to the conflict.

We strongly oppose retaliatory measures against the PLO or the Palestinian Authority (PA) – in particular, Congressional efforts to cut funding, which could lead to the collapse of the PA and jeopardize the important progress it has made in recent years.

We urge Israel’s friends to focus their energy on a threat far more serious to the country’s long-term security and character than the vote at the UN – and that is the possible failure to achieve a two-state solution before it is too late.

To that end, our most important call at this time is on President Obama to fill the diplomatic vacuum and to launch, in early 2013, a renewed and bold diplomatic initiative to achieve a two-state solution.

Approving statement by the American Muslims for Palestine:

The American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), a national nonprofit organization dedicated to educating Americans about Palestine is heartened by Palestine’s new status as a ‘nonmember observer state’ to the United Nations…

It is now clear that the United States’ and Israel’s position represent a minority of world opinion. The time is coming when the majority voice – added to the global Palestinian voice – will become the reality, in word, deed and, most importantly, in policy that will result in  a free Palestine.
…We recognize this new status at the United Nations is largely symbolic and will not change these painful facts on the ground. However, in the long-run, it could have an impact if Palestinian leadership unify under a common cause and utilize the international infrastructure in a systematic way to bring about legal, political and grassroots pressure on Israel and its supporters to end the occupation.
 “The UN vote is a result of decades-long struggle by Palestinians across the world and reaffirms the just cause for Palestine,” said Dr. Hatem Bazian, AMP chairman. “Achieving liberty and freedom for Palestine may be slow, but inevitably Palestine will be free.”
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64 Responses

  1. Kathleen
    November 30, 2012, 11:39 am

    Phil all on the Diane Rehm international hour Diane just allowed Anne Applebaum and actually one other guest to repeat that Hamas and the PA refuse to recognize Israel has the right to exist. Now we know this is a complete and utter lie. Diane just also whispered about Israel’s most recent announcement of more illegal building. Of course she did not say “illegal” and that was that nothing else was said. Diane has become more of a wimp than ever before. No question put to the guest about Israel’s latest announcement and how this is just another kick in the Palestinians and international communities cajones. Phil have you ever called in? Others. email Diane Rehm facebook page..tweet call 800-433-8850. Ask the REhm team to do a whole hour on illegal settlements which they have never ever done. Ask her why she allows guest to get away with repeating lies..?

    • Les
      November 30, 2012, 2:53 pm

      I suspect that in our broadcast media, NPR is the most important representative of the Israel Lobby. It is as liberal about Israel/Palestine as the rest of our big print and broadcast media.

  2. Kathleen
    November 30, 2012, 11:40 am

    this show has millions of listeners. I have gotten through literally hundreds of times over the last 12 years. Give it a shot. They love first time callers. Plug Mondoweiss

  3. seafoid
    November 30, 2012, 11:47 am

    J Street has just reissued that Press release. The key text now reads :

    We urge Israel’s friends to focus their energy on a threat far more serious to the country’s long-term security and character than the vote at the UN – and that is
    the Israeli Jewish public and their siege mentality, not to mention their feeling that the world owes them something

  4. Theo
    November 30, 2012, 11:55 am

    Did Israel, the jewish organisations and their friends in the US government really think they can fool the palestinians and the whole world by sticking to their line of: only negotiations between the two parties can decide the future of Palestine?
    What negotiations? Israel is annexing more and more of the land of palestinians, uses every opportunity to punish them for not liking the occupation, etc.
    As far as Livni goes, she has a lot of blood on her hands from the Cast Lead massacre and one of the first steps by the palestinians should be to join the ICC and file charges against all zionist war criminals, including Livni.
    What use is to have your state recoignised, but have nothing to say and let the occupiers run the country, take your land, jail and kill your citizens and demean you every single day.
    Abbas finally, after 45 years, took the first step toward freedom, I certainly hope he will not wait that long to move again.

  5. Kathleen
    November 30, 2012, 12:03 pm

    Wishing there was a spot on Mondoweiss’s site that we could add documentation of when MSM outlets repeat the lie that Hamas and the PA have not yet recognized that Israel exist. Such a lie.

    Was following how often I heard the unsubstantiated Iran hooey repeated. Seems like there is a break in these lies. But the “Hamas (and sometimes they say the PA) have not accepted that Israel has the right to exist” hooey is infuriating. Diane fueling the lies by allowing them to be repeated with no challenges.

  6. Taxi
    November 30, 2012, 12:04 pm

    Lol! She would say that, wouldn’t she?!

    The bright lights of the Hague are flashing in her guilty mind.

    • Chu
      November 30, 2012, 1:31 pm

      With its upgraded status at the U.N., the Palestinians may now seek to apply to the ICC for membership and authority to file war-crimes charges against the Israeli government and its officials.

      That threat of so-called “lawfare” has already prevented some Israeli civilian and military leaders from traveling abroad out of fear they’d be arrested as war criminals.

      “Israelis are afraid of being hauled to The Hague,” said Robert Malley, the Middle East program director for the International Crisis Group.

      The Hague-based ICC is the one international venue where individuals can be criminally charged. All 117 countries that ratified the Rome Statute, which created the court, are bound to turn over suspects.

  7. marc b.
    November 30, 2012, 12:05 pm

    these people are certifiable. it’s like walking into a conversation among patients in an insane asylum. following the legal procedure for recognition of a state is ‘terrorism’?

    and this again:

    demonstrate to the PLO that unconstructive unilateral actions have consequences

    lobbing a bomb or whatever ordnance it was on top of child’s head is a unilateral act. following established procedure to bring a petition before a multi-member international body for approval? how is that ‘unilateral’? absolutely insane. this is all going to end very badly, i fear.

    • seafoid
      November 30, 2012, 1:57 pm

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      November 30, 2012, 2:03 pm

      ”these people are certifiable. it’s like walking into a conversation among patients in an insane asylum. following the legal procedure for recognition of a state is ‘terrorism’?”

      I agree. More and more, Israel seems less like a ‘country’ than a patient in the late stages of psychosis.

      The whole ‘political’ class – and many ‘ordinary Israelis’ – are gripped by a form of collective insanity, enabled by much of the outside world.

    • ritzl
      November 30, 2012, 8:13 pm

      Yep. Totally agree. And it’s going to force some tough decisions on Obama lest he be considered equally hysterical and yes, insane.

      Or maybe they’ll be easy decisions. As it becomes more and more apparent that US policy is being driven by this lunatic mindset, they may well become easier. Who knows.

  8. HarryLaw
    November 30, 2012, 12:22 pm

    I would like the Palestinians to call the bluff of the US/Israel by applying for membership of all the UN agencies including the ICC, let the US bring down the whole of the UN system for the sake of its criminal friend and see who everybody blames, to my mind the US/Israel are ruthless bullies who have to be confronted, the Palestinians have nothing to lose, except their self respect, please go for it Mahmoud.

    • American
      November 30, 2012, 2:05 pm

      I think the next time the US refuses to pay or withholds it’s UN dues as it has done in the past when the UN didn’t kiss our ass on some US demand the UN should suspend us. Same goes for other international institutions we refuse to pay our dues for over Palestine…….they should just kick us the hell out.
      Then we would have no votes in anything and be irrelevant… would Washington like that?…:):)

    • Hostage
      November 30, 2012, 4:59 pm

      I would like the Palestinians to call the bluff of the US/Israel by applying for membership of all the UN agencies including the ICC, let the US bring down the whole of the UN system for the sake of its criminal friend

      I think people have an exaggerated view about the influence the USA exercises over the ICC. It, like the old Permanent Court of International Justice, was established outside the framework of the organization that created it. So the Rome Statute is not part of the UN Charter, like the Statute of the ICJ.

      The US Code prohibits any US administration from providing appropriated funds to the ICC or spending appropriated funds to extradite any person to stand trial in the Hague.

      FYI, Article 2 and 4 of the Rome Statute explain that the Court has its own legal personality and that it isn’t part of the UN Organization. It has its own legislative body that has to approve the details of its relationship with the UN :

      Article 2
      Relationship of the Court with the United Nations

      The Court shall be brought into relationship with the United Nations through an agreement to be approved by the Assembly of States Parties to this Statute and thereafter concluded by the President of the Court on its behalf.

      The UN really doesn’t have anything to do with the Court’s operations.

  9. a blah chick
    November 30, 2012, 12:33 pm

    “strategic terrorist attack”!

    You tell ’em Tzipi-do-dah!

    And this is what passes for the center there? Sheesh.

  10. Theo
    November 30, 2012, 12:40 pm

    Susan Rice must have felt very lonely after the vote, the USA, Canada and Israel and a few island states, who were bought with the present form of glass beads, on one side, and the whole world on the other.
    Are our leaders in Washington asleep not noticing we are getting more and more isolated, all because of our stand on Israel.

    • Chu
      November 30, 2012, 1:13 pm

      ~Are our leaders in Washington asleep not noticing we are getting more and more isolated, all because of our stand on Israel.

      I think many representatives are quietly energized. realizing that AIPAC’s days of coercion are numbered. I think that many elected politicians in the US breathed a sigh of relief – except for the chuck schumers.
      The world has voted against apartheid. Does the US embrace the progressive world or choose to fund an outdated colonial Sparta?

  11. LanceThruster
    November 30, 2012, 12:48 pm
    • HemiFaulk
      December 1, 2012, 11:32 am

      this one addition to the ongoing collection-discussion, for me, brings home the reality of what a Strike means, what actually happens when weapons are used against a Civilian population. I see nothing here suggestive of Surgical Strikes.

      WarFare fare thee well,
      should it ever come to pass;
      that those who wish to kill
      an innocent man
      should feel the whip of a lash.

      then perhaps those who see
      or perhaps see not so well;
      will realize what has come to pass
      which to me looks like hell.

  12. eljay
    November 30, 2012, 12:54 pm

    >> Livni called the Palestinian UN move a “strategic terrorist attack” …

    The aggressor-victimhood wailing and gnashing of teeth never ends! :-(

    If all the Palestinians were to drop dead tomorrow, Zio-supremacists would undoubtedly blame them for causing grief and uncertainty: “When they were alive, the Palestinians tormented us; now that they are all gone, their torment continues mercilessly! Why do they hate Jews so much!!

    >> … and said Israel will be weakened in any future negotiations with the Palestinians as a result of the move.

    Oooh, those dirty Palestinians! How dare they deny the supremacist “Jewish State” of Israel the right to act immorally and unjustly with impunity!

    • Shingo
      December 1, 2012, 12:04 am

      If all the Palestinians were to drop dead tomorrow, Zio-supremacists would undoubtedly blame them for causing grief and uncertainty:

      Just like how the DOD described the hunger strikes by Guantanamo inmates as assymetrical warfare.

  13. peeesss
    November 30, 2012, 1:04 pm

    Why is Ms. Livni alluded to as a “centrist”. She was a leading supporter of the “cast led” Gaza massacre. As the Palestine Papers revealed she was a leading protaganist for the proposition of an exclusive Jewish State in Palestine and that the Palestinians cannot rely on “International Law” in their negotiations . Basically said to “accept” whatever crumbs the Zionist State was willing to throw the Palestinians. The Labor/Kadima “centrist” Zioinsts” are every bit as brutal toward the Palestinians in using armed force as well as in their belief in expanding settlements.

    • seafoid
      November 30, 2012, 1:18 pm

      She is a centrist sociopath.

      Lieberman is a right wing sociopath.

      Peres is a socialist sociopath .

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      November 30, 2012, 2:05 pm

      Sadly, within the Israeli context, Livni IS a ‘centrist’.

      Never forget that this is a country where Ariel Sharon, the ‘butcher of Beirut’, was considered a ‘moderate’.

    • Woody Tanaka
      November 30, 2012, 2:29 pm

      Because, although she would be a far-rightist, if not outright fascist, in any decent country, in israel, she’s in the center.

    • Shingo
      December 1, 2012, 12:04 am

      Livni is one of those who stands to lose a lot by war crimes being referred to the ICC.

  14. Annie Robbins
    November 30, 2012, 1:10 pm

    am i the only person who thinks palestine would benefit from being cut off from US purse strings? seriously, we are incapable of being any kind of broker between these parties. we should get out of the way, or at least be clearly seen as what we are which is the funder of palestinian oppression and ethnic cleansing from the holy land. it’s gruesome and disgusting.

    • J. Otto Pohl
      November 30, 2012, 1:31 pm

      No, I can definitely see merit in the Palestinians reasserting their financial independence. I think it is obvious to everybody outside the “developed North” that the US provides the treasury and armory that allows Israel to oppress the Palestinians. Nothing, however, apparently will convince the majority of US citizens and from what I can tell evidently Canadian ones as well that there is any oppression of Palestinians. I think the US media position is that the Palestinians oppress the Israelis through “terrorism”.

      • Stephen Shenfield
        November 30, 2012, 6:36 pm

        The Palestinians in the occupied territories are completely dependent on Israel in the financial sphere, as in every other important area. Israel uses its control over their borders to prevent them from exporting goods. The PA receives its share of joint tax revenues through Israel, which can withhold funds at any time with or without an excuse. The Israeli navy controls where they are allowed to fish. And so on. So what does “reasserting their financial independence” mean?

      • Hostage
        December 1, 2012, 2:28 pm

        So what does “reasserting their financial independence” mean?

        Any newly recognized state should follow everyone else’s example: join the WTO; file a complaint against Israel for stealing its resources and crippling its trade with others; and demand appropriate WTO notifications and sanctions.

    • Chu
      November 30, 2012, 1:35 pm

      And if we stop the small amount of aid to Palestinians (200 mil) how can we be perceived as an honest broker, when we provide Israel with practically all of their requests? It’s a hollow threat because because it further undermines the US ability to be seen an a honest broker.

      • piotr
        December 1, 2012, 6:54 am

        It is a bit simpler than that. The notion of “honest broker” exists in the minds of some (but not all) American commentators. North of the border, Canadians complain that “now Canada looses it tradition of being an honest broker, becoming like USA”. I wonder if there are ANY individuals outside USA who would think about our government as an “honest broker”. Those that support USA on the Israel issue think that one should support Israel, and who cares about the “honest broker” crap. For that manner, who in USA really think that we are or should be honest brokers?

        For that manner, who does believe in such entity like an “honest broker”, it sounds like “honest used car salesman”. “Honest broker” is not a belief, is a ritualistic mantra. Perhaps “honest car salesman” is one that offers vehicles that look that they may at least leave the parking lot on their own, and with luck, reach the home of the customer and break down only on the next day. And what we are doing is making sales pitches about the car that is a pile of oxidized metal.

        Money is being provided to PA to run oppressive security forces that are trained (and supervised?) by American officers. This is wrapped into a somewhat larger parcel to look a bit better. But it is a bit hard to cut the funds and instruct “close the hospitals and the schools, but not the police”.

    • American
      November 30, 2012, 1:55 pm

      am i the only person who thinks palestine would benefit from being cut off from US purse strings?…annie”

      I think we should continue to give them money and Palestine should learn to take our money with one hand and give us the finger with their other hand just like Israel has always done….:):)

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      November 30, 2012, 2:07 pm

      ”am i the only person who thinks palestine would benefit from being cut off from US purse strings? ”

      No, you are not.

      US ‘aid’ to Palestine mostly comes in the form of military aid, aimed at bolstering the Vichy-style PA ‘security’ regime, whose purpose is to safeguard the occupation on Israel’s behalf. Abbas should call America’s bluff on this, because if they cut off this funding, they are in effect cutting off funding to Israel. And that would NEVER do.

    • Woody Tanaka
      November 30, 2012, 2:28 pm

      I think that the Palestinians should insist that any negotiations be undertaken with the UN as the mediator and condition participation on the US having no involvement at all. It’s time to cut the beast off at the knees.

    • marc b.
      November 30, 2012, 3:28 pm

      i’m in full agreement, annie. foreign aid is just cover for pay offs to compliant, corrupt governments, and a way to funnel money to US defense firms and/or to bail out banks who made stupid loans to this or that jerkwater dictator. i doubt that much of it ever reaches the truly needy. the easiest, most cost effective way to help the little guy is take the boot off her/his neck. let gazans travel abroad to study for example. they’ll be able to make their own damn money.

    • ritzl
      November 30, 2012, 8:16 pm


    • HemiFaulk
      December 1, 2012, 12:10 pm

      I had the same or similar thoughts last night, but according to Shenfield, Israel can still cut off their funds, at will, Israeli will, but perhaps their funding could come from another source…

      Bypass the powers that be, Iran could gain some Global street cred by stopping the financing of terrorist activity and instead give some of those millions to actually aid those in Palestine, bypassing Israeli and American banking interests.

      Other enriched Arab States? Do they support Palestinians? I have heard the rumor that Palestinians are the Blacks of the middle east, therefore garnering about as much support as blacks in the projects here in America, though I would add that the only attacks on blacks in the projects come from other blacks, see crime stats for details; while also making the point that there is not much help to assist getting some of these human beings off government assistance Etc, even with the first Black President.

      I realize the situations there in Palestine are complex, but really how long is this going to go on? Can I expect to watch the news with family during Christmas holidays and see more attacks from either side, dead bodies of children to make our spirits bright? It appears that might be the case, so again, where does it end, how will the violence be stopped?

      Even during WWI they took a break on Dec. 25th 1916, albeit briefly during the Christmas Truce.

    • Hostage
      December 1, 2012, 2:02 pm

      am i the only person who thinks palestine would benefit from being cut off from US purse strings?

      It’s a case of damned if you do and damned if you don’t. John Dugard reported that:

      54. In effect, the Palestinian people have been subjected to economic sanctions – the first time an occupied people have been so treated. This is difficult to understand. Israel is in violation of major Security Council and General Assembly resolutions dealing with unlawful territorial change and the violation of human rights and has failed to implement the 2004 advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice, yet it escapes the imposition of sanctions. Instead, the Palestinian people, rather than the Palestinian Authority, have been subjected to possibly the most rigorous form of international sanctions imposed in modern times.

      See A/HRC/4/17

      • Sumud
        December 2, 2012, 5:55 am

        On Dugard: I think the sanctions imposed on Iraq in the 1990s were worse than what is happening to Palestine – which is not to say what is being done to Palestine is acceptable.

      • Hostage
        December 2, 2012, 2:28 pm

        On Dugard: I think the sanctions imposed on Iraq in the 1990s were worse than what is happening to Palestine – which is not to say what is being done to Palestine is acceptable.

        True enough, but that’s comparing apples to oranges. The UN had not declared that the Iraqis were “protected persons” or that they were under a regime of belligerent occupation governed by the Geneva Conventions and its protocols. That is the unprecedented situation that Dugard was highlighting. The UN is backing international sanctions against the Palestinian people, not Israel or Hamas.

  15. seanmcbride
    November 30, 2012, 1:18 pm

    Tzipi Livni nicely demonstrates the intellectual and moral bankruptcy of “liberal Zionism” — the entire Israeli political establishment is a lost cause. So why does the American and worldwide Jewish establishment — most of it supposedly “liberal” — continue to support it?

    • eljay
      November 30, 2012, 2:05 pm

      >> … the entire Israeli political establishment is a lost cause. So why does the American and worldwide Jewish establishment — most of it supposedly “liberal” — continue to support it?

      This sounds like a discussion you might like to have with y.f.

      Just be careful that you don’t engage in “moral snobbery” (i.e., advocating for morality instead of supremacism) or “cheerleading” for justice. ;-)

      • Mooser
        December 1, 2012, 12:51 pm

        “This sounds like a discussion you might like to have with y.f.”

        Thanks eljay, I never read the rest of that til now. I must admit, yonah’s synopsis of his family background and his own story makes a very compelling tale, and if he had a loaded, cocked, gun to my head, and wanted my house, I might find it very convincing. Apart from that, I know know! their exploits in ethnic cleansing, war and expropriation will be seen, and in not too long a time, as Judaism’s lowest and sickest point.

    • J. Otto Pohl
      November 30, 2012, 2:54 pm

      Because they think Zionism is a “liberal” or “progressive” idea.

  16. Taxi
    November 30, 2012, 1:55 pm

    Didn’t Lieberman with bulging eyes call it “diplomatic teghoghizm” too?

    Sure did:

    But he said it first. Mmmmmmm in-ta-res-tin.


    Cuz left and right zionists are made of the same bot cloth.

    • piotr
      December 1, 2012, 7:28 am

      Hm. Call Lieberman this or that, but he should not have difficulties rolling Rs, I would imagine “terrrrorrrrizm”.

      This is something I do not understand. It is only too easy to make a sycophantic interview of a charming 90-year old who evokes admiration just for the fact of being ambulatory and talking with complete sentences. How I would wish to live to that ripe age and achieve that! But try to make a nice interview with FM of Israel!

      [some checking]

      Lieberman has actually some skills as the interviewee. His English is not that bad, although when he speaks English he is much more tense, looking almost depressed, then when he speaks Russian. His trick is to have to have a good sentence like “first and foremost, we take care of our national interests regardless of any pressures from abroad” and repeats it over and over speaking with somewhat monotone droning. Indeed, Perez deeply modulates his voice and does not look as if he had to restrain himself from wringing the neck of the impudent interviewer, but admirably, Lieberman never did anything like that.

      That said, a journalist may be careful not to flatter Avigdor too much, because it could lead to some unforeseen consequences. First, Lieberman may lack any prepared English sentences to reply. “I would like to start with saying that you look really, really great, Mr. Minister”. “Whaah? Whaah? What are you trying to suggest!!??””

    • Taxi
      December 1, 2012, 1:38 am

      Professor Mnookin is member of the CPR Institute’s National Panel of Distinguished Neutrals.

      “… National Panel of Distinguished Neutrals” – now that sounds like a cool club.

      • piotr
        December 1, 2012, 7:43 am

        From the same link:

        Understanding how to arrange the meeting space is a key aspect of preparing for negotiation. In this video, Professor Guhan Subramanian discusses a real world example of how seating arrangements can influence a negotiator’s success. [the seat prepared for Abu Mazen may be on the list here, ]

  17. eGuard
    November 30, 2012, 7:09 pm

    Clarity at last, clarity at last, thank god almighty we have clarity at last

    • HemiFaulk
      December 1, 2012, 12:20 pm

      for some reason this did not make the American newspapers.

    • Hostage
      December 1, 2012, 3:27 pm

      Clarity at last, clarity at last, thank god almighty we have clarity at last

      Joseph Massad says:

      The partition plan stipulated that upwards of 47% of the Jewish state’s population would be Arab while the Arab state would have less than 1% Jewish population. The Plan insisted that the two states could not expel or discriminate against their minorities. For the UN, the “Jewish state” meant a state that champions Jewish nationalism without discriminating against non-Jews, and that its definition of Jewish and Arab states did not allow ethnic cleansing, which is what the Jewish colonists embarked upon immediately.

      Thats nothing new, and he is missing the main point. I’ve been citing the terms of the minority protection plan for Palestine and the compromissory clause that gives the ICJ compulsory jurisdiction to settle disputes arising from its interpretation for quite some time now. In the Bosnian genocide case, the ICJ refused to look at evidence that Serbia had violated the terms of the minorities treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye (1919) because there was supposedly no compulsory basis for it to exercise jurisdiction. That’s not the case with Palestine, since the rights in question are under UN guarantee and Israel agreed to accept and implement the terms of the protection plan during the hearings on its membership.

      The final status of Israeli and Palestinian territory can only be settled by negotiations that depend upon the interpretation of the rights of Arab and Jewish refugees under the terms of that plan – and there has obviously been what can only be described as an on-going dispute over the interpretation of resolution 181(II) and resolution 194(III) for more than 60 years. Here is the view of the General Assembly’s subsidiary organ that was established to look into the matter:

      19. In this respect, it was pointed out that Israel was under binding obligation to permit the return of all the Palestinian refugees displaced as a result of the hostilities of 1948 and 1967. This obligation flowed from the unreserved agreement by Israel to honour its commitments under the Charter of the United Nations, and from its specific undertaking, when applying for membership of the United Nations, to implement General Assembly resolutions 181 (II) of 29 November 1947, safeguarding the rights of the Palestinian Arabs inside Israel, and 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, concerning the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes or to choose compensation for their property. This undertaking was also clearly reflected in General Assembly resolution 273 (III).

      link to

      The PLO can’t argue cases before the ICJ, but the State of Palestine can, and should.

      The ICJ could also settle the dispute over the boundaries that were contained in the plan and whether or not the doctrine of uti possidetis it applied in many other cases applies to Palestine

      • eGuard
        December 4, 2012, 11:55 am

        Hostage, even if the ICJ route were taken: how could it “solve” the “dispute” called Nakba? Wat can ICJ then say about any racism of Israel (think discriminating Israeli Palestinians) it could not say before? Given the reduced aims and claims of the PA (as Massad described, and as Abbas recently illustrated in the “Safed interview”): how helpfull is the promise “ICJ can decide over all remaining disputes” while all the State people’s rights and interests were lost/traded/given away?

        So the judicial background has changed you describe, and Massad missed that main point. The books on UN international justice will come to the rescue: the states should discuss and in the end can go to ICJ.

        Oslo all over again. Massad taking Said’s role.

      • Hostage
        December 4, 2012, 9:32 pm

        Hostage, even if the ICJ route were taken: how could it “solve” the “dispute” called Nakba? Wat can ICJ then say about any racism of Israel (think discriminating Israeli Palestinians) it could not say before?

        I’ve written about the minority rights agreement in resolution 181(II) and the RoR. The agreement contained a compromissory clause which said the ICJ had jurisdiction to settle any disputes. That issue isn’t resolved

        The Namibians and their supporters went to the ICJ on four occasions about the South African occupation of their country and the policy of apartheid. The Security Council finally adopted the General Assembly’s position that the continued presence of the South Africans in the State of Namibia was illegal. We’ve just witnessed the General Assembly finally acknowledging that Palestine is an occupied State, like Namibia used to be. Both the ICJ and General Assembly have adopted the position that Israel must pay compensation to victims of the Wall and theft of resources. That issue still isn’t resolved.

        The Wall case laid the ground work, by establishing that Israel’s settlements, the construction of the Wall, and the associated Israeli administrative regime were each illegal. It also established the responsibility of Israel and all other states to remove any impediments to the exercise of the Palestinian right of self-determination and other fundamental human rights. But it did not find that Israel’s continued presence in the territory was illegal. UN Special Rapporteur John Dugard recommended that the General Assembly obtain a follow-up advisory opinion on the questions of apartheid, colonization, and the failure of the responsible parties to take action to correct the illegal situations that were reported in the earlier advisory opinion.

        Judge Higgins opinion noted that was one of the major differences between the two cases:

        It is apparent (not least from the wording of the request to the Court) that an attempt has been made by those seeking the Opinion to assimilate the Opinion on the wall to that obtained from the Court regarding Namibia (Legal Consequences for States of the Continued Presence of South Africa in Namibia (South West Africa) notwithstanding Security Council Resolution 276 (1970), Advisory Opinion, I. C. J. Reports 1971, p. 12). I believe this to be incorrect for several reasons. First and foremost, there was already, at the time of the request for an opinion in 1971 on the legal consequences of certain acts, a series of Court Opinions on South West Africa which made clear what were South Africa’s legal obligations (International Status of South West Africa, Advisory Opinion, I.C.J. Reports 1950, p. 128; Voting Procedure on Questions relating to Reports and Petitions concerning the Territory of South West Africa, Advisory Opinion, I. C. J. Reports 1955, p. 67; Admissibility of Hearings of Petitioners by the Committee on South West Africa, Advisory Opinion, I.C.J. Reports 1956, p. 23).

        Israel’s legal obligations have been made clear and its has been given ample time to remedy the illegal situations. Another ICJ opinion on apartheid and colonialism would confirm that the fox is in the henhouse and Israel’s continued occupation and presence on the territory of the State of Palestine is illegal.

  18. ToivoS
    November 30, 2012, 8:35 pm

    Last week we had an exchange on the question: What exactly was it that Bibi hoped to achieve by starting a war in Gaza and then agreeing to a cease fire 8 days later? Some of the suggested reasons are not correct. But it is still an open question. Looking at the commentary coming out of Israel including this statement by Livni is really leaving the impression that there is absolutely no strategic vision there. Like a swarm of lemmings, all they can do is march aimlessly towards the goal of more land theft without any idea of the consequences of their actions.

    These latest incoherent actions are on top of three years of blood curdling threats against Iran insisting that they would attack if Iran did not stop enriching U235. The Iranians just laughed and said the Israelis would do no such thing. The Israeli response? The said they would do no such thing.

    The Israelis are definitely leaving the impression that they are not following any rational plan, just acting from one emotional outburst to another. I don’t know if this is a good or bad situation. When companies behave in this manner, bankruptcy is the result. When countries do, there is often some pretty awful wars (I am talking much worse than anything that has happened so far).

    Not much that we can do about it except sit back, watch and back BDS.

  19. Shmuel
    December 1, 2012, 7:30 am

    Livni … said Israel will be weakened in any future negotiations with the Palestinians as a result of the move.

    I doubt it, but one of the main flaws of the Oslo process has been the huge imbalance in power between the parties. It is indeed Abbas’ weakness and irrelevance that have led him to make this last-ditch effort. Does Livni really feel so threatened (“strategic terrorist attack”) by the mere possibility of a little less Palestinian weakness or is she just trying to get her election digs in – showing how tough she is and how Netanyahu screwed up?

    • Hostage
      December 1, 2012, 8:09 pm

      Livni’s arrest was ordered by a British court in 2009, but authorities subsequently changed the law to prevent claims against her and other Israeli officials from being pursued. Unfortunately for Livni and other Israeli officials, that law can’t protect her now that she’s out of office – and it never did protect her from an international arrest warrant, like the ones used by the ICC.

  20. yourstruly
    December 1, 2012, 11:39 am

    according to tzipi livni states, the palestinians’ going to the u.n.g.a = a strategic terrorist attack

    & recognizing that israel’s latest blitzkrieg on gaza also = a strategic terrorist attack

    based on the axiom that things equal to the same thing are equal to each other,

    isn’t the former israeli pm saying that going to the u.n.g.a. is equivalent to slaughtering more than 140 people, most of whom are civilians?

    not only what are her values & priorities?

    is she human?

  21. HemiFaulk
    December 1, 2012, 12:23 pm

    Quoting from Travels With Charley by J. Steinbeck

    “I had seen so little of the whole. I didn’t see a great deal of WWII-one landing out a hundred-but I saw enough and felt enough to believe war was no stranger. So here-a little episode, a few people, but the breath of fear was everywhere. I wanted to get away-a cowardly attitude, perhaps, but more cowardly to deny. But the people around me lived here. They accepted it as a permanent way of life, had never known it otherwise nor expected it to stop. The Cockney children in London were restless when the bombing stopped and disturbed a pattern to which they had grown accustomed.

  22. homingpigeon
    December 2, 2012, 11:14 am

    For the life of me, with all the discussion of the recent UN vote, I cannot find any coherent hasbara about what it is the US and Israel are objecting to, beyond the rhetoric of their positions. It seems this has been a setback for the one country solution, and a step – albeit miniscule – towards the two state solution and Palestinian recognition of Israel. In fact Ali Abunimah and Joseph Massad have dissed the whole thing as meaningless for the Palestinians.

    I wonder if one of our hasbarists could really articulate what the objection is here?

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