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As Kerry and UN press on occupation, Netanyahu sees a ‘diplomatic assault’

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Lots of intense last minute diplomatic shuffling will be going on during these next few days over a high stakes Palestinian draft-resolution that Jordan circulated to United Nations Security Council members last month seeking to put a deadline on ending Israel’s occupation of Palestine by November 2016.

Secretary of State John Kerry has scheduled back to back meetings, in Rome tomorrow with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu followed up by a meeting with Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat and a delegation of foreign ministers representing the Arab League on Tuesday. Sandwiched in between – a meeting with European officials in Paris who are trying to come up with an alternate proposal to the resolution.

A staff walks in a corridor during the 26th session of the Human Rights Council at the United Nations in Geneva (Photo: Reuters)

A staff walks in a corridor during the 26th session of the Human Rights Council at the United Nations in Geneva (Photo: Reuters)

Simultaneously, there’s a highly contested summit of The United Nation Human Rights Council of the Fourth Geneva Convention signatory states scheduled to convene in Geneva on Wednesday, December 17, to discuss Israel’s occupation of Palestine as it pertains to international humanitarian law. Provisions of  the Fourth Geneva Convention include the treatment of civilians during wartime, obligations on occupying powers, civilians in territory under military occupation, prisoners, torture, collective punishment, as well as the illegality of an occupying power transferring their own civilians on territory under its military control.

Israel and the US have been pressuring EU states to boycott the summit. They especially requested Switzerland, the Depository of the Fourth Geneva Convention, not to host the summit. However, last Thursday, the day after the Swiss foreign ministry expressed “profound dismay” at the death of Palestinian cabinet member Ziad Abu Ein (“the ministry praised the commitment of Abu Ein, a member of the Geneva Initiative, to working towards a ‘fair and durable peace’ in the Middle East.”), Israel got the “bad news“–  Switzerland announced that the summit would convene as scheduled. A flurry of news reports appeared reporting Israel “blasting Switzerland“.

This will be only the third time the signatories have convened. There are 189 High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention. Israel is a signatory as is the US though both are expected to boycott the conference as well as Australia and Canada.Bringing the Debate to You

After the negotiations broke down last spring, because Israel refused to turn over prisoners as per agreement, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas signed 15 international conventions, one of them the Fourth Geneva Convention. Palestinian authorities formally requested Switzerland convene the signatories shortly thereafter, reportedly “to discuss the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem and its harming of civilians in the Gaza Strip.”  AFP cited the Swiss foreign ministry as saying that a “trans-regional critical mass of state parties expressed their support” for the conference last July, presumably after Israel began slaughtering civilians in Gaza that month, and that “Swiss President Didier Burkhalter told local media he expected ‘very large participation’ in the conference and that consultations had been ongoing for weeks.”

AFP:

“Even if Israel and the United States boycott the meeting, the international community must speak on the issue. There is no denigration of Israel planned” from Switzerland, he [President Burkhalter] said.

In calling the meeting, Switzerland is responding to a recommendation from the U.N. General Assembly at the request of Palestinian authorities.

Is Netanyahu feeling the heat yet? Without mentioning Wednesday’s summit in Geneva at his cabinet meeting on Sunday he referenced the Palestinian draft resolution to the Security Council members as a “diplomatic assault” and that any attempt by the U.N. to force a timetable on Israel to end the occupation, withdraw to the 67 lines, would be rejected forcefully (video):

“This will lead to Islamic extremists to the suburbs of Tel Aviv and to the heart of Jerusalem. We will not allow this. We will strongly and responsibly rebuff this. Let there be no doubt, this will be rejected.”

The Jewish Press called it a “UN ambush“.

The US doesn’t want to be stuck having to veto another resolution on behalf of Israel (as it did in 2011), so these last ditch efforts, which include the participation of several EU states (Britain, France, Germany), are perhaps an attempt to water down the Palestinian draft-resolution or influence the European alternate proposal, possibly suggesting another (fruitless) round of negotiations “concluding peace talks in two years.”

The US is issuing vague and somewhat coy statements. Reuters reports  “a senior U.S. official said it was too early to say” whether it would veto a resolution and “the United States had not been asked to take a position” regarding the European proposal. Kerry, it is said, scheduled these meetings merely to “defuse tensions during the talks.” How likely is that? Does it mean there is a possibility the U.S. is considering abstaining from the vote? Last month,  Al Hayat journalist Mohammed Younis reported that a foreign diplomatic source revealed the Obama Administration was preparing an initiative to restart negotiations and “considering abstaining, for the first time, from using its veto to prevent the passage of the resolution which the Palestinians presented to the Security Council calling for an end to the occupation in a defined time period.”

That would certainly be a game changer.

Either way, the U.S. is likely to boycott the summit in Switzerland on Wednesday. And even though Kerry’s hastily planned meetings over an alternate draft proposal were scheduled directly after Switzerland announced it was moving forward with the summit, no mention of the summit as being a factor in Kerry’s meetings with European officials has been made and nary a word about it at the Sunday cabinet meeting. Interestingly, it was just announced Sunday that Jordan, a temporary member of the UN Security Council, will be submitting the draft resolution to the Security Council also on Wednesday.

Haaretz:

Israel signed the convention when it was adopted, and the government ratified it, making it a party to the convention. However, the convention was never affirmed in law by the Knesset. Israel claims that the convention does not apply to the West Bank or East Jerusalem because they are not occupied territories but disputed territories. Therefore, Israel does not believe that the settlements violate the convention.

Crunch time. Palestinians are ready to move forward. They don’t want to push this down the road for a few more years, they want a definitive resolution passed by the end of the year. Will the U.S. be a part of that, or a hindrance?

Annie Robbins

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

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65 Responses

  1. NickJOCW on December 14, 2014, 10:03 pm

    Thanks for the cogent update. Curious how US diplomatic concerns have insensibly switched from safeguarding Israel to safeguarding its own reputation.

    • annie on December 14, 2014, 10:36 pm

      goo question nick.

      • Blownaway on December 15, 2014, 12:49 pm

        To answer your quewtion about whether the US will be ahindrance or not from Haaretz
        “At a White House meeting last week, Obama’s top foreign policy aides were unable to agree on an approach to France’s potential resolution, according to a report by the Associated Press.

        U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry suggested steering away from the effort at a time of increased Mideast violence and with the Israeli election a couple of months away, according to a U.S. official familiar with the discussion who spoke to AP.

  2. RoHa on December 14, 2014, 10:54 pm

    ‘A flurry of news reports appeared reporting Israel “blasting Switzerland“.’

    That subtle Israeli diplomacy again.

  3. oldgeezer on December 14, 2014, 11:50 pm

    Israel claims that the convention does not apply to the West Bank or East Jerusalem because they are not occupied territories but disputed territories. ”

    That argument doesn’t hold any water. It might sound good to the faithful as an excuse but there’s no basis in reality and it’s creation is fairly recent.

    Even the judgements and records of the Israeli High Court of Justice refer to the territories as occupied.

    But then zionists have always created their own reality when not inverting the meaning of various languages.

    • pabelmont on December 15, 2014, 9:54 am

      Israeli governments have often not followed the rulings of its own high court. To paraphrase (I think it was Stalin referring to the Pope, who disapproved of something he was doing), “How many [military] divisions has the High Court?”

  4. oldgeezer on December 15, 2014, 12:30 am

    As an addition to the last post the Geneva Conventions set a bare minimum that all civilians are entitled to regardless of circumstances. The concept that the conventions do not apply is false on the face of the statement. To repeat, all civilians are entitled to a bare minimum of rights.

    Israel fails to deliver that bare minimum.

    Hopefully Netanyahu is right and it is an assault. An assault on a state which is in defiance of the Geneva Conventions and which abuses human rights on a very grand scale each and every day.

  5. Marnie on December 15, 2014, 1:15 am

    Netanyahu went completely off the rails last April when Abbas announced the unity government with Hamas and stormy spring turned into a bestial summer. He has a knack for turning everything into an attack or assault or such language and follows up with brutality on the ground. Push on, push on, regardless, shame on Australia and Canada but the lion’s share of shame falls directly on the zionist state’s partner in all things anti-human rights, the US.

    • annie on December 15, 2014, 2:16 am

      he did go completely of the rails last spring marnie, who could forget.

    • straightline on December 15, 2014, 3:18 am

      Yes, Marnie, shame on Australia – as an Australian I agree. But be aware that there is no debate of this issue in Australia. The media do not report it or if they do they slant the discussion to suggest that Israel is being victimized. This is not a decision by ordinary Australians but by our rulers. Unfortunately, the leadership of both major political parties, as in the US, are now more than ever totally committed to the Zionist cause. I cannot see Australia voting any time soon for even a symbolic recognition of Palestine.

      • MHughes976 on December 15, 2014, 7:59 am

        Bang on cue, talking of Australia, comes the seemingly Islamist cafe siege in Sydney, now prolonged for several terrifying hours. The dark anti-Islam tide is immediately starting to flow. Its waves will, I think, surmount by many metres, as they always do, the feeble ripples of indignation against Them that we manage to raise when torture by Us or mass killings by Israel, a department of Us, washes briefly through the news.

      • eljay on December 15, 2014, 8:05 am

        >> MHughes976: Bang on cue, talking of Australia, comes the seemingly Islamist cafe siege in Sydney …

        I wonder if the government of Australia – like the government of Canada – will conclude that the best way to deal with domestic terrorism is to collateral-damage the f*ck out of Middle Eastern countries, knowing that that will make them hate us for our freedoms.

      • Marnie on December 15, 2014, 12:04 pm

        Australia in the ship of fools with Canada and the US. What are the leaders of these countries afraid of (besides nuclear-armed zionist state)?

      • Walid on December 15, 2014, 12:24 pm

        MHughes, the hostage-taker is not an Islamist in the terrorist sense of the word. He’s an Iranian-born lone gunman with deep religious convictions with a police record currently out on bail. After police took control of the situation, the gunman admitted to have placed 3 bombs in various locations of Sydney and police is now looking for them.

      • Walid on December 15, 2014, 12:44 pm

        “… I wonder if….”

        Eljay, their desire to please the US by their dealing with Israel is stronger than their fear of terrorism at home. Same goes for Palau and Micronesia

      • MHughes976 on December 15, 2014, 1:02 pm

        The BBC story seems to be that the gunman ‘demanded an Islamic State flag’ – so he wanted to associate himself with the current Islamist bogey – and that he fired the first shot. perhaps at an escaping hostage, causing the response that ended the siege with one hostage dead. What Ronald Reagan might have called a loony-tunes character but such people are part of the story now. In response the dark tide is flowing.

      • Walid on December 15, 2014, 1:32 pm

        From Yahoo News:

        “… A number of Australian Muslim groups condemned the hostage-taking in a joint statement and said the flag’s inscription was a “testimony of faith that has been misappropriated by misguided individuals.”

        In a show of solidarity, many Australians offered on Twitter to accompany people dressed in Muslim clothes who were afraid of a backlash from the cafe siege. The hashtag #IllRideWithYou was used more than 90,000 times by late Monday evening.”

        http://news.yahoo.com/major-police-operation-unfolding-sydney-235744145.html

      • oldgeezer on December 15, 2014, 2:03 pm

        @eljay

        Yes we fight them over there so they can fight us over here or some such thing.

    • Nite_Owl on December 15, 2014, 5:55 pm

      As a Canadian I feel shamed by our government and have felt that way for about 9 years now. It looks like our next election in Oct 2015 will see the end of the Harper right wing government and the election of Justin Trudeau’s left wing Liberals. I’ve directly questioned Trudeau on his view of the Palestine matter and all I got was a meandering mess for an answer. I suspect we will see a return to a “more balanced” view of the problem but I want more than that from Trudeau. I want him to stand up for what’s right and to quit worrying about offending the crap flinging monkeys of the holocaust industry in Canada. I want him to push for the 67 borders and will press him and anyone running for the Liberal party for an honest and public declaration of where they stand on this.

  6. Kay24 on December 15, 2014, 1:32 am

    Thanks for the update Annie, it was very informative to me. It is almost predictable the role the US will play in this ongoing disaster. Shame on our leaders for continuing this unbelievable support, and protection, of a nation already condemned by the rest of the world.

    It is time the EU and the rest of the world disregarded the US role and went ahead and did the right thing for the Palestinians. How much more are they expected to endure? This continuous postponement, and excuses, by Israel and the US must stop NOW. The US is no longer a credible peace maker, and its unconditional support, endless aid, and deadly weapons, that keep enabling Israel, dismisses it entirely as being an honest broker. The US is not honest when it comes to the nation that controls it’s every movement, when it comes to US foreign policies.
    This was obvious years and years ago.

    The time is now for the world to stop tut tutting at Israel’s war crimes, land theft, massacres, and the brutal occupation, and do something constructive to ease the suffering.

    As for Netanyahu, it is ironic that once again, he makes the aggressors look like the victim in this ridiculous situation, when he uses lame words like “diplomatic assault”. Oy vey, it is the victim card again.
    The true victims of assault are the Palestinians, and the world knows it well.

  7. NickJOCW on December 15, 2014, 3:17 am

    The US, Israel’s closest ally, has consistently used its UN veto power to block moves it sees as anti-Israel, but US officials said they drew a distinction between a unilateral step, and an effort to draw up a multilateral resolution at the UN Security Council, which would have the backing of many nations.

    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2014/12/palestine-push-un-end-israel-occupation-20141214214717957594.html

    • annie on December 15, 2014, 7:08 am

      US officials said they drew a distinction between a unilateral step, and an effort to draw up a multilateral resolution at the UN Security Council, which would have the backing of many nations.

      pllleeease!

      • just on December 15, 2014, 7:57 am

        There’s nothing “unilateral” about it!

        It’s the will of the world and of humans everywhere. Time for us to face the music, and do the right thing.

  8. JLewisDickerson on December 15, 2014, 4:06 am

    RE: “Is Netanyahu feeling the heat yet? Without mentioning Wednesday’s summit in Geneva at his cabinet meeting on Sunday he referenced the Palestinian draft resolution to the Security Council members as a ‘diplomatic assault'” ~ Annie Robbins

    ISRAELI HASBARA:
    Switzerland = diplomacy
    diplomacy = terrorism
    terrorism = ISIS
    Ergo: Switzerland = ISIS

    • seafoid on December 15, 2014, 5:38 am

      Israel can’t fight the world. They pissed off Brazil after the world cup, now they’re after Switzerland. Stop the world, Israel wants to get off.
      And on the Monday after?

      • amigo on December 15, 2014, 6:19 am

        I doubt that Israel has even one close friend.

        What a sad nation that is touted as a modern democratic start up hi tech centre that saves the world.

        It would be a good idea if they could invent a medicine that would save them from themselves but I am afraid that horse has long since left the stable.

      • just on December 15, 2014, 7:04 am

        Gideon Levy has spent his life trying to do just that (he needs to have bodyguards)… others have just left that Dizznyland.

        And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free…

      • MHughes976 on December 15, 2014, 7:51 am

        The truth is slow to be recognised and the liberty that the Bible assures us comes from truth often comes slowly. The Book of Proverbs has Wisdom crying in the streets, which may be a realistic image. I can’t imagine that Obama is about to break the habits of a lifetime or at least of a presidency and vote for the occupation to end at a definite time, though perhaps he will try to get a more bland resolution accepted by his compliant allies. If they aren’t compliant enough he could say that he’s tried to be reasonable but he quite understands Israel’s refusal to let terrorists into holy places and will use his veto. His highly compliant Anglophone allies will applaud.

      • Mooser on December 15, 2014, 12:01 pm

        “It would be a good idea if they could invent a medicine that would save them from themselves”

        As I have previously noted, an extract of properly-shaped ash tree (Fraxinus excelsior ) branches has shown some effect in reducing the severity of Ziocaine Syndrome episodes, but the side effects are many, including bruising, and concussion.

    • Teapot on December 15, 2014, 8:06 am

      Ergo: Switzerland = ISIS

      That’s true. Here in Switzerland we spend all our time plotting against Israel while eating evil cheese fondue.

      ISIS = Islamic State in Switzerland

      • amigo on December 15, 2014, 1:03 pm

        “As I have previously noted, an extract of properly-shaped ash tree (Fraxinus excelsior ) branches has shown some effect in reducing the severity of Ziocaine Syndrome episodes, but the side effects are many, including bruising, and concussion.”Mooser.

        Zionist are masochists (eternal willing victims) so whipping them would only invite howls of euphoric pleasure.

        You could ask Yahweh . Second thoughts , he might smite ye. Back to the drawing board again , I am afraid.

      • Bumblebye on December 15, 2014, 1:16 pm

        It was you! You Swiss ISIS mices that dug terror tunnels thru’ the cheese!

      • seafoid on December 15, 2014, 2:07 pm

        Israel is like a moitié-moitié fondue (half and half)

        moitié deluded
        moitié doomed

  9. DoubleStandard on December 15, 2014, 4:46 am

    This might not be the worst thing for Israel in the long run. If it ends the occupation and leaves a normal Palestinian government in place, the international pressure and opprobrium would largely subside.

    • amigo on December 15, 2014, 8:59 am

      ” If it ends the occupation and leaves a normal Palestinian government in place, the international pressure and opprobrium would largely subside.” DS

      Some questions??.

      1, What is a normal Palestinian Government.Would it rule over a Sovereign Palestinian State and if yes , what would be the borders .

      2, Would it have an Army to guarantee against historical Israeli aggression , particularly criminal settler violence.

      3, Would it control it,s own Air/Sea space and Borders would I be able to apply to this Normal Palestinian Government to visit Palestine, without having to also get Israeli approval.

      Would the Tanks / Skunk trucks go home and would the Palestinians be free to travel in and out of this normal Palestine without let or hindrance from the “Normal Israeli State.

      Lots more questions but you can be getting along with those for the moment.

      • amigo on December 16, 2014, 12:23 pm

        Double standards—are the questions a bit on the sticky side.

        Maybe you need more than 24 hours to come up with answers.Get in touch with hasbara central.They might provide you with ammo to beat off such antisemitic questions.

    • seafoid on December 15, 2014, 2:08 pm

      If it left the occupation it would have to tell Yossi why the last 50 years were a mistake

    • talknic on December 16, 2014, 12:03 am

      @ DoubleStandard “This might not be the worst thing for Israel in the long run. If it ends the occupation and leaves a normal Palestinian government in place, the international pressure and opprobrium would largely subside.”

      WOW!! Not very often one sees a Zionist begin to wake up. Don’t disappoint us now ….

  10. ToivoS on December 15, 2014, 5:25 am

    This has to be considered great news. Has Europe finally escaped the threats from the Lobby? Certainly one year ago who would have predicted that Europe would move so strongly against Israel. I certainly didn’t. Maybe, just maybe, Israel went one step too far in the latest Gaza massacre.

    There might be something else happening here. It is possible that the US is quietly signaling to Europe that they are free to go ahead and punish Israel, not directly but indirectly by not vigorously lobbying the various governments. It is also possible that the US has used up much of its diplomatic capital when they pressured the EU to sanction Russia over Ukraine. It is clear that Merkel has experienced some serious political backlash at home over her anti-Russian policies so the US may be relenting over pushing too far.

    • Kay24 on December 15, 2014, 6:11 am

      The latest votes in various EU parliaments strongly sent a message that many in those nations support an independent Palestine. Israel did the Palestinians a big favor (in the most brutal manner) recently, by showing the world how ruthless it is, when they massacred civilians especially little children in Gaza. It made the world realize just how much suffering these poor Palestinians must endure, and perhaps this is the perfect time for Palestinians to ask the UN for full recognition.
      The last time the UN voted for recognition, the US and Israel were totally ignored. Some nations did abstain, but the Palestinians did succeed. This time hopefully more nations will support them.

      I have no hope that the US will do the decent thing this time.

    • NickJOCW on December 15, 2014, 7:44 am

      Obama has certainly been sending signals to Europe. For some time the DOS response to questions about Israel’s actions has been that the issue is not up to the US alone, that there are many other countries involved. What is that if not a nod and a wink? Of course, Obama can’t do anything directly against Israel but he can certainly stand by while others do. It has long been inhibiting pressure on US allies that allowed Israel to act as it has been doing. Once the pressure is released the Europeans become free to respond in their own way and recent Parliamentary votes show clearly what that is. Many call these debates ‘symbolic’ but they are not symbolic, they are an integral part of European parliamentary systems and date from Roman times when the senate might debate an issue that would be recorded but would not take effect. The process was called auctoritas, the purpose being to declare the will of the senate that something be done.

  11. Kay24 on December 15, 2014, 5:59 am

    Israel controls the US, and we know it:

    “Netanyahu to tell Kerry: Israel expects U.S. to veto Palestinians’ UN bid
    Senior Israeli official says U.S. should maintain its policy on unilateral measures, ahead of leaders’ Rome meet; Kerry staff nixes scheduled photo op; Palestinians say will submit UN draft resolution this week.

    ROME – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Rome on Monday, where he is expected to request that the U.S. continue its years-long policy of vetoing resolutions related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at the UN Security Council.”
    Haaretz

    Translation: Boobi will meet Kerry where he will demand US toes the zio line as usual and obey it.
    US will once again comply. US and Israel rogue nations, isolated, against the rest of the world.
    Sheeesh.

  12. Bornajoo on December 15, 2014, 6:21 am

    Thank you Annie
    Left to the Israelis, the fate of the Palestinians is bleak, regardless of whether a more centre/left government is elected
    In reality their fate lies in the hands of the USA. To answer your question I do not believe they will abstain and I believe they will use their veto. Right now I’m not sure if I’m being pessimistic or realistic but probably the latter
    But I’ve never wanted to be proved wrong more than now

  13. just on December 15, 2014, 6:49 am

    This is an amazing article, Annie. Thank you so much!

    I hope, hope, hope that the US finally steps up to the plate and votes for peace and justice. President Obama has nothing to lose and much to gain~ as does the USA. The entire idea of calling this a “diplomatic assault” only demonstrates Israel’s craven character. They’ve never adhered to international nor humanitarian law. They’ve shunned every UN resolution on the books. The UN/world should hold them in contempt.

    “The Palestinian moves aren’t being conducted in accordance with the Israeli or American timetable, but in accordance with the interests of the Palestinian people,” one official said.

    The official said he thought the PA leadership would be careful not to do anything to “break the rules” at a time when the Palestinian issue is gathering steam overseas, especially in major European countries. But at the same time, he said, the Palestinians want to make it clear that they’re no longer willing to accept proposals that drag negotiations out indefinitely and don’t include a clear international commitment to end the occupation.”

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.631791

    I can’t see why any Palestinian needs to wait 2 years for an end to the terrorist Occupation, but at least the US doesn’t have to be complicit in it.

    “Rome (AFP) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Monday angrily rejected a Palestinian bid to set a UN deadline for an end to Israel’s occupation as he headed to Rome for high-stakes talks with US top diplomat John Kerry.

    “We will not accept attempts to dictate to us unilateral moves on a limited timetable,” the Israeli leader said in a statement before flying to Italy.”

    http://news.yahoo.com/israel-pm-rejects-palestinian-ultimatum-un-095640432.html

    KMA. Go World! Go Didier Burkhalter! Say it loud, and say it proud!

    • eljay on December 15, 2014, 9:23 am

      >> King Bibi: “We will not accept attempts to dictate to us unilateral moves on a limited timetable,” the Israeli leader said in a statement before flying to Italy.

      The rapist really hates it when his victim tells him that he must free her immediately.

  14. CigarGod on December 15, 2014, 9:06 am

    I kind of like what im seeing in a lot of these exchanges. A little criticism energy of israel seems to get us double the energy back in the form of crazy, paranoid hysterical rants of anti-semitism.
    Most people, even ignorant, low information mobs…dont want to be seen as friends of people going off their nut.

  15. Theo on December 15, 2014, 9:20 am

    This is the 99th, or 199th, act of the same show. The US government is flip-flopping between leaning on Israel and then getting scared of its own courage, if you can call it that.
    As long as the palestinians don´t get rid of their present quisling leaders Erekat and Abbas, who were bought a long time ago, nothing really changes in occupied Palestina.
    In less than two years we have elections again, the hopeful politicians are looking for financial support, they have offers, however before the elections they must visit Israel to pledge their support and to receive instructions! Does anyone seriously believe these people will have other policies toward Israel?

  16. ckg on December 15, 2014, 10:17 am

    There is an odd article written by Steven Erlanger in the NYT today: Palestinians Seek U.N. Vote on Israeli Withdrawal From Occupied West Bank. Nowhere in the article does Erlanger mention that East Jerusalem and Gaza are included or that they are also legally occupied.

  17. John Douglas on December 15, 2014, 10:51 am

    I don’t think the EU or the US is suddenly getting morality here. I think it’s more that the ME has become such a frightening mess that people are finally to the point of admitting that the West’s support of Israeli and all its behaviors is dangerous. Beheadings are a poor army’s Shock and Awe.

  18. Kathleen on December 15, 2014, 11:10 am

    Great piece Annie. Thanks. Good for Switzerland not caving to pressure. Remember that conference on the Non Proliferation Treaty that the US and Israel successfully halted from happening a few years ago. Israel was going to be called out…

    Interesting to hear things opening up more in the MSM. Richard Engel mentioned anger felt towards Israel linked to terrorist acts on Meet The Press yesterday. Snowden interview on Cspan mentioning Israel’s unusual access to US data mining intelligence etc.

    John Yoo mentioned how Israeli “techniques” (torture) were looked at as Yoo, Addington changed torture laws while in the Bush administrations Office of Legal Counsel. Yoo’s interview at Cspan

  19. amigo on December 15, 2014, 11:40 am

    There is an interesting letter to the ed in todays Irish Times.Slightly of topic but worth a read.Here are the first 2 Paras and as it is not a short letter I did not post it all.

    “Sir, – Many Irish observers may not be aware that, in his infamous “torture memo” of August 1st, 2002, Jay Bybee, assistant attorney general in the administration of US president George W Bush, cited the case of Ireland vs the UK before the European Commission and subsequently the European Court of Human Rights in the 1970s as the principal example under international law to justify his contention that the use of sensory deprivation techniques (which dominate the US Senate report on US interrogation abuses since 9/11) did not amount to “torture”.
    The governments of Jack Lynch and Liam Cosgrave in the early 1970s took the most important intergovernmental case on human rights in modern times against the UK government, citing hundreds of instances of inhuman treatment and torture against detainees in Northern Ireland and specifically alleging torture in the use of five “sensory deprivation” techniques (prolonged wall standing, hooding, subjection to noise, sleep deprivation and deprivation of food and drink) against a number of men. ” IT

    Read the shocking end at,

    http://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/letters/hooded-men-torture-and-human-rights-1.2036126

  20. just on December 15, 2014, 11:46 am

    “The Obama administration is split over which policy the United States should pursue regarding the Palestinian move toward statehood recognition in the UN Security Council and the French initiative to assemble an alternative proposal.

    At a White House meeting last week, Obama’s top foreign policy aides were unable to agree on an approach to France’s potential resolution, according to a report by the Associated Press.

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry suggested steering away from the effort at a time of increased Mideast violence and with the Israeli election a couple of months away, according to a U.S. official familiar with the discussion who spoke to AP.

    Susan Rice, Obama’s national security adviser, supported engaging allies to see if a compromise is possible.

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Kerry in Rome on Monday, where he was expected to request that the U.S. continue its years-long policy of vetoing resolutions related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at the UN Security Council.”

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.631973?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

    Susan, John and Barack: remember, “we don’t negotiate with terrorists”…

  21. seafoid on December 15, 2014, 12:59 pm

    Gideon Rachman in the FT

    High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our Ts&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. Email [email protected] to buy additional rights. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/dd6c05ce-822e-11e4-ace7-00144feabdc0.html

    “In this heightened atmosphere, Israel finds itself increasingly out of sympathy with the western democracies. Allegations of anti-semitism in Europe and ill-disguised loathing of President Barack Obama are standard stuff on the Israeli right. Instead, the country is increasingly looking to build alliances in the autocratic world. I have heard senior Israeli politicians, on both the left and the right, insist that the west has been far too harsh on President Vladimir Putin’s Russia. Mr Netanyahu’s government has sought a special relationship with China, which has invested $7bn in Israel, mainly in high-tech. And Israel’s fear of Iran has led the country increasingly to look to form a security relationship with Sunni autocracies. Caroline Glick, a rightwing Israeli columnist, recently excoriated what she called the “increasingly aggressive assaults from the White House” on Israel. She called instead for Israel to strengthen “its burgeoning alliance with Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia”.

    Yet such views are delusional. Israel’s alleged friends in Saudi Arabia do not allow Israelis to set foot on their soil. If Israel’s survival were ever genuinely threatened, America would undoubtedly come to its aid. The Arab autocracies would not lift a finger. The fact is that if Israel allows its ties to western democracies to wither away, it will lose both its soul and its security.

  22. ckg on December 15, 2014, 3:35 pm

    In other diplomatic news today:

    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Addressing members of the International Criminal Court for the first time, the Palestinians said Monday they have consensus to join the tribunal in the hopes of seeking justice for Israel’s alleged crimes.

    “We view the ICC as the international legal and peaceful mechanism to combat impunity and seek accountability and justice,” Palestinian U.N. Ambassador Riyad Mansour said in his speech to the 122 members of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute, which established the ICC.

    “It is the court where the Palestinian people desire to seek justice for the war crimes and crimes against humanity being perpetrated against them by Israel, the occupying power,” Mansour said.

    Netanyahu had better find a good lawyer.

  23. Daniel Rich on December 15, 2014, 7:35 pm

    Germany to the rescue!!!

    Germany says will help finance four new Israeli warships.

    Obviously it must be good to be a colony.

  24. talknic on December 15, 2014, 11:02 pm

    “Israel claims that the convention does not apply to the West Bank or East Jerusalem because they are not occupied territories but disputed territories”

    ‘disputed’ territory = weasel words

    1) No UN document, Armistice Agreement, UNSC resolution or Peace treaty uses the words ‘disputed’ territory. They do use http://wp.me/pDB7k-W8 “Israel, the Occupying Power”

    2) The Geneva Conventions. The West Bank had been legally annexed to Jordan. There is no UNSC resolution condemning that bilateral annexation, unlike the unilateral annexation of East Jerusalem by Israel (ibid). BTW recognition or lack of recognition by other parties does not make annexation legal or illegal. Legal annexation is through an agreement between the representatives of the legitimate citizens of the territory to be annexed and the annexing country. See the US annexation of Hawaii, Texas, Alaska where the US adopted the legal custom of annexation by agreement, thereby the US was instrumental in that legal custom passing into Customary International Law.

    As such, the West Bank was under the sovereignty of Jordan, a High Contracting Power 1951 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_parties_to_the_Geneva_Conventions#Jordan and a UN Member State since 1955 http://www.un.org/en/members/index.shtml#j . Therefore the GCs do apply, as reflected in UNSC res 476 (ibid)

    The facts are easily found.

    Israeli leaders are liars, cheats & charlatans whose every word is deserving of close examination. They’ll say anything to keep the ball in the air as long as possible while the illegal facts on the ground grow and become harder and harder to undo.

    • ritzl on December 15, 2014, 11:46 pm

      Thanks, talknic. “Every word is deserving of close examination,” and you do such a great job of it.

      As your website says… First find out what isn’t true…

      http://talknic.wordpress.com/

    • Mooser on December 16, 2014, 12:51 pm

      “‘disputed’ territory = weasel words”

      Fritz, my daschund says ‘hello’ to you, “talknic”! You have no idea how he looks up to you.
      He thinks the world of your comments.

      • talknic on December 17, 2014, 8:21 am

        Say …. you can’t fool me. Dachshunds look up to everyone. Even tall Dachshunds look up to everyone except shorter Dachshunds

        Never the less, “Hi Fritz! Hope things are looking up. Rest assured Fritzy, despite what you may have heard I’d never look down on a Dachshund, not even a short one ….. except to say “Hi” of course and so I don’t trip over. I guess you can be grateful for that Fritzy. We both know there’s nothing worse than being unexpectedly tripped over. Not that anyone has actually tripped over me. I just know there’s nothing worse, especially from a Dachshunds POV”

        “Hey Fritz, did you hear about the dsylecix Dachshund who walked into a bra?”

        Oh dear, do you think maybe “Hi” was the wrong choice of words?

  25. just on December 16, 2014, 9:44 am

    “Netanyahu: European support for Palestinians ‘endangers Israel’

    ‘The attempts of the Palestinians and of several European countries to force conditions on Israel will only lead to a deterioration in the regional situation,’ prime minister says.

    The comments followed almost three hours of talks in Rome between Netanyahu and US Secretary of State John Kerry, who jetted across western Europe on Monday for a hectic round of diplomatic meetings on the topic.

    A State Department official said Kerry and Netanyahu “had a long and thorough discussion about Israel’s security and developments at the United Nations.”

    Netanyahu sought assurances from Kerry that Washington would block efforts by Palestinians and Europeans on Palestinian statehood.

    “Our expectation is that the United States will stand by its position for the past 47 years that a solution to the conflict will be achieved through negotiations, and I do not see a reason for this policy to change,” Netanyahu told reporters.

    Before the meeting, Israel put the United States on notice that it expected Washington to exercise its U.N. Security Council veto against any resolutions setting a time frame.”

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4604017,00.html

    How is it possible to tolerate this anymore?

    • Kay24 on December 16, 2014, 9:58 am

      The words “we control America and they know it” explains it all. They know they only have to bellow and tell the US exactly what it is supposed to do, and the US will comply. I don’t know what this relationship we have with Israel is all about, but it has been a sick one. Israel has been nothing but a parasite, demanding, entitled, and calling the tune. The US is like a slave to Israel, and does it’s bidding even against it’s own interest. AIPAC and other Israeli lobbies should be kicked out of our system, and we should end their occupation in the US. Only then will we get our dignity and independence back. Until then, we should consider ourselves occupied.

    • annie on December 16, 2014, 9:58 am

      thank you just. tail orders dog around. what i don’t get is what was said privately. all of this could have been stated over the phone, in an email or via intermediaries. so why the face to face?

  26. mcohen. on December 19, 2014, 3:55 am

    i think the decisions have already been made but the settlements are going to be a problem.
    that is where the real problem lies and it could end badly…….all this recoginition stuff is merely window dressing…….a psychological move to convince settlers to evacuate

    a palestinian state that attempts to expel jewish settlers from the west bank will lead to more bloodshed… israel as a state has accepted arab israeli,s.palestine as a state must accept palestinian jews

    the acceptance of israeli arabs and palestinian jews as equal citizens is the true path to reconcilation

    the return of jews to arab countries if they so choose must begin in the future palestinian state.

    one of the major reasons south africa had a relatively successful transition is the acceptance of the black majority to the white minority.it is not perfect but in the long run it is the only solution.

    • annie on December 19, 2014, 2:45 pm

      israel as a state has accepted arab israeli,s.palestine as a state must accept palestinian jews

      the acceptance of israeli arabs and palestinian jews as equal citizens is the true path to reconcilation

      do you think israel would accept population centers of palestinians inhabiting all the prime locations and hilltops over looking jewish population centers throughout israel? how does that amount to “equal”.

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