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Palestinian Foreign Affairs Ministry to World: Stop issuing useless condemnations

on 33 Comments

A strongly worded statement, available in Arabic only, issued by the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs “relieves world from issuing useless condemnations against Israeli settlement” activities.

The statement comes on the heels of Israeli government announcements of 1500+ illegal settlement tenders since Monday, only days after a spike in illegal demolitions of Palestinian homes. These tenders are for “320 new housing units in a Jewish neighborhood in East Jerusalem, [the claimed Palestinian capital]…770 housing units in the Gilo neighborhood…more than 500 new units in Ma’ale Adumim and 42 in Kiryat Arba,” Haaretz reported.

The United States, EU, UK, Germany, France, and the UN have all condemned the announcement. State Department Spokesperson John Kirby said “we are deeply concerned,” and “we strongly oppose settlement activity, which is corrosive to the cause of peace.”

Perhaps it is the stale predictably of such reactions that led the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to blast them as “repetitive,” bearing no significant “weight or pressure” that would help stop the illegal expansion of settlements:

“If these countries believe they absolve themselves from responsibility regarding Israel’s persistent violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the occupied Palestinian territory, especially the settlements policy, through issuing condemnations or expressing concerns, then we assure them that such automated and repetitive responses are no longer needed,” the Ministry statement reads. 

The statement marks an increased sense of frustration for Palestinian leadership, which has always maintained a low-key diplomatic tone, not least because of some UN Security Council members’ obstruction to adopt a resolution that would set a timeline for negotiations. Another recent source of grievance concerning the US favored multilateral process is the failure of international Quartet report, issued early July, to provide substantial policy prescriptions beyond merely documenting the situation on the ground. A senior PLO official close to President Abbas said that “for us the Quartet report is a non-paper,” Al-Monitor reported.

“These countries know very well that Israel is familiar with the details of their positions on the issue of settlements, and that their positions will not exceed condemnation,” continues the statement, creating a state of “conformity” that allows Israel to live with such reactions without being challenged.

The statement then turns to the bilateral relations many countries of the condemning type have with Israel, stressing that “as long as these countries’ bilateral relations with Israel are treated separately from the occupation all Palestinian land will be annexed in the not too-distant future, relieving these countries from the trouble of circulating their useless condemnations.”

Dorgham Abusalim

Dorgham Abusalim recently graduated with a Master in International Affairs from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva, Switzerland. You can follow him on Twitter @dabusalim.

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33 Responses

  1. annie on July 29, 2016, 2:29 pm

    my sentiments exactly:

    • Boomer on July 30, 2016, 6:34 am

      WaPo reveals the true situation with typography on the front page of its website. The subheading, in small type, says “State Depart. criticizes Israeli settlement expansion, demolitions.” Above that, in a larger font, we are told:


      The article is candid about the politics:

      • Kay24 on July 30, 2016, 7:19 am

        It is sad that many Americans do not know the situation in their own nation to object to these military deals that basically are to kill unarmed civilians.

        Poverty Statistics in the United States[i]

        In 2014:

        46.7 million people (14.8 percent) were in poverty.
        15.5 million (21.1 percent) children under the age of 18 were in poverty.
        4.6 million (10 percent) seniors 65 and older were in poverty.
        The overall national poverty rate according to the Supplemental Poverty Measure is 15.3 percent, as compared with the official poverty rate of 14.8 percent.[ii]
        Under the Supplemental Poverty Measure, there are 48.4 million people living in poverty, nearly 2 million more than are represented by the official poverty measure (46.7 million).[iii]

        Something is horribly wrong with our policies, and we seem to be spending more on weapons, wars, and supporting a nation that kills and steals, rather than making sure our own people are taken care of.

      • Boomer on July 30, 2016, 10:04 am

        re Kay24 “Something is horribly wrong with our policies, and we seem to be spending more on weapons, wars, and supporting a nation that kills and steals, rather than making sure our own people are taken care of.”

        So true.

      • bintbiba on July 30, 2016, 11:27 am

        annie, Boomer, and Kay24 , very well said ,

        Thank you !

      • Boomer on July 30, 2016, 3:17 pm

        PS: as if justice and humanitarian concerns were not reason enough to change our policies of supporting, defending, and enabling the oppression of Palestinians, there is also the pragmatic reality that our policy is contrary to our own national interest. By our long-standing defense of the indefensible we have squandered much good will among other nations. We have engendered more hostility toward us. The attacks of 9/11 were prompted by our actions (not by “our love of liberty”), including our support for the dispossession and oppression of Palestinians.

        If Obama carried about such matters, he would not approve any aid package until Israel took tangible actions to withdraw from settlements, to open Gaza, etc. Of course, Israel would not. And such action would be reversed by Mrs. Clinton. But at least would make a point, he would go down in history as having done something to address the issue. Such an action on his part probably wouldn’t even threaten Clinton’s election, since she would likely use it as an opportunity to pander even more, assuring even more support from Zionists here and abroad.

  2. inbound39 on July 29, 2016, 3:08 pm

    I agree with the Palestinians. Expressing deep concern or finding Israeli actions deplorable or not conducive to the Peace Process is simply a waste of good air that we could better use to breath. It does absolutely nothing physicallt to utter those words. Israel does not bat an eyelid. At some point if America or Britain stands by their government policy on settlements then in order for them to be taken seriously or viewed with respect they need to add some physical substance to their words…some viable action that rams the message home to the hilt at Israel….like ceasing any aid or supply of weaponry and ending all trade with Israel until it complies and ends the Occupation and removes its known illegal settlers from Palestinian Land…ALL OF IT.

    • Cazador on August 1, 2016, 4:49 am

      Those two governments could back BDS…

      Thatcher and the US president didn’t want to sanction the South African Apartheid as suggested by then Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. Mulroney persisted and managed to convince both of them, and we know the results.

  3. pabelmont on July 29, 2016, 6:49 pm

    Well, OK, but why not tell the nations what Palestine would like them to do instead? Might also mention that Israel is not concerned and has never been concerned with “mere words” including the words of many, many UNSC resolutions.

    If words are not enough, then what actions would be better? Palestine, even if it is useless: Tell them! And remind them that they are not powerless in this matter, especially if they act together.

  4. David Doppler on July 29, 2016, 6:57 pm

    You should always be careful what you wish for. More condemnation is needed, not less. Sarcasm is one of the least effective forms of rhetoric.

    • RoHa on July 29, 2016, 11:25 pm

      And yet my teachers seemed to think it was effective. They certainly used it a great deal, and succeeded in teaching many of us quite a lot of Mathematics,
      English Grammar and Literature, Chemistry, Physics, Geography, Latin, and even a bit of History. No doubt did terrible damage to our self-esteem and sense of identity, though.

  5. Kay24 on July 29, 2016, 7:32 pm

    Collective punishment, being sadists in true zionist style, or making life intolerable for those they occupy and steal from. The choice is yours. Anyone still wondering why Israel is one of the most disliked nations in the world?

    Gaza soccer players barred from entering Israel en route to Palestine Cup final
    Palestinian Football Association says it will cancel the match rather than let Israel determine the composition of its teams.

    • Marnie on July 29, 2016, 11:55 pm

      Kay24 – there is an excellent article in +972 on the same thing.

      It’s about time someone in the Palestinian ministry push back against the milquetoast but also agree with pabelmont that sarcasm is likely to be ignored or worse, not understood, and much stronger, clearer language with suggestions regarding how the west should response to israel’s continued criminality instead of continuing to observe it and condemn it with only words. I can’t help but think the West’s lack of action is meant to incite Palestinian leadership into action that would further harm the Palestinian people, because they (the west) have all the means at their disposal to stop this shit and nothing to lose in doing it. The western leadership is complicit with the israeli’s but if they aren’t, they better start showing it in a much more substantive way than useless pithy words.

      • Kay24 on July 30, 2016, 6:57 am

        There is a basically no way any sane human being can look at this situation and not realize that the Palestinians are living under oppression, and cannot send their people to participate in any international event, until their occupier can find it in their evil hearts to release them like any free people would.

  6. Mayhem on July 29, 2016, 10:05 pm

    Always presenting information through the hypocritical MondoWeiss anti-Israel filter:

    No mention of 600 new units, in Arab Beit Safafa.

    “Same territory, same government, everyone involved being a registered resident of the Israeli capital city of Jerusalem, yet the State Dept. has nothing negative to say about the Beit Safafa expansion plan.

    “In other words, the US is upset with Israeli construction in eastern Jerusalem when Israeli Jews receive the housing, but it’s fine for Israel to build in the forbidden zone for Israeli Arabs.

    “In fact, the State Dept. announcement completely ignores the Israeli government’s effort on behalf of Israeli Arabs in Jerusalem, condemning Israel for “denial of Palestinian development that risk entrenching a one-state reality of perpetual occupation and conflict.”

    • annie on July 30, 2016, 12:06 am

      would that be the same Beit Safafa that israel confiscated all this land for a jewish only highway going through that cut the village in half?

      can you imagine a huge highway going right through the middle of your town that you were not allowed to drive on?

      • Mayhem on July 30, 2016, 2:51 am

        Southern section of Jerusalem highway opened last April which includes a 180 meter tunnel beneath Beit Safafa.
        You have a recent picture or reference depicting what you intimated?

      • Jon66 on July 30, 2016, 7:39 am


        I do not believe that there are any “Jewish” only highways. There are highways restricted to Israelis but these allow any Israeli regardless of religion.

      • Mayhem on July 30, 2016, 7:17 pm

        Jon66 is spot on.
        And Robbins I ask you:
        can you imagine native americans inciting violence against your American government and roaming the streets in pursuit of innocent civilians with the intention of killing them?

      • oldgeezer on July 31, 2016, 1:10 am


        Apples and watermelons. Can you imagine someone trying to colonize the UK, US in this day and. Stop comparing today to ancient history. If you want to roll back morality and legality to hundreds of years ago then you justify the holocaust. Such actions were legal at many points in history. This is now. The holocaust was a horrific crime. Colonisation is a crime. Israel is a criminal rogue state.

      • talknic on July 31, 2016, 5:12 am

        @ Mayhem July 30, 2016, 7:17 pm

        “can you imagine …… …… inciting violence against your ……….. government and roaming the streets in pursuit of innocent civilians with the intention of killing them?”

        No need to imagine

        Palestine was a Nation State at the time. The Palestine Nationality Law came into effect in 1925 per Article 7 of the LoN Mandate for Palestine of 1922

      • Boomer on July 31, 2016, 8:23 am

        PS re native Americans, for those who continually seem to be confused about their status: they are American citizens. Some are members of tribes with reservations, and are entitled to live there if they wish. They are also free to live and work any place in the country they wish. They vote, they have the same legal protections as any citizen. Many people who post here advocate a one state “solution.” I infer that they have something similar in mind for Palestine/Israel.

        Evils there were, and even with good will–even with efforts to change–the evils of the past can leave a legacy “unto the third and fourth generation.” It is time for Israel to change, but more importantly for Americans, it is time for the United States to stop supporting this evil.

      • Mr.T on August 12, 2016, 4:26 pm

        “There are highways restricted to Israelis but these allow any Israeli regardless of religion.”

        And what percentage of drivers on those roads are, in fact, not Jews?

      • Jon66 on August 12, 2016, 4:48 pm

        “And what percentage of drivers on those roads are, in fact, not Jews? – See more at:
        I don’t recall exactly who it was but there was a Palestinian commenter some months ago who said that many Israeli Arabs traveled to visit friends or relatives on these roads.

    • Marnie on July 30, 2016, 4:48 am

      Mayhem – wake up and smell the hummus.

      A divided Palestinian neighborhood, torn in two by an Israeli highway ……/66978

      Beit Safafa residents angry over highway set to divide village ……/Beit-Safafa-residents-angry-over-highway-set-to...

      • Mayhem on July 30, 2016, 7:11 pm

        @Marnie, old news I suspect but your link is bad. And don’t worry I am awake to you and most of all I love the smell of Israeli hummus.

      • Marnie on July 31, 2016, 12:06 am

        Then you’re missing a lot more than I thought.

    • bintbiba on July 30, 2016, 11:37 am

      Those israeli Arabs are Palestinians, Mayhem Sir… just as I
      am a Palestinian Brit these last 62 years !!

      Born and bred in Palestine makes me Palestinian ! I speak, read and write Arabic culture qualifies me as Arab ! Not by blood , ethnicity or religion …Whether israeli or not !
      Still a Palestinian

    • Talkback on July 30, 2016, 4:01 pm

      Isn’t it fascinating that the Mayhems have no problem with the Apartheid/Hafrada fact that Jews have seperate building plans for Jews and Nonjews?

      And their complete lack of understanding humanitarian law unless Jews are the victims?
      Do buildings build for Palestinians (who were forced to become Israelis against their will) in the State of Palestine are an inhumane act against the occupied?

  7. eljay on July 30, 2016, 8:21 am

    … A strongly worded statement, available in Arabic only, issued by the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs “relieves world from issuing useless condemnations against Israeli settlement” activities. …

    It seems strange to me that the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs would issue this valid condemnation only in Arabic.

  8. Ossinev on July 30, 2016, 10:33 am

    “It seems strange to me that the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs would issue this valid condemnation only in Arabic”

    Not perhaps so strange if you consider the range of “condemnations” over the years by the Vichy Palestinian Authority.

    It takes two to tango and Abbas and his 10 star hotel international conference cronies have certainly being doing that for the past two decades.Moan and whimper a bit but do not bite the hand that feeds

  9. Blownaway on July 30, 2016, 12:41 pm

    The Palestinian statement should be accompanied by a mass resignation of the PLA/PLO puppet government and an apology to the Palestinian people acknowledging failure.

  10. Theo on February 10, 2017, 1:11 pm

    Yes they are correct, useless hot air will not change the situation of the palestinians, however, I want to remind the leaders there, that it is about time THEY do something contructive!
    Sitting and waiting for the world to free you is a dillusion, so get off your fat behinds and go to the ICC and to other UN institutions! The first step should be to call for new elections, as the present government has no authority to do anything in name of those people, their mandate expired good two years ago! Or is it there or more already, time flies so fast.

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