Obama ‘gave up,’ Fayyad says (as Bennett declares there’s no room here for a Palestinian state)

Israel/Palestine
on 21 Comments

“After the failed attempt to stop Israeli settlement expansion, the administration gave up,” Salam Fayyad tells Roger Cohen of the New York Times.

While Bennett gave his maiden speech in the Knesset. From Haaretz:

In his first address to the Knesset, Habayit Hayehudi leader Naftali Bennett on Tuesday rejected any possibility of an agreement that would lead to the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel.

“There’s no place in our small and stunning piece of God’s country for another state,” he said. “It won’t happen. But friends, before any debate about territory, it must be said: The Land of Israel belongs to the people of Israel. Now let’s argue.”

And a long excerpt from the Roger Cohen on Salam Fayyad, the Palestinian prime minister, in which he says that governance is impossible in the West Bank and that the Obama administration “gave up” on a Palestinian state. (Note that Fayyad’s litany of recent abuses is identical to the catalog that Annie Robbins has detailed). Cohen:

Or, as a disillusioned member of the outgoing Netanyahu government put it to me: “The world does not believe we are serious about two states because of the settlement policy. If we are building all over the place, where is the Palestinian state?”

Fayyad sees a de facto attempt to undermine the Palestinian Authority. “I still believe the Authority is a key building block in the effort to resolve the conflict,” he said. “Then somebody needs to explain to me how something viewed as central to building peace is left on the ropes for three years, reeling under bankruptcy, and every action is taken to erode its political viability.

“We have sustained a doctrinal defeat. We have not delivered. I represent the address for failure. Our people question whether the P.A. can deliver. Meanwhile, Hamas gains recognition and is strengthened. This is the result of nothingness. It is not just that we have been having a bad day.”

Part of that “nothingness” emanated from Obama’s Washington. “After the failed attempt to stop Israeli settlement expansion, the administration gave up,” Fayyad told me. “After the first year in office, U.S. diplomacy shifted to maintenance — getting a process going rather than looking at the issues.”

So there has been negative drift, largely peaceful but increasingly uneasy. “The risk this situation poses is of sliding back to a cycle of violence,” Fayyad said. “When you keep getting banged on the head, you know one day it will be one bang on the head too many.”

He identified some of the issues: settlement expansion; Israeli military incursions into Palestinian-controlled areas; the failure to extend the Palestinian security presence in the West Bank; the “complex and capricious” process of gaining access to the more than 60 percent of the West Bank known as “Area C” and under direct Israeli military control; the Israeli use of tax revenues as a spigot that can be turned on and off to hurt the Palestinian Authority; the lack of access to 3G technology and Israeli control of frequencies; the difficulty of exporting to Israel. All of these factors together, Fayyad said, had made governance “an exercise in impossibility.”

Thanks to Ilene Cohen.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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21 Responses

  1. pabelmont
    February 14, 2013, 10:17 am

    Freeman says that the USA has no M/E policy, just running on fumes. Looks like the PA PM agrees. If the USA would just step aside and stop supporting a corrupt Israel which prevents peace and flouts international law as if it were above that law, maybe the EU or God or some other agency could intervene. Certainly the Palestinians cannot do it by themselves and BDS is a slow, multi-DECADE proposition.

  2. Reds
    February 14, 2013, 10:33 am

    Hi Phil,

    This might interest you

    Yesh Atid chairman says former PM was wrong to begin discussions with issues such as Jerusalem and the right of return.

    link to haaretz.com

  3. American
    February 14, 2013, 10:47 am

    Go to the ICC Palestine.
    Go to the ICC.
    Go to the ICC.

    • OlegR
      February 14, 2013, 11:03 am

      Yes go to the ICC
      we will respond in kind (maybe after cutting the financial oxygen and maybe not) and have a merry legal fight for decades to come…

      • American
        February 14, 2013, 2:30 pm

        @ Oleg…

        Oh you so tough Olgie….lol….you’re a little flea whose existence depends on riding on a increasingly disrespected, broke and tired elephant’s ass.

      • Cliff
        February 16, 2013, 4:54 am

        LOL American

      • Shingo
        February 18, 2013, 1:50 am

        we will respond in kind

        But to do that you would have to join the ICC and recognize it.

      • talknic
        February 18, 2013, 9:50 am

        OlegR “Yes go to the ICC … we will respond in kind”

        OlegR just trod in ziopoop. Israel doesn’t recognize the ICC

      • Shingo
        March 15, 2013, 10:30 pm

        OlegR just trod in ziopoop. Israel doesn’t recognize the ICC

        Better yet, by recognizing the ICC, Israel opens up itself to being charged by the ICC and being obliged to comply.

  4. gingershot
    February 14, 2013, 11:19 am

    Salam Fayyad, a favorite ‘boy in Ramallah’ of Eliot Abrams, Israel, and the rest of the neocons – misses Obama playing the traditional sucker role in Dennis Ross’ endless Apartheid game

    He objects and chastises Obama, who obviously is not playing the old game netanyahu has set for him to play. Oh – for the good old days of that Miracle on the West Bank, the Potemkin village of all of Palestine, and all the kudos for the darling of that project, Fayyad himself.

    Fayyad and Abbas have got to go as soon as possible – they only act when they will be kicked out if they don’t. They are Israel’s fail-safe operatives

    Fayyad is like the Lindsay Graham of Palestine

  5. Woody Tanaka
    February 14, 2013, 11:47 am

    Bennett says: “There’s no place in our small and stunning piece of God’s country for another state,”

    Fine, fascist, then make one state for all, with full, civil, political and human rights, equality and the vote for all, regardless of religion or ethnicity. Oh, wait, that would require pigs like Bennett to abandon his vile bigotry. Because if that were to come to pass, who would Bennett get off on oppressing?

  6. peeesss
    February 16, 2013, 1:15 am

    Mondoweiss writers and contributers should understand that Salam Fayyad is the unelected “Prime Minister” of the PA[Palestine} appointed by the unelected President, Abbas, whose term expired in 2009. Their only raison d’etre is Israeli and US approval and support. Their Palestinian support, for what it is, is their control of all the monies from the world community, their Israeli/US/Jordan trained , equipped “Security” forces, which they use to subdue, violently, dissent in the occupied territories and their collaboratoion with Israel on all security matters. Abbas is allowed by Israel/US to make some “noise” to placate the Palestinian masses periodically such as a speech at the UN. They and the obscene Erekat and much of the PA hierarchy bow to the will of Israel/US. Yet no matter how much they bow down to their masters they get litttle if any thing back for their people. Of course, they live well, eat well, large bank accounts. Beautiful homes next to decades old refugee camps. Limosines provided by Israel and passes to avoid the hundreds of checkpoints Palestinians have to endure. Much of the arrests and assassinations carried out by Israel come from information given them by Abbas’s security forces. I read a lot of conjecture about “going to the ICC”. It would truly surprise me if Abbas would ever make the formal request. If he does he will go the way of Arafat.

  7. Hostage
    February 16, 2013, 4:15 am

    I read a lot of conjecture about “going to the ICC”. It would truly surprise me if Abbas would ever make the formal request.

    FYI, President Abbas already did grant the ICC jurisdiction over all crimes committed on the territory of Palestine since July of 2002 up to the present. He can’t rescind that agreement, but can notify the Court that it doesn’t apply to situations arising in the future.

  8. peeesss
    February 16, 2013, 4:33 pm

    Re Hostage. Prosecutor O’Campo of the ICC announced ,” that he did not believe Palestine had the capacity to accept the jurisdiction of the ICC under Article 12, paragraph 3. And, in any event, it was not for him to determine whether Palestine was a state.” O’Campo basically copped out. But he added, ““But of course, Palestine could ratify the Rome statute and then proceed as a member state and that would solve the jurisdictional problem.” Professor Boyle legal advisor to Palestine[the PLO} at the time states “So, all Palestine has to do once it becomes a U.N. member state is accede to the terms of the Rome statute, and file that with the U.N. Secretary General which is the depository for the Rome statute. The Secretary General will be obligated to accept that instrument of accession and then Palestine can simply reactivate the complaint that’s already there”. Thats where it apparently stands now. As a layman, in legalistic areas, does Palestine as a non member State have recourse to the ICC.? Any way Palestine {Abbas} has to reactivate the complaint according to his legal advisor. I’m not confident he will do that in the immediate future, if at all. Of course a “Palestinian Spring” might change his thinking if he stays in power.

  9. Hostage
    February 16, 2013, 7:31 pm

    As a layman, in legalistic areas, does Palestine as a non member State have recourse to the ICC.?

    The ICC is not a UN organ. It already has member states, like the Cook Islands, which are neither UN member states nor General Assembly observer states.

    Any way Palestine {Abbas} has to reactivate the complaint according to his legal advisor.

    No he does not. The Appeals Chamber ruling in the case of President Laurent Gbagbo’s case established that the retroactive effects of an Article 12(3) declaration continue in full legal force and effect and cannot be withdrawn even by the authors. You can read more about that here:
    link to mondoweiss.net

    Re Hostage. Prosecutor O’Campo of the ICC announced ,” that he did not believe Palestine had the capacity to accept the jurisdiction of the ICC under Article 12, paragraph 3. And, in any event, it was not for him to determine whether Palestine was a state.” O’Campo basically copped out. But he added, ““But of course, Palestine could ratify the Rome statute and then proceed as a member state and that would solve the jurisdictional problem.”

    No that’s not correct. The former prosecutor specifically acknowledged that:
    1) a State does not need to become a member of the ICC under the terms of Article 12(3);
    2) that Palestine had already provided the necessary Article 12(3) declaration; and
    3) that Palestine was already recognized as a State by more than 130 governments and by international organizations, including United Nation bodies.
    link to icc-cpi.int

    Remarkably, the former Prosecutor spent three years conducting seminars and symposiums and collected written opinions on the subject from nearly everyone concerned, except for the Judges in the Pre-Trail Chamber or one of the three entities that he finally claimed had the necessary legal competence to settle the question.

    He actually misstated the Practice of the Secretary General in regard to the legal status of full members of UN specialized agencies, like Palestine. Under the terms of the UN Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (which applies to the Rome Statute) the Secretary General has a legal obligation to accept accessions from those States without bothering to consult the General Assembly or any third party.

    So there was already no doubt that Palestine could accept the jurisdiction of the ICC before the General Assembly adopted the resolution which upgraded its status, based upon the 1988 Unilateral Declaration of Independence.

    The former Prosecutor’s last periodic status update to the UN simply said that he felt that he lacked the statutory authority to determine if Palestine is a State or not. He noted that either the General Assembly, the Secretary General, acting as depositary, or the ICC Assembly of State Parties could make a binding legal determination. More than 69 of the 120 members of the Assembly of State parties already had established relations with the State of Palestine before the Rome Statute entered into effect.

  10. peeesss
    February 17, 2013, 11:21 am

    Hostage. Thank you for your interpretation of Palestine’s standing in regard to ICC Jurisdiction. I have not had time to read the links you have provided However may I say, ask, inquire as , noted previously , a layman in the legalistic hoops it appears Palestine has to jump through to get their day in court. the following. You note.
    “Remarkably, the former Prosecutor spent three years conducting seminars and symposiums and collected written opinions on the subject from nearly everyone concerned, except for the Judges in the Pre-Trail Chamber or one of the three entities that he finally claimed had the necessary legal competence to settle the question”. My point, “He basically copped out.”
    “No he does not.” You believe Palestine[Abbas} does not have to reactivate the complaint against Israe; All well and good but his former legal advisor, O’boyle, believes otherwise and he has been in the forefront in having Palestine seek Jurisdiction . I believe Mr. O’Boyle is still sought out on these legal machinations by Palestine.
    In the real world the political power of the US and its western, security Counci allies dominate the discourse and actions of the Secretary General . Britain made clear that it would{could} support Palestine recognition as a non member Stae if Palestine{Abbas} pledged not to go to the ICC. Abbas {Palestine} refused. Some reports stated that the US made similar requests, saying it would abstain if Abbas promised not to go to th ICC. O’Compo , and any fuure prosecutor, the Secretary General are , undoubtedly, influenced in their decisions by these powers. So although your interpretaions on Juridiction might well be correct the political filter Palestine has to go through says otherwise. Abbas refused to promise not to go , in the future, to the ICC. He seems to have accepted the fact that he must reactivate the complaint.

    • Hostage
      February 17, 2013, 6:24 pm

      You believe Palestine[Abbas} does not have to reactivate the complaint against Israe; All well and good but his former legal advisor, O’boyle, believes otherwise and he has been in the forefront in having Palestine seek Jurisdiction . I believe Mr. O’Boyle is still sought out on these legal machinations by Palestine.

      Boyle may have been speaking before the court issued its recent judgment or simply thinks it would be wise for the State of Palestine to make another retroactive Article 12(3) declaration or become a party to the Statute. The latter would allow it to supply a self-referral.

      In any event the ICC decision No. ICC-02/11-01/11 OA 2, of 12 December 2012 lays the issue to rest. President Laurent Gbagbo’s government made an Article 12(3) declaration that laid around the Prosecutor’s office for years in connection with a situation involving another regime. Then the Security Council adopted a resolution which observed that the Court could use the existing declaration in connection with subsequent events involving Gbagbo’s regime.

      When his defense argued that the declaration was limited in time and scope to earlier events, the Appeals Chamber rejected the idea. It explained that States cannot refer specific situations under Article 12(3). They can only accept the jurisdiction of the Court in connection with all of the crimes listed in the Rome Statute. The Court upheld the right of States to makes declarations, like the ones from Palestine and Cote D’Ivorie, granting retroactive jurisdiction for crimes committed after the Statute entered into force. But it also held that those declarations grant the court prospective jurisdiction over any crimes listed in the Statute that subsequently occurred on the subject territory.
      link to icc-cpi.int

      • peeesss
        February 18, 2013, 3:29 am

        Re. Professor Boyle, {I incorrectly stated O’Boyle previously}
        Dec. 2012. “First, of course, becoming a party to the Rome Statute for the International Criminal Court. After Operation Cast Lead One, I advised President Abbas to accept the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court under Article 12, paragraph 3, which we did do. And then we filed a big complaint with the ICC prosecutor oversOperation Cast Lead One.

        Now, what happened…the ICC prosecutor, Moreno Ocampo announced that he was going to be investigating two issues. One, did Palestine have the capacity to accept the jurisdiction of the ICC under Article 12, paragraph 3? And, Two, did Israel create war crimes and crimes against humanity against the Palestinians during Cast Lead? That second question was answered in the affirmative by the Goldstone Commission Report; that Israel had inflicted war crimes and crimes against humanity against the Palestinians.

        As for the first point, just before he left office, Ocampo announced that he did not believe Palestine had the capacity to accept the jurisdiction of the ICC under Article 12, paragraph 3. And, in any event, it was not for him to determine whether Palestine was a state. This, despite the fact that Palestine was admitted as a full-fledged member state of UNESCO, which is a U.N. specialized agency.

        So basically Moreno Ocampo copped out. And indeed, if he hadn’t done that, there’s a good chance Israel would not have repeated what I call Cast Lead Light, that just occurred for the last eight days here in November. In any event, in his press conference, Ocampo said, “But of course, Palestine could ratify the Rome statute and then proceed as a member state and that would solve the jurisdictional problem.”

        So, all Palestine has to do once it becomes a U.N. member state is accede to the terms of the Rome statute, and file that with the U.N. Secretary General which is the depository for the Rome statute. The Secretary General will be obligated to accept that instrument of accession and then Palestine can simply reactivate the complaint that’s already there, and add in Cast Lead Light for November 2012. And, if they want to, also add all the settlements policy that is going on. The International Court of Justice ruled in its advisory opinion on the wall, that all these settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem violate the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949.

        Well, of course, such violations are a war crime and when they are widespread or systematic, they become a crime against humanity. And, in the case of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, the settlement policy is certainly widespread and systematic.”

        DB: And, just to add, it’s quite a revelation that you’ve got the British foreign secretary saying they’re not going to get the support –the Palestinians are not going to get their support — unless they agree to pledge not to sue Israel for war crimes. I mean, there it is.

        FB: Right. Well, he doesn’t understand that we already did that so, you know, these are obviously highly technical matters that basically their international law staff follow. But we already did file that complaint, and all we have to do is reactivate the complaint we already filed. And the reason being, then this would put us in the driver’s seat and the settlement policy in the dock. And that is what…remember Britain created this problem in the first place with the Balfour Declaration. They’ve always been against us. So, you know, it doesn’t surprise me that the Brits are still taking this position. And they were behind the partition resolution 65 years ago”. Prof. Boyle stated this on Dec. 4 or 12, 2012. I believe he has reiterated those comments this year.

        Hostage; Whether the term is self-referral, reactivate, ratify, accede Palestine has to make another gesture to the ICC before any action will be taken by the ICC. Obviously the US, Great Britain , France believe that with their threats . The Palestinians, Abbas and his spokespeople believe that with their “threats ” to take Israel to the court if Israel does not stop its settlement policies. Boyle believes that.
        Previously noted was that there is “Political” power at play here. The US has great sway in decisions at the UN. And if for dome reason Security Council approval is needed for Palestinian acceptance to the ICC, the US will not allow that to happen.

        \

      • Hostage
        February 18, 2013, 10:17 am

        Re. Professor Boyle, {I incorrectly stated O’Boyle previously}
        Dec. 2012.

        Correction: You are quoting an old article published on the 4th of December 2012, eight days before the ICC judgment in the Gbagbo case.
        link to counterpunch.org

        The Court has rejected the idea that Article 12(3) declarations lapse or have to be “reactivated”. So at this point, the matter has been settled (res judicata) by the Judges in the ICC Appeals Chamber.

        I would also call the ICC’s FAQ and the Registrar’s letter on this subject to your attention. They both indicate that 1) a decision on the validity of Palestine’s Article 12(3) declaration will be made by the “Judges”, not by the Prosecutor; and 2) pending a judicial determination, Palestine’s declaration has triggered its obligation to cooperate and provide judicial assistance in accordance with rules for State Parties contained in Part 9 of the Rome Statute:

        The Court has not made any determination on the applicability of article 12(3) to this particular communication. A conclusive determination on its applicability would have to be made by the judges at an appropriate moment.
        link to icc-cpi.int

        I acknowledge receipt on 22 January 2009 of your correspondence which refers itself to article 12, paragraph 3 of the Statute of the International Criminal Court.

        Without prejudice to a judicial determination on the applicability of article 12, paragraph 3 to your correspondence, I wish to inform you that a declaration under article 12 paragraph 3 has the effect of the acceptance of jurisdiction with respect to the crimes referred to in article 5 of relevance to the situation and the application of the provisions of Part 9 and any rules thereunder, concerning States Parties, pursuant to Rule 44 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.
        link to icc-cpi.int

        So until a Judge says otherwise, Palestine’s declaration already has the legal effect of 1) accepting the Court’s jurisdiction for any crime listed in the Statute; and 2) triggering Palestine’s obligation to comply with the provisions of the rules on cooperation and judicial assistance regarding State Parties. Whatever Prof Francis Boyle or the former Prosecutor said to the contrary, just doesn’t matter.
        link to untreaty.un.org

        FYI, I gave you the link to the Prosecutor’s official statement, which did not say that he felt Palestine was incapable of accepting the Court’s jurisdiction. He merely said that the Prosecutor is not empowered or competent to make that determination under the terms of the Statute. His opinion is immaterial at this point.

        The General Assembly adopted a resolution which settled the questions raised by the former Prosecutor. It cited the 1988 Declaration of the State of Palestine and its full membership in a host of international organizations besides UNESCO that are only open to state parties, including the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, the Group of Asia-Pacific States, the League of Arab States, the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and the Group of 77 and China. Those were the bases for its decision on Palestine’s upgraded observer status. FYI, Palestine was already a member of all of those other organizations in 1999, before the Rome Statute ever entered into effect.

        The suggestions contained in the passage from the interview with Boyle that you quoted contain several errors. For example, Palestine does not have to wait until it becomes a UN member state to become a state party to the Rome Statute. I suspect that the author, not Boyle, is responsible for some of the confusion.

      • Hostage
        February 18, 2013, 11:05 am

        Previously noted was that there is “Political” power at play here. The US has great sway in decisions at the UN. And if for dome reason Security Council approval is needed for Palestinian acceptance to the ICC, the US will not allow that to happen.

        LOL! I’ve pointed out repeatedly that the UN Convention on the Law of Treaties explicitly stipulates that:
        a) its rules apply to all treaties, like the Rome Statute, that serve as the constitutional instrument of an international organization (Article 5);
        b) that every State has the capacity to conclude treaties (Article 6);
        c) that members of the UN Specialized Agencies already belong to a special category of “States” that have a standing invitation to become State parties by depositing accessions to the Convention with the Secretary General at the UN’s New York Headquarters (Articles 81, 82, and 83).
        link to untreaty.un.org

        Palestine is already a member of an internationally recognized category of States. That’s all that Article 12(3) requires. It does not require a non-member State to become a party to the Statute before it can accept the Court’s jurisdiction. Article 125 of the Rome Statute explains it is open to accession by “all states”. The Secretary General has no discretion in the matter of accepting accessions from full members of any UN specialized agency. See the Law of Treaties citations above.

        The formula contained in the UN Convention on the Law of Treaties was deliberately adopted to circumvent the use of a veto by one of the Permanent members of the Security Council to interfere in multilateral treaty relations or international recognition of States.

        The Legal Affairs Section of the UN Secretariat explains:

        But when a treaty is open to “States”, how is the Secretary-General to determine which entities are States? If they are Members of the United Nations or Parties to the Statute of the International Court of Justice, there is no ambiguity. However, a difficulty has occurred as to possible participation in treaties when entities which appeared otherwise to be States could not be admitted to the United Nations, nor become Parties to the Statute of the International Court of Justice owing to the opposition, for political reasons, of a permanent member of the Security Council. Since that difficulty did not arise as concerns membership in the specialized agencies, where there is no “veto” procedure, a number of those States became members of specialized agencies, and as such were in essence recognized as States by the international community.

        — Summary of Practice of the Secretary-General as Depositary of Multilateral Treaties

    • Hostage
      February 18, 2013, 4:49 am

      Britain made clear that it would{could} support Palestine recognition as a non member Stae if Palestine{Abbas} pledged not to go to the ICC. Abbas {Palestine} refused. Some reports stated that the US made similar requests, saying it would abstain if Abbas promised not to go to th ICC.

      So did Sarkozy, but who cares? The Palestinians had the votes to get the upgrade in status without the P5. The same goes for any vote in the Assembly of State Parties to the Rome Statute. Those are the members States which pay the Prosecutor’s salary, not the United States. Its silly to discuss “recognition” of statehood that doesn’t confer the same rights on Palestine as the rights enjoyed by every other state. The United States is still a state party to the Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States. It explains that states are juridically equal and that:

      The recognition of a state merely signifies that the state which recognizes it accepts the personality of the other with all the rights and duties determined by international law. Recognition is unconditional and irrevocable.

      link to jus.uio.no

      If other states have the right to go to the ICC, then recognition means Palestine does too. If other states have the right to a military and membership in military alliances, then recognition means that Palestine does too, & etc.

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