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UN Human Rights Council resolution warning companies to ‘terminate business interests in the settlements’ or face possible criminal liability gets watered down

Israel/Palestine
Mishor Adumim Industrial Zone, home to Israel's SodaStream factory in the West Bank settlement of Ma'ale Adumim. (Photo: Emil Salman/Haaretz)

Mishor Adumim Industrial Zone, home to Israel’s SodaStream factory in the West Bank settlement of Ma’ale Adumim. (Photo: Emil Salman/Haaretz)

The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva passed a resolution today at the closure of the Human Rights Council’s 25th session titled “Israeli Settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan” (pdf) urging all States to:

(c) To provide information to individuals and businesses on the financial, reputational and legal risks, as well as the possible abuses of the rights of individuals, of getting involved in settlement-related activities, including economic and financial activities, the provision of services in settlements and the purchasing of property;

12. Requests that all parties concerned, including United Nations bodies, implement and ensure the implementation of the recommendations contained in the report of the independent international fact-finding mission [pdf] to investigate the implications of Israeli settlements on the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the Palestinian people throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and endorsed by the Human Rights Council through its resolution 22/29 in accordance with their respective mandates;

13. Calls upon the relevant United Nations bodies to take all necessary measures and actions within their mandates to ensure full respect for and compliance with Human Rights Council resolution 17/4 of 16 June 2011, on the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights [pdf] and other relevant international laws and standards, and to ensure the implementation of the United Nations “Protect, Respect and Remedy” Framework, which provides a global standard for upholding human rights in relation to business activities that are connected with Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem;

The original draft of resolution (pdf) called for States and private enterprises to terminate business transaction beyond the 1949 armistice lines and warned of the probability of criminal liability for corporate complicity in breach of international law.

Essentially it was a call to boycott and divest from all Israeli settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights or else be prepared to be held criminally accountable.

The final version of the resolution appears to be watered down. However, the request to implement recommendations contained in the “international fact-finding mission”, as well as the references to resolution 22/29, 17/4, and the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (pdf) deserves further scrutiny. The UNHRC had already adopted the conclusions and recommendations contained in the fact finding report, which recommended that the issue of corporate culpability be addressed by a special mandate holder created as part of a decade long UN initiative to hold transnational corporations and other businesses criminally responsible for their roles in human rights violations:

117. Private companies must assess the human rights impact of their activities and take all necessary steps – including by terminating their business interests in the settlements – to ensure that they do not have an adverse impact on the human rights of the Palestinian people, in conformity with international law as well as the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. The mission calls upon all Member States to take appropriate measures to ensure that business enterprises domiciled in their territory and/or under their jurisdiction, including those owned or controlled by them, that conduct activities in or related to the settlements respect human rights throughout their operations. The mission recommends that the Working Group on Business and Human Rights be seized of this matter. (pdf)

The Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises, is a standing expert panel with their own UN mandate. Today’s resolution noted that it hasn’t reported back yet on the implementation of its mandate with regard to the issue of settlements in Palestine and the Syrian Golan Heights and that it has announced its intention to make a statement before the next session of the UNHRC is convened.

The council held a general debate on human rights violations in Palestine earlier this week which included the follow-up to, and implementation of, the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action. The Council then adopted the outcome of the Universal Periodic Review of Israel (full report here).

The background of the vote is that the PA and Arab League requested a special fact finding mission on the impact of the Israeli settlements. In July 2012 the president of the Human rights council appointed three high-level experts to that mission, Christine Chanet as Chair, Asma Jahangir and Unity Dow.  The findings of the mission resulted in an UNHRC report, titled “Report of the independent international fact-finding mission to investigate the implications of the Israeli settlements on the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the Palestinian people throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem“.

The missions’ report, which addresses the implications of corporate involvement in international crimes, develops arguments presented in two previous September 2013 reports by Special Rapporteur Richard Falk. Among other things, the first report describes the involvement of 13 businesses in the Occupied Palestinian Territory with reference to the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. The second report includes case studies on two companies, the American international real estate company  Re/Max  and their international Israeli subsidiary, and the second company is the Dexia Group, a European financial institution.

These companies were chosen for the specific ways in which their activities, including profiting from Israeli settlements, potentially implicate them in international crimes.

IV. Case studies

33. As noted in the previous report of the Special Rapporteur on this issue, there is a wide range of businesses operating in the settlements. The Special Rapporteur surveyed 13 businesses, including several that were Israeli and others that were international. Some businesses were connected with the occupation generally and others with the settlements in particular. In the present report the Special Rapporteur focuses on two discrete areas that relate to settlements. The first area is banking institutions involved in financial transactions, such as loans to construct or purchase Israeli settlements. The company that the Special Rapporteur discusses is the Dexia Group, a European banking group. This builds upon the analysis by the Special Rapporteur of the Dexia Group in the previous report. The second area that the Special Rapporteur draws attention to is real estate companies that advertise and sell properties in settlements. The activities of Re/Max International, a company based in the United States of America, are the focus of analysis in the present report. The case studies aim to determine whether the Dexia Group and Re/Max International, through providing loans and mortgages and through advertising and selling properties in settlements, provide knowing assistance that amounts to aiding in the commission of international crimes associated with transferring the citizens of the Occupying Power to the occupied territory. The Special Rapporteur reiterates that the businesses highlighted are illustrative examples. There are other companies that profit from Israeli settlement activities, both in the economic service areas in which the Dexia Group and Re/Max International are working and in other areas involving
goods and services.

(Full case studies here)

Mondoweiss commenter Hostage:

Those two reports and the threat of liability (posed by Palestine’s joining the ICC and the Prosecutor subsequently acting on the 2009 declaration) triggered divestment by companies located in EU/ICC member states. The Prosecutor will be able to investigate acts committed in the EU or Palestine since July 2002, without any Security Council referral or veto. EU members of the ICC would also be required to investigate and prosecute their citizens and corporations.

The present report develops arguments presented in the previous report of the Special Rapporteur to the sixty-seventh session of the General Assembly, which focused on businesses profiting from Israeli settlements and described the  involvement of 13 businesses in the activities of Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territory with reference to the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and  Human Rights. The present report delineates a model for legal analysis by focusing  on two illustrative companies chosen for the specific ways in which their activities potentially implicate them in international crimes. The report also takes note of other issues, including the urgent matter of water and sanitation rights.
http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/HRC/22/63

This is Richard Falk’s last stand and a testament to the man he is. It’s his legacy and we thank and honor him. Falk’s 6 year term as  United Nations Special Rapporteur  expires on May 1st. UNHRC decided to delay a vote on 18 incoming special rapporteurs by one month, so it is not clear who Falk’s successor will be.

The ADL  issued a press release earlier this week referencing the resolution:

“This resolution attempts to advance a very similar position to elements of the vehemently anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, and at the same time, it puts a serious damper on the current peace talks taking place.”

In a letter sent to members of the UNHRC, ADL expressed concern that the resolution was an attack on Israel that was taken “further than any previous sessions.”

“Its language goes beyond the current policies of most countries with respect to the issue of Israeli settlements,” Mr. Foxman wrote.

 

Correction: Originally this article claimed the resolution as it was originally drafted had passed. I apologize for the misinformation. ~A.R.

 

 

annie
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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59 Responses

  1. ivri
    ivri
    March 28, 2014, 6:16 pm

    The HRC has tons of anti-Israel resolutions. It has lost a lot of credibility in general by its almost exclusive focus on Israel in a world with a million human-rights problems. Amazing how the Israel “black hole” continues to devour those that get obsessed with it

    • Hostage
      Hostage
      March 28, 2014, 11:35 pm

      The HRC has tons of anti-Israel resolutions. It has lost a lot of credibility in general by its almost exclusive focus on Israel in a world with a million human-rights problems. Amazing how the Israel “black hole” continues to devour those that get obsessed with it

      FYI, the occupation wouldn’t have been nearly as attractive to Israel if it had observed the prohibition of the crime of pillage. The rest of the world has started to take notice of such things, and Israel has gotten off lightly so far.

      Charges of pillaging have been leveled in several of the indictments in the cases currently pending in the ICC, i.e. Republic of the Congo: Germain Katanga, Bosco Ntaganda, Callixte Mbarushimana, Sylvestre Mudacumura, and Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui; Central African Republic: Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo; Uganda: Joseph Kony, Vincent Otti, Okot Odhiambo and Dominic Ongwen; Darfur, Sudan: Ahmad Muhammad Harun (“Ahmad Harun”), Ali Muhammad Ali Abd-Al-Rahman (“Ali Kushayb”), Omar Hassan Ahmad Al Bashir, Bahar Idriss Abu Garda, and Abdel Raheem Muhammad Hussein. So far as I know none of those defendants are persecuted Jews or Israelis.

      Likewise, the governments in Europe have finally started investigating companies that pillage. So this isn’t a radical departure that singles out poor little Israel, i.e. Swiss refiner Argor accused of laundering DRC gold
      link to bbc.co.uk
      Swiss firm alleged to have laundered pillaged DRC gold
      link to osisa.org

    • talknic
      talknic
      March 29, 2014, 12:43 am

      @ ivri “The HRC has tons of anti-Israel resolutions.”

      Of course it has. As long as one is in breach of the law or fails to pay one’s bills, the notices and summonses will keep being sent out. Other wise don’t sign the agreement or join the club. Simple really. In fact so simple only a moron would misunderstand

      Israel has been served with hundreds of notices giving it the opportunity to adhere to the law, by far more than any other state on the planet. How much fairer can the UN be?

      “It has lost a lot of credibility in general by its almost exclusive focus on Israel in a world with a million human-rights problems.”

      Israel link to search.ohchr.org
      Results 1 – 10 of about 1260 for israel

      Now for Africa alone

      link to search.ohchr.org
      Results 1 – 10 of about 3580 for africa

      People who don’t check their facts before opening their big fat wailing gobs, are quite stupid. Those who try to justify Israel’s illegal actions show themselves to be leaders in the field.

      ” Amazing how the Israel “black hole” continues to devour those that get obsessed with it..”

      Uh huh .. see above. Your obsession has devoured your ability to check facts, think clearly or be honest. Instead you make false accusations, excuse crimes, lack empathy. Common to supporters of the illegal policies of the Zionist Movement’s state http://pages.citebite.com/o2k0h7w9w5hi . Quite frankly, they’re signs of a pathological abuser https://www.google.com.au/search?q=signs+of+a+pathological+abuser

    • seafoid
      seafoid
      March 29, 2014, 3:58 am

      Ivri, habibi

      Don’t forget that Israel shot itself in the foot as part of this process
      http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.581556

      “The draft of this particular resolution, which is being submitted by the Arab states and the Palestinian Authority, is especially worrisome to Israeli officials because for the first time it includes wording that seems directly derived from recent boycott, divestment and sanction campaigns. Because Foreign Ministry work sanctions have paralyzed Israel’s diplomatic activity, no steps were taken to try to soften the wording of the resolutions or block them.

      The ADL can’t lobby efficiently if the goons back in Disneyland are not concentrating on their work.
      The ADL and AIPAC have their own internal crises to deal with already.

      When routine bites hard,
      And ambitions are low,
      And resentment rides high,
      But emotions won’t grow,
      And we’re changing our ways,
      Taking different roads.

      Then YESHA , YESHA will tear us apart again.
      YESHA , YESHA will tear us apart again.

      Why is the UN so cold?
      You’ve turned away on your side.
      Is my apartheid that flawed?
      Our respect runs so dry.

    • March 29, 2014, 8:31 am

      If Jewish Orgs can try to extort money from a French railroad company that did not even exist during WWII for business dealings with the Nazis 70 years ago, then surely companies that deal with the racist, colonial, oppressive, settler state of Israel.

      By the way, I dig your “look over there” defense of Israel. Other peoples in other places and other times acted as bad as Israel so we should let Israel off the hook

  2. lonely rico
    lonely rico
    March 28, 2014, 6:31 pm

    I want to add my voice to Annie’s, to honor Richard Falk’s courage and constancy in the defense of justice. He took his hits and did not flinch.
    Mr. Foxman and the ADL claims that BDS –

    … puts a serious damper on the current peace talks taking place.

    Unfortunately, the decades of ‘peace talks’, have resulted only in the ongoing theft, murder, demolition and humiliation of the Palestinians.
    Grotesque, a “damper” on a non-event, all in the defense of criminality.

    • March 29, 2014, 12:06 am

      “the peace talks” really should be called
      “the delay while israel steals the rest of palestine talks”

  3. Shuki
    Shuki
    March 28, 2014, 6:49 pm

    Proving, once again, that the UN has devolved into a shill for the Arab world…

    • Hostage
      Hostage
      March 28, 2014, 11:39 pm

      Proving, once again, that the UN has devolved into a shill for the Arab world…

      Nope, just proves that the US and Israel don’t enjoy their usual exceptionalism when they are in democratic forums based upon one state/one vote.

      • March 29, 2014, 8:32 am

        Exactly hostage.

    • Kay24
      Kay24
      March 29, 2014, 12:55 am

      Don’t worry, the US makes up for that big time. It is their to wipe Israel’s nose, cover it’s behind, and shower it with unwavering love. The US has devolved into a shill for the zionist occupiers.

    • K Renner
      K Renner
      March 29, 2014, 1:33 am

      What a waste of space your comments are– I do admit that you provide an interesting case study, but otherwise your posts are passive-aggressive blurbs, attempted inflammatory or disingenuous “commentary” (or outright lies), or just in general nothing that does you or your positions any favours in the least.

    • talknic
      talknic
      March 29, 2014, 3:20 am

      @ Shuki “Proving, once again, that the UN has devolved into a shill for the Arab world…”

      It proves the majority, who’re not Arab, disapprove of Israel’s illegal activities in non-Israeli territory.

      Your comment however indicates you don’t like their dis-approval and think Israel should, for some obscure reason, be allowed to engage in criminal activities

  4. CloakAndDagger
    CloakAndDagger
    March 28, 2014, 7:04 pm

    Yes!!! Is it Champagne uncorking time yet?
    Screw ADL and the horse they rode into town on!

    And of course, the MSM doesn’t cover it.

    • March 29, 2014, 12:09 am

      that’s what we have mondo for

    • annie
      annie
      March 29, 2014, 12:46 am

      i regret to inform everyone, the resolution that passed was watered down from the original draft. the article has been updated and an embed to the passed resolution included.

      very sorry. i was gone for several hours and came home to find out what passed was not what i thought.

      the new resolution tho, does state “implement and ensure the implementation of the recommendations contained in the report of the independent international fact-finding mission ”

      once i unwind my brain from writing this update, i’ll try to add more info.

      • CloakAndDagger
        CloakAndDagger
        March 29, 2014, 1:11 am

        Awwww! :-(

      • American
        American
        March 29, 2014, 12:10 pm

        Damn. ..disappointing…. the influence of the US no doubt.

      • annie
        annie
        March 29, 2014, 12:30 pm

        it’s still impressive actually. very very very. read the updated version.

    • K Renner
      K Renner
      March 29, 2014, 1:41 am

      >> And of course, the MSM doesn’t cover it.

      I’m not one to say that there aren’t problems with specific outlets as far as the Levant and Palestine are concerned, but it’s important to take note that “MSM” doesn’t mean anything more then a broad range of news outlets across the board– some rubbish, some alright, some at least half-decent.

      I’m sure that there would be certain elements that would want a story like this buried, but by no means does that mean anyone who didn’t report it decided to not do so because of any specific reason.

      That’s one of the beneficial things as far as sites like this one go– you’ll get far more in-depth coverage and discussion about specific parts of the world and the issues that are present there.

  5. CloakAndDagger
    CloakAndDagger
    March 28, 2014, 7:39 pm

    @ annie

    From your link:

    Palestine and Syria spoke as concerned countries. Israel was not present in the room.

    I guess Israel could not come up with a response to the allegations and depends on Abe Foxman to be its mouthpiece.

    Syria, speaking as a concerned country, said that 47 years had gone by since Israel had occupied the Palestinian territories and the Syrian Golan Heights and the situation was getting worse. The occupation continued and was taking great strides and the Judaisation campaigns in Jerusalem were taking feverish pace. The settlers harassed the Palestinians and the holy sites on a daily basis. Israel continued to deprive prisoners of their right to receive visits from their relatives. The international community was a witness of the blatant human rights violations by Israel and by its discriminatory and racist policies. Despite the current situation, Israel, continuing to strengthen its occupation, was blatantly violating the principle of sovereignty of peoples, and called into question their right to control their resources which was an inalienable right. Occupation would not bring peace to Israel. Israel had to realize that the only path for peace was the respect for international legitimacy. Syria challenged the Human Rights Council and reminded it that simply condemning Israel, and the indifference of so many States that supported Israel, would only encourage Israel to continue implementing these practices and believe it was above the law and above accountability.

    Wow! I am so glad to read that this is what was voiced. About time!

    Pakistan, speaking on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, expressed its incomprehension at the European Union’s decision to speak about the occupied Palestinian territories under agenda items 2 and 4, which was perceived as a concession to Israel for its return to the Council and would only further encourage Israel’s violations of international law.

    Amen brother!

    Then a long list of countries including Ireland, Russia, China, Brazil, and many others denouncing the settlements. Bravo!

    And then from our rep:

    United States expressed grave concern that legislation in many States restricted the fundamental freedoms and human rights of people based on their sexual orientation and gender identity. Laws criminalizing homosexuality were on the books in at least 79 countries; of particular concern was the proliferation of new and more restrictive legislation in countries such as Russia, Nigeria and Uganda. Those laws unduly limited the right to freedom of expression and created a climate that encouraged violence, targeting persons based on their sexual orientation and gender identity.

    Yeah, great way to stack the priorities! How about violence based on ethnicity??

    I wasn’t able to determine what the final vote counts were and who objected/abstained. I must have missed it in my excitement.

    • seafoid
      seafoid
      March 29, 2014, 8:33 am

      “targeting persons based on their sexual orientation and gender identity. ”

      As long as gays of the right religion have guns everything is tickety boo.

      http://postimg.org/image/it7npm9an/

      Fags with gun mags
      Only in Israel
      So progressive

  6. dbroncos
    dbroncos
    March 28, 2014, 7:53 pm

    Good news. What are the implications for US companies?

    • Hostage
      Hostage
      March 28, 2014, 9:27 pm

      Good news. What are the implications for US companies?

      Briefly that the proceeds from any Class “A” felony, including pillage, are subject to forfeiture under US war crimes and racketeering statutes that are already on the books today. Those laws have the necessary extraterritorial scope of application too, so the principle employed by the Supreme Court in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum to deny jurisdiction does not apply.

    • March 29, 2014, 12:11 am

      lets all riot against remax

  7. Philip Munger
    Philip Munger
    March 28, 2014, 8:09 pm

    The vote was 46 to 1. Guess who the “1” is. USA, of course.

    • CloakAndDagger
      CloakAndDagger
      March 28, 2014, 8:37 pm

      Glad and surprised to see that Canada didn’t cave!

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        March 28, 2014, 9:46 pm

        Glad and surprised to see that Canada didn’t cave!

        Prior to the Palestinian Article 12(3) declaration accepting ICC jurisdiction and the UN General Assembly vote on the status of Palestine, Canada certainly did duck its obligations. Despite the fact that the Oslo Accords explicitly granted Palestinian Courts territorial jurisdiction, the Canadian courts dismissed a case brought by the Palestinian village of Bil’in against two Canadian companies involved in settlement construction and claimed the victims had to seek a remedy in the courts of Israel, not the courts in Canada and Palestine. So last summer, the Palestinians filed a complaint over the situation with the Canadian government with the UNHRC. http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/06/04/west-bank-village-accuses-canada-of-breaking-human-rights-laws/

      • CloakAndDagger
        CloakAndDagger
        March 29, 2014, 12:18 am

        Thanks Hostage – ever the fount of knowledge, par excellence!

    • annie
      annie
      March 29, 2014, 11:15 am

      philip, there were actually 5 resolutions passed pertaining to i/p yesterday. 46 to one was the vote on 4 of them, but the subject of this report the vote was 33 to 1.

      Although the four resolutions that dealt with Palestinian topics were all adopted by a vote of 46 to 1, the fifth..received more limited support. That resolution passed by a vote of 33 to 1, with 13 abstentions.

      http://www.timesofisrael.com/unhcr-slams-israel-delays-controversial-palestine-appointment/

  8. ckg
    ckg
    March 28, 2014, 8:29 pm

    @Hostage Would this allow executives (and brand ambassador!?!) for SodaStream to be prosecuted by an ICC prosecutor? Or merely the corporation itself?

    • Hostage
      Hostage
      March 28, 2014, 11:50 pm

      @Hostage Would this allow executives (and brand ambassador!?!) for SodaStream to be prosecuted by an ICC prosecutor? Or merely the corporation itself?

      The ICC’s jurisdiction is limited to natural persons. So it would have to go after the responsible executives and Israeli officials, not the corporations or the states concerned. The ICC member states do have statutes granting them the necessary authority to freeze assets and handle the forfeiture of the proceeds from ICC crimes, like the salary given to the brand ambassador. Even in the USA, the racketeering and corrupt organization laws offer a private right of action that should allow Palestinian victims of pillage & etc. to file civil lawsuits against US nationals and corporations.

      The lawyers just need to stop concentrating on the transfer of population angle and zero in on the thievery: i.e. the proceeds, titles, and other instruments derived and traded by the corrupt state and corporate raiders.

      • ritzl
        ritzl
        March 29, 2014, 7:53 am

        Hey Hostage, Thanks to you and Annie for reporting this.

        Given the above, can Israel annex away potential liability for the companies and individuals involved in pillage? IOW, can they annex say Ma’ale Adumin, etc. and say that while it may have been pillage, now Location X is part of Israel so it’s not pillage NOW?

        I’m probably missing the big picture (heh), but the work-around to these findings (they seem pretty focused and serious, diluted or not, setting a presumption of illegality for future ICC actions) may be to accelerate Israel’s takeover of the WB.

        Is there some retroactivity “principle” (I don’t know the right word) involved in these findings? Can acts of pillage be made moot by current conditions?

      • talknic
        talknic
        March 29, 2014, 8:31 am

        @ ritzl Israel cannot legally annex non-Israeli territory unilaterally (UNSC res 252 – more thoroughly in UNSC res 476 http://wp.me/pDB7k-W8 ). Legal annexation is by agreement with the legitimate citizens (sans illegal settlers) of the territory to be annexed. It comes under the notion of self determination

        In adopting the legal custom of having an agreement by which territory is annexed, Israel’s UNSC vetoing friend the US (Texas, Hawaii, Alaska) was instrumental in the custom of self determination passing into customary international law. It’s rather laughable that now the US is blubbering about Russia’s recent annexation move, Russia having followed the US example.

      • ritzl
        ritzl
        March 29, 2014, 9:08 am

        Thanks talknic. I confused legally annex with the Israeli version.

        You have a great site, btw. SO much info there.

      • talknic
        talknic
        March 29, 2014, 9:52 am

        @ ritzl It’s a pleasure. Site’s a bit messy. One day I’ll put it into chronological order.

  9. American
    American
    March 28, 2014, 9:17 pm

    Yes!
    Thanks Falk.
    Thanks annie.
    Thanks Hostage.

    Now I hope something comes of it.
    Boycott Re Max.

  10. American
    American
    March 28, 2014, 9:52 pm

    “”PP25 Recognizing that the direct or indirect assistance of States and private entities””

    Shouldnt this apply to the state of Israel?….and how about the US?
    Any way to argue all the billions we give Isr enabled their settlements?
    The US should be charged—-we should have to pay Palestine the 3 -5 billion a year for the next 10 years instead of giving it to Israel.

  11. March 28, 2014, 10:05 pm

    Great article – I am celebrating – waited 40 years for this to start – Richard Falk is a hero indeed – Samantha Power said recently “The United States welcomes Mr. Falk’s departure, which is long overdue.” Now we know why. Samantha is Irish I regret to say – she is a disgrace to us.

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      March 29, 2014, 5:47 am

      Samantha Power isn’t Irish. She was born in Ireland, but she is an American now.

      • American
        American
        March 29, 2014, 12:15 pm

        Powers is a _____ for Israel and her own career.
        People like that have no countries.

    • seafoid
      seafoid
      March 29, 2014, 8:19 am

      Samantha Power should be ostracized from Ireland. She is a real disappointment.
      We’d never claim Dick Cheney.

  12. Kay24
    Kay24
    March 28, 2014, 10:07 pm

    This is encouraging news. It is time these international bodies started standing up for the long suffering Palestinian people. Collective punishment, land grabs, and human rights abuses, has it’s limits. This could have been initiated so easily by the US, by stopping the aid, unwavering support, and protection at the UN, but no, until the “occupation” 0f Congress by AIPAC ends, and those who control the American media, refuses to hide Israel’s crimes, and stop fooling the American people into thinking the violent bully is the victim, the US will never join the rest of the world.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      March 29, 2014, 7:25 am

      @ Kay24
      Haim Saban said the three main ways to have political influence in America are: donations to political parties; establishment of think tanks; control of media outlets.
      So basically, lots of money, lots of propaganda. Bribery & Lies. A nation gets the leaders it deserves?

      • ritzl
        ritzl
        March 29, 2014, 1:18 pm

        @Citizen- To shine a more positive light on that process, Saban is exactly right. It’s a known and effective model. One that Palestinians>Arabs>Muslims, or however that gets expanded out, can and will adopt. Slowly, but inevitably. The more public Saban-types brag about their influence, the more they create a power imbalance/vacuum, and the more others will hasten/be compelled to embrace similar mechanisms to fill that vacuum, imho.

        A downside is that the time-frame is probably still generational under the best of circumstances.

  13. seafoid
    seafoid
    March 28, 2014, 10:54 pm

    “In a letter sent to members of the UNHRC, ADL expressed concern that the resolution was an attack on Israel that was taken “further than any previous sessions.”

    Lobby fail.

    This could be really big. The last thing regular companies want is to have to tell the shareholders that the dividends are going to be cut because of YESHA .
    Once Zionists lose the fear factor they are just a crowd of thugs. Perhaps it is happening.

  14. Justpassingby
    Justpassingby
    March 29, 2014, 8:58 am

    samantha power, what a disgraceful woman saying such things about Falk!

    http://sullydish.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/173741003.jpg
    Where is the broom?

  15. just
    just
    March 29, 2014, 9:56 am

    “This is Richard Falk’s last stand and a testament to the man he is. It’s his legacy and we thank and honor him. Falk’s 6 year term as United Nations Special Rapporteur expires on May 1st. UNHRC decided to delay a vote on 18 incoming special rapporteurs by one month, so it is not clear who Falk’s successor will be.”

    What a “last stand” he’s taken! Bless him, and shame on us– again. (I wonder if Desmond Tutu has the time to take over the UNSR role… or Rosalynn and/or Jimmy Carter)

    Go BDS! Thanks Annie, Hostage, and MW!

  16. pabelmont
    pabelmont
    March 29, 2014, 10:02 am

    Interesting that UNHRC backed down on the strong warning. But it is also noteworthy that countries can issue stronger warnings if they wish to, think of the pension funds backing out of Israeli banks, and criminal prosecutions — if otherwise justified — can proceed even without the warnings.

    Of course, the criminal prosecutors can later back down just as the UNHRC did (as reported here). There’s a lot of politics in the business of criminal prosecution.

  17. ritzl
    ritzl
    March 29, 2014, 10:47 am

    Annie, is there a link to what actually passed, or did I just miss it? There’s the UN Watch link to the draft resolution, but I couldn’t find the adopted wording.

    Important stuff. Thanks. And Falk will be missed. There’s probably a story in how he slipped through the filter to get the job in the first place.

    Also, one of the comments in the Ha’aretz article you link pointed out that Israel can spend $Bs on settlements yet is incapable of paying their MFA diplo-support team enough to not be on strike at a critical time (from Israel’s PoV). And that strike is used to postpone the vote. Hilarious paradox, and symptomatic of Israel’s inexorable decay.

    • annie
      annie
      March 29, 2014, 11:30 am

      ritzl, thanks for asking. the embed is in the pdf in the first paragraph of the article:

      “Israeli Settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan” (pdf) urging all States to:

      pdf>>>> http://blog.unwatch.org/wp-content/uploads/Israel_settlements1.pdf

      and for some reason when i placed the text in the search on that page it doesn’t come up, but if you scroll down and look for c. , 12, and 13, in that order, you can find it on the last page, page 6.

      and i recommend reading the entire resolution, there’s a lot in there.

      • ritzl
        ritzl
        March 29, 2014, 11:55 am

        Thanks. I did miss it. And yeah there is so much groundwork laid out and connected in the resolution. Groundwork for the/a next move.

        But even as basic groundwork for perhaps a future prohibition, it’s a real-time, unequivocal warning (h/t Ellen) against current biz-as-usual practices.

        VERY important development. It makes me want to go buy a share or two and bring this up in a public shareholder meeting, if only to help (in some small way) satisfy the “knowing” criterion for criminality.

        Peace.

      • annie
        annie
        March 29, 2014, 3:53 pm

        yes, lots and lots of groundwork. i’m really excited about the coming months ritzl. i referenced it here, back in november, as “time crunch”, and my original notes on this draft i titled, “crunch time”.
        http://mondoweiss.net/2013/11/netanyahus-greatest-linkage.html

        I believe we’re seeing a US government effort to link the two conflicts in the public mind– with the possibility that an interim deal with Iran…..coincides with the end of the time frame we agreed on with Palestinians, regarding a “halt of unilateral Palestinian actions at the United Nations during the nine months of negotiating.” That time frame ends in April. Then what happens? Do we see the Palestinians at the UN and the International Criminal Court, without pushback from US, even as Iran is on a back burner for another two or three months?

        If you think Netanyahu is p.o.’d now, imagine that time crunch. And Obama still has 3 more years in office.

        the bummer of course, is that when the israeli gov feels pressured, they kill more palestinians with impunity. it makes me fearful for the months ahead. but i do believe abbas waited as he was asked to do, to go to the UN, but their time is here. it’s long overdue, and it’s time for the international community to start moving on these issues/crimes.

        and about those diplomats? i don’t know if i buy that timing or that excuse. i think if they’d wanted to they could have gotten one diplomat there to represent the country. i think they knew the vote was coming down and used the strike (which i think is likely genuine) as an excuse not to have anyone present.

        and they did ask for a delay of the vote but were able to have read as i recall. i read it in one of the transcripts somewhere.

      • ritzl
        ritzl
        March 29, 2014, 4:26 pm

        Yep. You’re right about “crunch time.” And agree with your “bummer.” There’s nothing but pain and/or death in store for the Palestinian people, at Israel’s hands, for its political purposes, whichever way this goes (provocation to ensure the security rationalization for interminable “process,” or a generational civil rights struggle). But then, as a keyboardist, I am so in awe with Palestinian sumud/resilience. It’s as inspiring as it is hard to comprehend as an “untouched” white, US citizen. Sumud wins, though always with terrible cost.

        Who knows what Abbas will do. I hope he uses his good faith participation in this round of process to springboard into international fora. I hope the US reciprocates on that good faith.

        And yeah, I don’t buy the MFA excuse either. It’s laughable. But it is an example of dissembling at the governmental level. A sign.

      • Kay24
        Kay24
        March 30, 2014, 10:05 am

        Annie Robbins, you are right, it is frightening to think what violent punishment will be meted out to the helpless Palestinian people, they have endured too much pain and suffering, and are sitting ducks, when it comes to experiencing Israel’s rage, viciousness, and vindictiveness.

  18. ckg
    ckg
    March 29, 2014, 2:21 pm

    Now that Falk is retiring, I suggest MW
    approach him as a possible contributor.

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